Investigations into cellular and molecular characteristics of male gametes obtained from fish in natural ecosystems require careful sample handling and shipping in order to minimize artifacts. Maintaining sample integrity engenders confident assessments of ecosystem health, whereby animal condition is often reflected by gamete biomarkers - indicators that respond in measurable ways to changes. A number of our investigations have addressed the hypothesis that biomarkers from fish along a pollution gradient are reflective of site location. Species biology and the selected biological endpoints direct choice of parameters such as: temperature, buffer osmolality, time in transit, fixation, cryoprotectants, protease inhibition, and antibiotic inclusion in extender. This paper will highlight case studies, and outline parameters and thoughts on approaches for use by field and laboratory researchers.