The colander is the best way to get an accurate count, but I find it messy and inconvenient. When I was into counting and keeping records, I just counted the floaters that were bigger than a BB. The little stuff was too hard to count. I even saved some of the more interesting stones and froze them. Then my freezer went out and all I have is a smelly blob of green goo with a few red streaks. Counting is a matter of choice, and a rough estimate is fine if you don't feel up to cleaning colanders and going potty fishing. After I topped 6000 stones I don't count much anymore, I just want them out.