Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



To document continued compliance with Federal law, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) Anadromous Program (AP) has monitored the size and age composition, sex ratio and maturity schedules of the spawning striped bass stock in the Rappahannock River since December 1981 utilizing commercial pound nets and, since 1991, variable-mesh experimental anchored gill nets. Spawning stock assessment was expanded to include the James River in 1994 utilizing extant commercial fyke nets and variable-mesh experimental gill nets. The use of fyke nets was discontinued after 1997. Tagging programs have been conducted in the James and Rappahannock rivers since 1987 in conjunction with the monitoring studies. These studies were established to document the migration and relative contribution of these Chesapeake Bay stocks to the coastal population and to provide a mean to estimate inter-year survival rates (S). The tagging studies were expanded to the York River and western Chesapeake Bay to provide a direct estimation of the resultant fishing mortality (F) with the re-establishment of fall recreational fisheries in 1993 .

Because of low stock levels of striped bass in the recent past, and the variable nature of their population dynamics, Chesapeake Bay stocks may or may not be contributing their full potential to the coastal population which supports the fisheries north of Chesapeake Bay. Therefore, the information contained in this report is important to the development and implementation of a coordinated management plan for striped bass in Virginia, and along the eastern seaboard.


Contract Number: F-77-R-11 Project Period: 1 September 1997 - 31 October 1998 Submitted to Virginia Marine Resources Commission



Striped bass -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.); Striped bass fisheries -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.); Striped bass -- Mortality -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.)