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Plate Sampler


The Square Multiple Plate Sampler (PS) is an artificial substrate sampler used to collect aquatic macro-invertebrate organisms in streams, lakes, ponds, or marine environments. The PS is designed to mimic substrate and should be left in the ecosystem for at least two weeks. Once the PS is retrieved, it can easily be disassembled in the field for specimen examination and/or collection.

The PS is made of 9 3"x3" square masonite plates, each separated by nylon washers. Each plate and each washer is 3 mm thick. The total surface area of the PS is 0.1 m squared.

Requirements: The Square Plate Sampler is designed to be used in lake, river, pond, estuary, tidal flat, and marine environments. It should be left out in the ecosystem for at least two week.

Manufacturer: Hester-Dendy Square Multiple Plate Sampler
Suggested Grade Levels: 10th and above
Suggested Courses: Environmental Science
Video Demonstration:


  1. Attach a long rope to the eyebolt. Attach a brick or large rock to the free end of the PS to make sure it's secure in the desired location.

  2. Plan careful placement of the PS
    • Keep it out of the way of boats.
    • Place in a location where it won't get tangled with debris.
    • Place it where it is not easily visible from roads, bridges, trails or fishing spots to minimize the chance of disturbance and/or vandalism.
    • Use a marker stake or flagging tape to mark the location for later retrieval.

  3. Retrieve the PS after at least 2 weeks in the field. The sample is quantitative because the surface area of the PS is fixed and known.
SAGE Bristol,
Feb 7, 2012, 11:17 AM