Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) adopted the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the American Eel in November 1999. The FMP calls for efforts to collect American Eel data through both fishery-dependent and fishery-independent studies in coastal states. Consequently, member jurisdictions agreed to implement an annual survey for young-of-year (YOY or glass) American Eels. The survey is intended to “…characterize trends in annual recruitment of the YOY eels over time [to produce a] qualitative appraisal of the annual recruitment of American Eel to the U.S. Atlantic Coast” (ASMFC 2000). The development of these surveys began in 2000 with full implementation by 2001. Survey results provide necessary data on coastal recruitment success and further understanding of American Eel population dynamics. The 2017 American Eel Stock Assessment Update report found that the American Eel stock status remains depleted, overfishing cannot be determined based on the trend analyses, and emphasized the continued importance of the coast-wide survey as an index of recruitment over the historical coastal range in the U.S. and an early warning of potential range contraction of the species (ASMFC 2017). In 2022, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science continued its spring sampling to estimate relative abundance of YOY American Eels in Virginia tributaries of Chesapeake Bay.


American eel -- Virginia; American eel -- Chesapeake Bay (Md. and Va.); Eel fisheries -- Virginia

Publication Statement

Submitted to Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Marine Recreational Fishing Advisory Board and Commercial Fishing Advisory Board.



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