Document Type

Report

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Marine Advisory Program (MAP)

Publication Date

2013

Series

Fishery Resource Grant FRG 2013- 08

Abstract

This project was conducted from January 16th, 2013 to May 13th, 2013. The project documented the catch of striped bass (Marone soxatilis) and Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus) bycatch of two different net configurations, a traditional anchored gill net and an experimental raised footline anchored gill net. The project was conducted in traditional striped bass fishery areas. The experimental methodology was created in an attempt to reduce the bycatch of Atlantic sturgeon while not affecting the striped bass fishery. Nets were hung using conventional methods allowing the net to rest on the bottom of the waters. Experimental nets were hung with a 3.5 foot bottom panel with no mesh allowing bottom dwelling fishes to swim under the "floated" net mesh. Nets were hung using mesh sizes of 5.5", 6", and 8". All catch was recorded and compared to determine the effects of the different hanging methods and get a better estimate on Atlantic sturgeon bycatch in Virginia's striped bass bay fishery. The data showed that Atlantic sturgeon bycatch was twice as high in standard gear compared to experimental gear but bycatch was so low proper comparisons were difficult. There was no difference in striped bass catch numbers between standard and experimental gear.

Keywords

Fishing gear, striped bass, sturgeon, bycatch

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