Place an interior label into each sample jar. Information recorded on the interior label has priority over the exterior label in case of discrepancies.

Make labels from Rite-in-the-Rain paper cut from a field notebook or heavy paper stock and a soft lead pencil (see photo). Do not use ink or marker pens because the alcohol preservative will completely bleed away the writing.

Include all information needed to identify the sample and reference it to a sample log for your project. For example:

Client/Project: This can be abbreviated, e.g. CLNP for Crater Lake National Park
Water body: e.g. Sun Creek
Site: e.g. Site 1, 5800′ elevation
Replicate: if applicable
Sample type: e.g. Riffle
Date: Write out or abbreviate the month if you think there will be any confusion, e.g. 16 May 2009
Collector initials: e.g. RWW

If a sample is so large that it must be divided among more than one jar, please label the separate jars as, e.g. 1 of 3, 2 of 3, and 3 of 3, and list the number of jars comprising that sample on the sample log sheet.

Exterior labels do not always remain legible. Exterior jar labels are used only for project inventory purposes in the field and lab. Use a ring of blue painter’s tape around the outside of the sample jar to record label information. Use an indelible ink marker pen to record sample information. However even indelible ink will bleed and become illegible if alcohol leaks from the jar onto the tape.