Striped Bass Reproduction Remains Low in Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay 2022 Young-of-Year Survey Results Announced

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced results of this year’s juvenile striped bass survey, which tracks the reproductive success of the iconic fish in the Chesapeake Bay. The 2022 young-of-year index is 3.6, which is slightly higher than last year’s result, but remains below the long-term average of 11.3.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science conducts a similar survey in the southern portion of Chesapeake Bay. The VIMS Juvenile Striped Bass Seine Survey recorded a mean value of 7.95 fish per seine haul in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay. The 2022 value is similar to the historic average of 7.77 fish per seine haul and represents the 10th consecutive year of average or above-average recruitment in Virginia waters. According to a press release from VIMS, the indices observed in recent years suggest that abundance of juvenile striped bass in Virginia has been relatively stable.

The Atlantic coastal striped bass population has decreased in size, but is still capable of strong reproduction with the right environmental conditions. Variable spawning success is a well-known characteristic of the species. Biologists continue to examine factors that might limit spawning success.

Maryland DNR biologists captured more than 40,000 fish of 58 different species during the 3-month survey. They noted an increased abundance of spot, a popular species used for food and bait. Spot abundance was the highest observed in over a decade.

Atlantic Coast states enacted responsible conservation measures in recent years to reduce harvest and protect striped bass during the spawning season.

8 on “Striped Bass Reproduction Remains Low in Chesapeake Bay

  1. Mike Kelleher

    Hope the Mass Fisheries Commission is paying attention, as they continue to allow commercial harvest of the most efficient large breeders …over 750,000 lbs last yr. We risk return to 1980s with a depleted bass population. Florida was able to save their redfish and snook fisheries only by banning commercial harvest.

    1. Al downna cape

      Perhaps they could consider just changing the rules for commercial striper-fishermen. They cut down on the weekend warrior commercial guys by making the commercial days three consecutive mid-week days. They decreased the daily bag limit to try and extend the season. But MA still allows out-of-state commercial fishermen. I see commercial boats driving down route 6 (capecod) every commercial morning, with commercial coolers, and loaded for bear with boat registrations from NY CN RI ME VT NH. The commercial season was 2 months this year. Big Schools of Big Fish set up under big schools of bait all summer, and the quota was had in 8 short weeks.

      Also- maybe pay-by-the-fish tags for recreational guys?

  2. Paul Kay

    Just when I think we are making progress….

    The insanity of allowing those with Commercial Licenses to keep breeding size fish is beyond my comprehension. C’mon Guys! Shame on the Mass Fisheries Commission for their obvious bias towards their commercial buddies.

    1. Brian Duffy

      You’re lost if you think it’s commercial hook and line fisherman taking all the striper.. that’s the way it should be done. Get rid of the Draggers there is no way to preserve the population with nets. Recreational always thinks it’s commercial when ma only allowed 750k lbs to be taken. I did research years ago and it was estimated New York takes over 10 millions lbs recreationally. Mass recreational is in the millions of lbs taken and people complain about the guys trying to make a living. Get a clue

  3. Bob Ribeiro

    The worst series of years going back two generations. It may be too late to do anything for the availability the next few years. But for future generations, NBOW is the time to use this data to successfully manage the SB population to maintain a string of years that do not vary much (10%?) from the historical average.

    And yes, commercial fishing must be more strictly controlled — consistently — along the whole east coast to achieve improvement.

  4. Fish

    Designate them as a sportfish. They don’t taste good anyway and the price in the store for them is way too high. Or make it so that only farmed bass can be sold.

  5. Eli

    How about we just don’t kill stripers, rec or commercial? It’s not exactly rocket science on what needs to be done here. This fish has been ‘managed’ to destruction.

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