Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Project Number: F‐104‐R‐27
The VIMS Juvenile Fish Trawl Survey provides crucial data to state, regional, and national fisheries management agencies, including the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Annual indices of juvenile abundance have been generated from trawl survey data for species of key recreational and ecological importance in the Virginia portion of Chesapeake Bay. These include Spot, Atlantic Croaker, Weakfish, Summer Flounder, Black Sea Bass, Scup, Striped Bass, White Perch, White Catfish, Channel Catfish, Blue Catfish, Silver Perch, American Eel, and Bay Anchovy.
We completed all planned tows (1,224) from July 2022 to June 2023 and collected 613,720 fishes. Bay Anchovy continue to be the most abundant species observed in the survey, accounting for 55% of all fishes collected, however the Bay Anchovy index for 2023 was below average. Of the 36 target species categories for which we provide indices of relative abundance, 29 species categories (considering YOY and age 1+ as distinct categories) exhibited below-average abundance in 2022 – 2023. Four species categories exhibited abundances that were similar to the long-term average abundance including Black Sea Bass, Striped Bass, Summer Flounder, and YOY White Perch (Rappahannock River). Atlantic Croaker and age 1+ Blue Catfish (York and James rivers) exhibited above-average abundances in 2022-2023.
Submitted to: Virginia Marine Resources Commission
This study was supported in part by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, Project No. F‐104‐R‐27.
Tuckey, T. D., & Fabrizio, M. C. (2023) 2023 Annual Report: Estimating Relative Juvenile Abundance of Ecologically Important Finfish in the Virginia Portion of Chesapeake Bay. Project Number: F‐104‐R‐27. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary. https://doi.org/10.25773/hn1h-p539