Due to some delays in the permitting process, the adult scallops did not get into bay waters until nearly mid-July, much later than had been anticipated or desired. Typically scallops spawn in this area sometime between late May and mid June, water temperature dependent. A cool spring helped keep water temperatures low through early to mid May, though temperatures rose to typical levels by late May / early June. Given the conditions and circumstances there was concern that the spring spawning event might be missed entirely. If that were the case, it was hoped that there would be a fall spawn, which often happens with scallops.

It is unclear if the spring spawning event was missed , though that is suspected to have been the case since no scallop spat were found in the bags throughout the summer months of August or September. There must have been a fall spawning event because some scallop spat were found in the spat collectors during October. While the number of spat collected was not large, it was enough to show that the process worked.

Upon collection of the bottom cages in late October, we found that mortality among the adult scallops varied according to the number of scallops placed in the cages.  At low stocking density (≈50 scallops per cage) mortality was about 15%; doubling the number of scallops in the cage increased mortality significantly.  Unfortunately we did not get the opportunity to track the spat to determine how well it was able to survive in the Little Narragansett Bay ecosystem.

All in all, it was a monumental effort undertaken by a large number of volunteers, fostered by the ever abundant energy and enthusiasm of Jon Mitchell that helped take a successful pilot project from start to finish. We are invigorated by our success, albeit somewhat limited, and enthusiastic as we look forward into the 2009 season when we plan to deploy 7,500 adult scallops in the bay. Based on what we learned during the 2008 pilot project, we feel pretty confident that we can get gear and animals into the water at a more optimal time and so that they can partake in a spring spawning event, which will then give us the opportunity to track the spat and judge their survivability. Having this information will help us make better decisions regarding our future efforts to rehabilitate scallops in Little Narragansett Bay.