Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Marine Advisory Program (MAP)

Publication Date



Fishery Resource Grant FRG 2010- 08


The striped bass fishery is of great economic importance to Virginia’s commercial finfishermen and anchored gill nets are the predominant gear used I both coastal and estuarine waters. Unfortunately, these nets have the highest rate of Atlantic Sturgeon bycatch (85%) compared to other Virginia gear types (NMFS) and the second largest bycatch recorded by NMFS Northeast Observer Network coastally. High Atlantic Sturgeon interaction rates could result in seriously restrictive regulations being imposed on the fishery or even complete closure, one Atlantic Sturgeon are listed under the Endangered Species Act as has been proposed. Such regulations have been made in order to reduce the bycatch of Harbor Porpoise. This particular regulation requires that nets being set outside of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel be tied down to no more than 48” high. In this study we tested the effects of these tied down nets on the Striped Bass catch and Sturgeon Bycatch.


Fishing gear, striped bass, sturgeon, bycatch