Modeled after The Nature Conservancy (TNC) successes in the Rhode Island south shore salt ponds, the Commission will place adult bay scallops in cages on the bottom of Little Narragansett Bay. The intent is to have the adult scallops spawn, and to then track the young scallops—called spat—to determine how many are produced and how well they survive in the Little Narragansett Bay ecosystem. This information will help the Shellfish Commission determine how to proceed in enhancing the scallop population in Little Narragansett Bay.

While bay scallops can be found throughout the waters of Stonington, Little Narragansett Bay has historically been a "hot spot" for scallop concentrations and has historically provided the largest numbers of harvestable adults. For these reasons the Shellfish Commission targeted Little Narragansett Bay as the area in which to conduct the scallop enhancement project. The shallow waters in the bay directly across (southeast) from the Barn Island boat ramp have historically been one of the prime scalloping sites in the Little Narragansett Bay ecosystem, and was therefore a prime candidate for selection as a site for the project. Furthermore, the area is outside of major boating lanes, closed to recreational shellfishing and receives limited use by fishermen, and then mainly during the early season for small striped bass, which leave the bay as waters warm in late spring/early summer; conflict with other users was therefore at a minimum for this site. Water depth was sufficient for the intended work, and access to and from the site was good for the small boats that would be used to deploy, maintain and collect gear at the end of the season.

In order for the Shellfish Commission to conduct the intended work it had to move through a permitting process identical to what commercial aquaculture growers must go through to culture shellfish in state waters. While the Shellfish Commission technically was not culturing shellfish, and certainly not for commercial purposes, anytime aquaculture "gear" is to be placed on the bottom, a permit is required. The
permitting process was long; originally intending to get the project underway in 2007, permits were not received until early 2008, delaying implementation of the project by one year.

Adult scallops were obtained from a natural site in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. Before the scallops could be "imported" to Connecticut waters however, they had to undergo pathological testing to ensure that no disease organisms would be transferred. Upon approval of the State Pathologist, the scallops were brought to Connecticut for deployment in the enhancement project.

The adult scallop spawner stock were placed in "cages" constructed of plastic mesh, and that opened at the ends to allow loading of the adult scallops, as well as to allow entry for maintenance reasons, if needed. The cages were linked together in series of ten (10), with each cage containing 100 adult scallops; each line of 10 cages therefore set 1,000 spawning scallops on the bottom of the study site in Little Narragansett Bay. Once deployed, the adult scallops were left undisturbed to acclimate to bay waters and to spawn.

Spat bags—fine meshed plastic bags filled with plastic netting—are then deployed in the project area. The spat bags intercept the developing scallops as they spend time in the water column as plankton. Once the scallop spat encounter the bags, they attach to the mesh and begin to grow towards adulthood. Spat bags are checked at regular intervals to determine if scallop spat has settled, and if so, the spat are counted. This data helps understand how successful a spawning event was, where the spat are settling out, and how well they are surviving.