Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



This presentation is the annual report for Contract No. NA90AA-H-SF671 "A Stock Assessment Program for Chesapeake Bay Fisheries: Development of an Alosa Juvenile Index of Abundance," for the period 15 June 1990 to 31 July 1991. The fishes of concern were the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), American shad (A. sapidissima), and the blueback herring (A. aestivalis).

The abundance of the Alosa stocks, once an important component of the landings of Virginia fisheries, have dramatically decreased in the last decade. The 1981 landings of Alosa species in Virginia were the lowest ever recorded. American shad and river herring are also pursued by recreational fisherman in Virginia, however, the extent and success of this activity is largely unknown. Additionally, these species have a vital ecological role. Young-of-the-year Alosa are the dominant pelagic prey species in their extensive freshwater and upper estuarine nursery grounds. After spawning, adults return to the sea and are prey of many marine piscivores. It is important that studies of the Alosa stocks in Virginia be continued. Current data, as well as historical data, are needed in order that data analyses may make constructive contributions to rational management strategies.


Project Period: 1 May 1990 - 31 July 1991.



Alosa -- Virginia, Anadromous fishes -- Virginia, Atlantic herring fisheries -- Virginia, Shad fisheries -- Virginia