Christian Hagar

Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

VIMS Department/Program

Marine Advisory Program (MAP)

Publication Date



Fishery Resource Grant FRG 2000-06


In 2001, eight bycatch reduction panels were .placed in a haul-seine pocket in order to examine fishes' release. Each panel contained fourteen rings 1 718 • in diameter and six 5 118 • long and 29132 • high. The number of rings totaled 112 and slots totaled 48. Release tests were conducted fourteen times from March to November. Study sites were located along the southern shore of the York River and at its mouth where it enters the Chesapeake Bay. Panels allowed 50% of the croaker < 9.6" (245mm), 50% of the flounder < 13.1" " (333mm), 42% of the spot< 7.9 " (200mm), and 60% of the stripe rs < 10.4" (265mm) and 40 % of the weakfish< 12.2" (310mm). that were pocketed to escape. However, very few small croaker were caught and 42% of the undersized flounder, 43% of the undersized spot, 16% of the undersized striped bass and 95% of the undersized weakfish were gilled and thus prevented from panel interaction. Gilling reduced overall release percentages for flounder to 29%, spot to 24% and weakfish to 2%. Statistical analysis of flounder and spot release revealed probabilities of occurrence of < .0005 showing that release of pocketed fishes below specified sizes was highly significant. Croaker and striped bass were not statistically examined due to small sample sizes. The study shows that release panels can reduce culling effort by passively releasing sub-marketable fishes, thus improving catch per unit effort, without profit loss.


Fishing gear



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