A simple, rapid method is described for the extraction of large numbers of free-living nematodes from estuarine sediments. This method does not physically or chemically alter or damage the nematodes, but instead relies on their downward movement through a filtering layer of double ply tissue paper and into aerated water-filled trays. Seven trials each with 10 trays kept at 25 °C for an initial period of 24 h yielded 3985 live nematodes l-1 (± 511.5 standard deviation) of estuarine sediment, free of sediment and with minimal debris. Time effects were statistically significantly different, with the same 10 trays yielding another 1259 nematodes l-1 (± 413.4) when kept for a second period of 24 h at the same temperature. Temperature effects were also significant, and 7 trials each with 10 trays kept for 24 h at 20-21 °C, produced a lower yield of 2160 nematodes l-1 (± 532.7) of sediment. The method is expected to be of use in nematode extractions from both estuarine and marine sediments.