Chesapeake Bay Juvenile Striped Bass Numbers Remain below Average in Maryland

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources today released the results of annual surveys of the juvenile striped bass population in the Chesapeake Bay. For the fourth consecutive year, the Maryland index is below average, while the Virginia numbers are about average. These surveys estimate the recruitment of striped bass in the Bay, which refers to the number of surviving fish that were spawned in the spring.   

This news comes as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is set to review an updated striped bass stock assessment to determine the effects of recent management actions taken to increase the striped bass population. The below-average numbers of juvenile striped bass in Maryland may result in further action after the next ASMFC meeting, scheduled for the week of Nov. 7.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist Chris Moore issued the following statement:

“The continued low recruitment of young-of-the-year striped bass in parts of the Chesapeake Bay is unfortunate news for all of those who long to see a healthy striped bass population in the Bay and along the Atlantic Coast.  

“Previously reported below average recruitment numbers have already triggered a provision that requires ASMFC to take low numbers of juvenile fish into account in setting striped bass regulations. These survey results strongly indicate we need to go even further in conservatively managing the striped bass fishery. We must ensure efforts to rebuild the striped bass population are successful.”     

CBF’s Maryland Senior Fisheries Scientist Allison Colden issued this statement in response to the below-average Maryland numbers:

“A fourth consecutive year of below-average recruitment in Maryland is concerning. While managers have taken steps to reduce mortality of adult striped bass, we cannot ignore this troubling trend of continued low productivity.

“Low oxygen ‘dead zones’ and high water temperatures render much of the Chesapeake Bay unsuitable for striped bass in the summer, limiting habitat and stressing young fish. In addition to managing the striped bass population cautiously, we must continue to make progress on reducing pollution entering Chesapeake Bay. Striped bass and the fisheries they support depend on it.”

Kenny Fletcher 90x110

Kenny Fletcher

Director of Communications and Media Relations, CBF

[email protected]

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