A Geoduck Research Symposium sponsored by Washington Sea Grant and the Washington State Department of Ecology will feature the latest findings by scientists from the University of Washington and other research institutions.

The geoduck (Panopea generosa) is North America’s largest burrowing clam. It is found in soft intertidal and subtidal marine habitats in the northeast Pacific Ocean to depths of more than 200 feet. In Washington state, this large clam has been cultured for enhancement of wild stocks since 1991 and on a commercial scale since 1996. However, there was little scientific information available on the ecological impacts of applicable culture practices. In 2007, at the direction of the State Legislature, Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington, established a six-year research program to assess possible effects of geoduck aquaculture on the Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca environments.

The symposium is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, 1:30-5 p.m., at the Alderbrook Resort and Spa, 7101 E. State Route 106, Union.

Researchers will present their latest findings from the following projects:
o   The Ecological Effects of Geoduck Aquaculture — Glenn Van Blaricom and Sean McDonald, University of Washington (UW) School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.
o   The Influence of Geoduck Clam Culture and Harvest in Puget Sound on Sediment Nutrient Biogeochemistry — Roger I. E. Newell, Jeffrey C. Cornwell and Mike S. Owens, Horn Point Marine Laboratory, University of Maryland.
o   Effects of the Geoduck Aquaculture Cycle on Fisk Bar, Samish Bay, Washington — Micah Horwith, UW Department of Biology.
o   Characterizing Trends in Endosymbionts of Native Geoduck Panopea generosa — Elene Dorfmeier, Brent Vadopalas, Julian Olden and Carolyn Friedman, UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; and Paul Frelier and Ralph Elston, AquaTechnics.
o   Microsatellite Parentage Analysis of Reproductive Success and Genetic Diversity in Cultured Geoduck, Panopea generosa — Kristina M. Straus, Brent Vadopalas and Carolyn S. Friedman, UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; and Jonathan Davis, Taylor Shellfish.

The symposium will also include a panel discussion following the research presentations.

Admission is free, but space is limited, so registration is required. Early registration is recommended. Contact Janis McNeal at wsgcanal@uw.edu or 360.432.3054.