Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



A ruptured pipeline caused a large spill of petroleum products above Fredericksburg, VA on March 6, 1980. Much of the oil was recovered; however, a portion of the contaminant eventually reached the Rappahannock River. The significance of the spill was magnified because it occurred during spawning of anadromous and other commerically important fishes.

A study following the spill was conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) in the summer of 1980 in the upper Rappahannock River. The objectives as stated in the proposal were to (1) determine an index of abundance for juvenile striped bass (Morone saxatilis), alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis), white perch (Morone americana) and American shad (Alosa sapidissima) in the Rappahannock River (2) estimate relative abundance of.juveniles over~time during the period of high mortality, and (3) establish a data base of relative abundance of juvenile striped bass, white perch and alosine fishes in a portion of the Rappahannock River.


Project Period: 7 July to 30 October, 1980


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

Publication Statement

Report to Mason and Hanger-Silas Mason Co., Inc.