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HATCHERY PROCESS

Water Quality

Water QualityWater quality is extremely important to a hatchery because of its affects on shellfish growth. The pristine waters of Quilcene Bay in the Pacific Northwest create the perfect environment for our Quilcene hatchery. We use the baywater, filtered and heated, for growing our shellfish spat (larvae and seed).

Algae

Growing AlgaeWe grow our own algae which we feed to the shellfish larvae and seed. The age of the spat determines the species of algae that it is fed. Other than the algae which we provide, our seed is given no additional supplements, although it may filter some nutrients from the bay water.

Algae TanksThe algae species we culture include: Thalassiosira sp., Skeletonema sp., Isochrysis sp (Tahitian), Monochrysis (Pavlova) lutheri, Chaetoceros muerlli, and Tetraselmis sp.

Broodstock

BroodstockOur broodstock program consists of a planned selection for high quality broodstock. When choosing broodstock, some considerations include the shape of the oyster, a nice cup size and genetic diversity.

Conditioning of Broodstock

Broodstock TanksThe broodstock is slowly warmed and incrementally fed in order to condition them so they will spawn when needed, not in late summer, as it would on it's own.

Spawning & Raising Larvae

Oyster Larvae with eye spotAfter spawning is accomplished, the fertilized eggs are placed into growing tanks. The fertilized eggs develop into larvae, which are monitored daily and sorted regularly for growth and health.

At approximately 15 days the larvae develop "eye spots", at which point they are ready to "set". They are removed from the larval tanks and are then either:

Setting tank filled with cultch

Put into setting tanks filled with cultch (recycled oyster shells from our processing/shucking facility in South Bend, Washington - see picture at left).

 

 

 

 

OR
Put into a downwell/ upwell system for growing single individual oysters (see picture above).

Shellfish larvae packed and ready to be shippedOR
Sold to third party shellfish farmers for setting and grow-out at their facilities. We pack and ship larvae worldwide.