Save the Bay News: Menhaden Misstep, Oyster Report, and Striped Bass Latest

Hale Susan waterman at sunrise1171x593

A waterman greets the sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge as he cruises the Chesapeake near Whitehall Bay in Maryland.

Susan Hale

From our latest oyster report to an update on striped bass and yet another setback for menhaden, take a look at this month's newsletter featuring the Bay's beloved fisheries.

Below the steely surface of the Bay, much is brewing. Menhaden, the little fish that power much of the Bay ecosystem, are in big trouble again with the delay of a crucial scientific study that would inform decisions about their management. Meanwhile, there’s also trouble for one of the Bay’s top predators: Striped bass are facing a barrage of pressures that recently prompted emergency actions by state and coastal fishery managers. But it’s not all bad news. A new CBF report details how to build on the Bay’s incredible oyster restoration successes—including the largest oyster reef projects in the world—to improve water quality and habitat, increase climate resilience, and grow economic opportunities. Spring is also the time of year that trout are journeying to Pennsylvania streams and researchers are conducting the annual blue crab winter dredge survey to provide a window on the population. Action also continues in legislative sessions across the watershed. Find updates on a proposed toxic sealant ban in Virginia, industrial sludge legislation in Maryland, funding for conservation on Pennsylvania farms, and more in this month’s news update. And don’t forget to take your best shot for the 2024 Save the Bay Photo Contest!

Osprey flying after catching an Atlantic menhaden

Osprey depend on menhaden as a key element of their diet.


Menhaden Misstep 

Menhaden are vital food for many of the creatures that call the Chesapeake home. But this little fish is in big trouble. Again. In another setback, Virginia legislators punted a bill that would have funded a robust study of the Bay’s menhaden—delaying critical science needed to inform decisions about “the most important fish in the sea.”

Schooling striped bass, also known as rockfish.


Striped Bass Update

Amid a torrent of worrying news for striped bass, fisheries managers recently enacted a series of emergency measures to help preserve this revered fish in the Bay and along the Atlantic Coast. From invasive species to climate change and fishing pressure, we look at the challenges facing stripers now and what comes next.  

Low tide reveals a healthy oyster reef in Bavon, Virginia.

Robert Diller

Report: Hope on the Half Shell

The Chesapeake Bay is now home to the world’s largest oyster reef restoration projects—and they’re showing incredible success. What comes next? A new CBF report outlines what’s needed in the next chapter of oyster restoration to improve water quality and fish habitat, increase climate resilience, and grow economic opportunities in the Bay’s coastal communities.

Snow falls as several men gather around a large white tanker truck parked on the side of a road next to a stream.

A Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission trout-stocking truck parks along Yellow Breeches Creek in preparation of releasing its payload of trout.

BJ Small/CBF Staff

A Trout’s Journey

At this time of year, millions of trout are making their way from Pennsylvania hatcheries to the mountain streams renowned for worldclass fishing. Both these hatchery-raised fish and their wild counterparts rely on clean, cold water—something CBF’s Pennsylvania team continues to work hard for alongside hundreds of state and local partners.

An orange-gloved hand holds a blue crab just pulled from a dredge net.

Kenny Fletcher/CBF Staff

Video: A Window on Wintering Crabs

The annual blue crab winter dredge survey in Maryland and Virginia provides crucial information that paints a picture of the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population. Last March, we joined researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to capture the action as they surveyed the lower Bay in search of overwintering crabs buried in the mud.

In the News

What You Can Do


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Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

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