Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Marine Resource Report No. 99-10; VSG-99-14


In April 1996, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved a Tautog Fishery Management Plan (FMP) requiring states to systematically adopt a 14 in. (356 mm) TL minimum size limit. Release-mortality was assumed to be 25%. Between October and December 1997-1998, 299 tautog (235-520 mm TL; 9-20 in.) were caught using angling gear to estimate release mortality in Virginia's tautog fishery. Fishing occurred at shallow (3-10 m; 10-33 ft.) and deep (12-17 m; 39-56 ft.) water depths at temperatures between 9-l 8°C ( 48-64°F). Tautog were tagged, accumulated in aerated livewells, then returned to depth of capture in galvanized wire cages. Mean fish density per cage was six tautog and mean soak time per cage was 115 h (4.8 days). Releasemortality for tautog (n=5) for both years was 1.67%, all occurring in fish taken from deeper water. Mortality rates were comparable to rates reported in Connecticut waters (1994-98).


Fisheries, Management, Virginia, Tautog


Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing License Funds (Virginia Recreational Fishing Development Fund) administered by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (Grant Number RF97-l 7)