Saturday, February 13, 2016

Learn more about the Whitlock-Vibert box by watching the video with designer Dave Whitlock. Additional segments of this video will be posted at the bottom of the page when they are available.


Whitlock-Vibert Boxes Help Conservation Efforts

In the early 1950’s, Dr. Richard C.E. Vibert, a French fisheries researcher, developed the original Vibert Box for stocking streams with trout and salmon eggs. In the 1970’s American fisheries advocate Dave Whitlock and the Green Country Flyfishers of Oklahoma significantly changed the design of the Vibert Box. A more effective nursery area was added and the overall size of the box was enlarged. The improved box was named the Whitlock-Vibert Box (WVB).

The patented WVB is only available through the International Federation of Fly Fishers. They are available for purchase to fisheries professionals, cooperating organizations and individuals as a tool to enhance fish stocks in the wild through egg planting. Whitlock-Vibert boxes are also used for research purposes, including sediment studies, and for educational purposes like classroom presentations.

Whitlock-Vibert Egg Plant Box

Whitlock-Vibert Egg Plant Box

How the Egg Plant Box Works

How the Whitlock-Vibert Box Works
How the Whitlock-Vibert Box Works
For Egg Planting:

The top try of the box is filled with fertilized eggs. The box is then planted in a stream. The eggs develop and hatch within the top chamber of the box. Once the sac fry have hatched, they can slip through the slots of the top chamber to the bottom nursery chamber. Within the nursery chamber, the sac fry absorb their yolk sac, start to swim, and eventually leave the chamber through the box’s outer slots. The slots surrounding the egg chamber are 3.5 x 13 mm on the top and bottom, and 2 x 2 mm on the sides.

Please refer to the to the complete Whitlock-Vibert Box user’s manual for further details.  The manual is available for order on the order form below.


Sediment Studies

In 1988, a group of researchers from the University of Wyoming discovered that modified Whitlock-Vibert boxes (WVB) were effective tools for sediment studies. Modified WVB have proved to be an inexpensive and convenient alternative to traditional methods and many researchers have adopted the protocol 1. Below is a roughly summarized account of the protocol:

  • Remove the inner panel (egg tray) from the WVB.

  • Fill the box with clean gravel 12-25 mm in diameter.

  • Cover the bottom of the box with a strip of duct tape to prevent the loss of trapped fine sediment through the bottom.

  • Plant WVB flush with the streambed surface. Planting the box above or below the streambed surface will drastically change the results.

  • After the appropriate length of time, remove the box and place it in a plastic bag, being careful not to spill any of the sediment contents.

  • Dry the box contents and dry sieve them.

When these procedures are followed, results have been found to be comparable to those of a McNeil core sample.

How to Order Whitlock-Vibert Boxes

Sales of the Whitlock-Vibert Boxes support the conservation efforts of the International Federation of Fly Fishers.  We appreciate your support and your work in the field to ensure future generations have the opportunity to enjoy our  natural habitats.  Please use the link below to access the order form and note that appropriate govermental agency approval will be required.


     Whitlock-Vibert Box Order Form (fillable PDF, save & e-mail)
     Whitlock-Vibert Box Order Form (non-fillable PDF, Print & Mail or Fax)

Questions About the WVB

Please direct your questions to NIkki Loy by calling 406-222-9369 X0 or e-mail at

1 Wesche, Thomas A., D.W. Reiser, V.R. Hasfurther, W.A. Hubert, and Q.D. Skinner. 1989. New Technique for Measuring Fine Sediment in Streams. North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 9:235-238.




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