Historic clam monitoring programs
Prior to the mid 1990s, the most recent hard clam stock assessments in Virginia waters were conducted by VIMS scientists in the late 1960s and early 1970s. These studies spanned several decades and used a variety of different types of sampling equipment to survey several hundred sites. Much of this research was summarized and placed in modern context by Roegner and Mann (1991).
Modern hard clam monitoring and stock assessment
In 1995, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission Shellfish and Replenishment Department and the VIMS Molluscan Ecology Program conducted an intensive hard clam stock assessment in the lower James River occupying over 3000 stations. This survey was the first comprehensive hard clam stock assessment in Virginia in almost 20 years. Using the protocols established in 1995, similar surveys were conducted in 2001 and 2002 covering regions in the James, York, Back and Poquoson Rivers as well as Mobjack Bay and areas off Ocean View. The data sets generated by these efforts are used to support resource management as well as basic descriptive research. We hope to complete another survey using the same methods as used in the previous surveys in the next few years.
Monitoring program sponsors
Hard clam monitoring efforts by VIMS in Virginia waters are supported by:
Virginia Marine Resources Commission Conservation and Replenishment Department
NOAA/Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee