Shellfish Hatchery Water Sampling Guide

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


The purpose of this peer reviewed extension article was to create a guide that helps hatcheries with proper water sample storage and protocols that are easy to read and understand. Shellfish aquaculture has become a profitable industry and will continue to grow however, water quality issues can drastically affect this. These issues have been causing problems in the Chesapeake Bay where oysters were already experiencing a decrease in population. To determine the cause of water quality issues it’s essential to take samples throughout the hatchery season therefore following proper sampling and storage protocols is a top priority for hatchery personnel. Water sample testing might include analysis of Harmful Algal Blooms, pesticides, herbicides, metals, and bacteria. Testing for these require sending samples to analytical laboratories for analysis. For this project I built upon the research and work already being conducted in the Chesapeake Bay by faculty and students at Virginia Tech. I searched for more supporting documents and collected different pieces of information from multiple faculty members to put it all together into an extension article. Additionally I created some tables to assist hatchery personnel. For example upon determining the need for water quality testing, hatchery personnel can exam the list of analytical labs and contact information as shown in the document to decide where to send their samples to. With proper water sampling protocols shellfish hatcheries can detect water quality issues sooner and determine the best actions to deal with their problem.