Kim Zoom Screenshot

Kim Tetrault presenting a Zoom workshop

SPAT Lectures


The SPAT Program at the Marine Center in Southold starts up in late spring and runs until about Thanksgiving time, when you can over-winter your oysters. If you are a member or want to become one, please make sure we have your application, and risk acknowledgement waiver. Kim Tetrault, SPAT Director, is at the Marine Center on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings between 8 a.m. - noon., at which time you can come down and tend to your oysters. 

Please sign up for the email (right sidebar), for program updates.

Our facility is closed on the weekends!

SPAT Lectures and Member Offerings

Use the sign-up form to receive an email reminder.

We are continuing Zoom workshops in 2023-24. If you miss it, all our Zooms are recorded and can be found HERE.

Please sign-up for the SPAT email for more updates and information on SPAT.

*Lectures are free! All are welcome...

January: Algae Culture Techniques

algae culture This introduction to the lecture series addresses everything you ever wanted to know about algae but were afraid to ask. Learn about the good the bad and the ugly algae species and find out why this critical base of the marine food chain affects shellfish from birth to death.

Learn about the construction and operation of the new SEACAPS continuous algae culture system which is being installed in order to ramp up the production of scallops and other shellfish stocks for the season. Few facilities in the country have this system and CCE will be one of the first in the Northeast to operate one.

February: Broodstock Conditioning & Spawning

Ever wonder how shellfish are produced? Find out how bivalve mollusks get ready for spawning and what triggers them. Learn the tricks of the trade, including musical selection, lighting, heating and phenomenal suspensions.

Find out what is necessary to condition and spawn scallops out of season in order to produce early seed in quantity.
clam spawn

March: Larval Culture of Bivalve Species

Larval clams All shellfish have a larval cycle before becoming Spat. This lecture discusses the various routines that larvae perform during the earliest part of their lives. Join the microscopic world of trochophores and veligers as they dare to go the distance to becoming seed.

Learn advanced handling techniques used to maximize survival, growth and health of shellfish larvae.

April: Post - Set Seed Culture

Just like the caterpillar that changes into the butterfly, shellfish larvae undergo metamorphosis and change into their smallest juvenile Spat. This is usually the last place they will live, give or take a few meters, for the rest of their lives, unless they are cultured. Our shellfish are just getting ready to move all over. scallp spat

May: Land-Based Upweller Nursery Operations

May lecture upweller SPAT

Shellfish nurseries cross between being technically advanced and extremely simple. Learn about Upwellers and Downwellers, FLUPSYs and Seston Flux.

The phase in aquaculture where nature and humans come together to maximize shellfish seed culture. 

June: Configuring and Maintaining the Garden

So now that you can see your shellfish seed, what are you going to do with it? This is where all the fun begins with designing and keeping up with your own personal shellfish garden. Join the SPATsters in collecting information about how best to grow shellfish to adult size.

June lecture maintaining configuring garden

July: What the heck is going on with my oysters?

This month we will be looking at all kinds of things that can happen with your oysters and how to tend to them.


(no lecture this month)

September: The Oysters of France and Canada

The French love their oysters. Here is a look at the oyster growing techniques of the Brittany Coast and the French Mediterranean, as well as the oysters of the Canadian Maritime Provence of New Brunswick. spat french postcard september

October: Over-Winterizing the Garden

Now that summer is over and either the water will be getting too cold to work in or you are leaving for places where the sun always shines, it is about time to put everything away for the next 5-6 months. In order to do this, special care should be taken to make sure you don't lose everything that you worked so hard on. This is a pretty important lecture, so please make a point of making this session.

November: Yearly Review, Final Exam

Are we really going to have to take a final exam? Actually, it is the best way to review all of the lectures that were given during the year. It takes about 15 minutes to complete and 1 3/4 hours to correct. See how much you managed to retain in the field of shellfish aquaculture. And don't worry, I try to make it fun.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday Work Sessions
8:30- noon throughout the year. (Coffee break at 10:00)

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, during the entire year, volunteers come by to help out with all of the various SPAT projects. This includes working in the SPAT Shack, our own shellfish hatchery. This is the perfect place to try out the skills necessary for growing seed shellfish from scratch. The seed nurseries are another component to the shellfish culture activities and require routine maintenance. Learn how to service the land-based and floating upwellers, as well as how to design and build them. Try your hand at the culling machine, which sorts and cleans the seed automatically. There is plenty of interesting activities for everyone. There is never a need to call in advance, the doors are always open during these work sessions. Please however remember to sign in at the front office. All volunteer time is logged in as an additional bonus.

Boat Building

We are also going to be building boats as part of our regular activities. This has turned out to be a very exciting and rewarding activity and it can also provide additional fundraising revenues. We are currently producing a number of 18 foot work skiffs and will most likely add a number of different designs to our fleet. Whether you have experience or not, feel free to come by and lend a hand. "There is nothing-absolutely nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats". Ratty is right about that but also, building them adds yet another worth to the pleasure.

Persons needing special accommodations should contact Kim Tetrault at least two weeks prior to scheduled workshop. Please refer to the marine calendar for specific dates and times of all events.

Join SPAT! Membership information here

If you would like to make a donation to SPAT: Print Form or Online Form.


Kim Tetrault
Community Aquaculture Specialist

Last updated January 26, 2024