Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Special Scientific Report No. 124 Vol. 1994


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. Estimates of juveniles (age-0) have proven to be a reliable and early indicator of future year-class strength. A review of previously available indices of juvenile abundance for important fishery resource species of the Chesapeake Bay by the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee (CBSAC), a federal/ state committee sponsored and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), resulted in the recommendation that, "a unified, consistent trawl program should be one of the primary monitoring tools for finfish and crab stock assessment." (Chesapeake Bay Program Stock Assessment Plan, Chesapeake Executive Council 1988). There were several notable survey results for this year. Catch information for 1994 indicated a continuing decline in the blue crab population, although not as pronounced as in recent years. However, the 1994 spawning stock (adult females) was half that of 1993. Juvenile white perch and striped bass catches continued to increase. Summer flounder indices doubled over the disastrous 1992 and 1993 year classes. Atmosperically, winter temperatures were normal with the exception of two extremely cold periods (air temperatures less than 4° C). Summer temperatures were relatively mild compared to 1993 values. The purpose of this summary is to provide an accurate account of trawl survey sampling performed during the calendar year 1994. Previous volumes of this series have served as excellent reference guides to resource managers, scientists, academics, as well as the general public. Since there are other venues which presently detail specific results of these data (Geer et al., 1993), conclusions are kept at a minimum in order to provide the most information in the available space.



Fisheries, Management, Abundance, Virgina