Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Special Scientific Report No. 124 V. 1987


The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has conducted a trawl survey dating back to 1955. Over these forty years methods and objectives have varied according to funding sources and state and/or federal mandates. The present thrust of the program is to provide juvenile indices of relative abundance for recreationally, commercially, and ecologically important finfish and invertebrates. These measures of juvenile abundance are widely used as a key element in the management of the Atlantic States' coastal fishery resources and serve as an early indicator of future year class strength. The most abundant species captured in 1987 continued to be the bay anchovy and the hogchoker, with hogchokers more abundant in the warmer months and bay anchovies more abundant during the winter. Atlantic croaker, spot and weakfish round out the top five species. This differs only slightly from previous years, when white perch was the fifth most abundant and weakfish seventh . Although Atlantic croaker was the fourth most abundant species captured, relative abundance of juvenile Atlantic croaker as well as summer flounder was near or at historic lows in 1987. Species composition between rivers was quite similar, although relative abundance varied greatly. For example, Atlantic croaker were much more abundant in the York River, and spot three times greater in the James than the York or Rappahannock. For all species combined, the James was the most productive, followed by the York and Rappahannock. Low productivity in the Rappahannock is probably accounted for by anoxic conditions which occur at down river stations most of the summer. No sampling was performed in the month of December, due to administrative changes.



Fisheries, Management, Abundance, Virgina


State general funds supported the 1987 trawl survey program. Printing for this report was provided by present general funds.



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