One of the reasons that Gouldsboro has a shellfish lab is so that it can share what it learns about building and operating a community-scale shellfish nursery with other communities. We put some of what we are learning into larger, more general interest posts on this site, such as the one about designing a system for big tide swings in a harbor where the water level is sometimes below your pump. But sometimes what we learn is a small thing — details that wouldn’t interest most readers but will be really important for someone who wants to build and run a small shellfish nursery.

This page is where we collect those smaller, more detailed posts along with the ones that, though interesting to a general audience, will be useful to people who are interested in learning from what Gouldsboro is doing.

To make things easier to find, we have placed each of the “Lessons Learned” posts into one or more of the categories that you see listed below. Clicking on the topic will bring up the relevant posts. The “Other” category includes all the posts about other parts of the Gouldsboro Shore project that are less relevant to the design and daily work of the shellfish lab.

Clam Flats Growth Monitoring Mortality Other Procedures Pumps Silt Tides Upweller Water_Temperature

Latest Posts


A hand holding sea creatures found in the drain line.

“Volunteers” in the Lines. CRUNCH Followed by WHOOSH!

Wednesday, 9/7, was a big day at the Shellfish Resilience Lab. Four of us (Chantal, Elin, Mike, and Pauline) went to the lab to do a routine tank cleaning. Cabot, the Lab Labrador, was there as well, “guarding” the loading dock for us. We figured it would take about an hour and a half with all of us experienced tank cleaners there. Not so, it turns out.

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Nursery Trays are Floating

Last week, Mike Pinkham and I spent a few days constructing five nursery trays that our small seed clams would soon be placed in. A nursery tray is a rectangular wooden tray about 3-4 feet in length and width, and about 3 inches high. The bottom and top of each tray is made of a…

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Aerial view of around 50,000 seed clams in a bucket in our upweller.

Two-Month-Old Clam Growth Update

In order for the clam lab to be cost effective, it is important that our clam population has a high survival rate as well as a typical growth rate. The good news is, most of our two-month-old clams have survived up to this point. The bad news is, their growth rate is significantly slower than…

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A landscape photo showing three individuals walking in the mud attempting to plant 5,000 clams in the mud.

Reseeding the Mud Flats

Procedure Collect your mud-ready clams and place them in regular 5-gallon buckets (no more than 5,000 clams per bucket) Gather other materials  14ft x 14ft netting  Garden rake Stakes (4 stakes per netting) Mallet or a rock Drive the clams and the other materials to a mud flat location Try different locations to determine which…

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multiple branches of bryozoans sticking up. The branches look transparent and one branch has a crown of tentacles also known as a lophophore. The photo was taken using a microscope.

One-Year-Old Clams: It’s Time For The Mud

Since my time here, I have learned just how unpredictable it is to raise soft-shell clams in an upweller. Right when you think you have things under control, a new problem arises. We have been working hard, attempting to solve issues ranging from identifying and controlling harmful species in our upwellers, to water flow inconsistencies,…

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