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 focuses on increasing coastal states’ efforts to collect American Eel data through both fishery-dependent and fishery-independent studies. Consequently, member jurisdictions agreed to implement an annual survey for young-of-year (YOY) 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 4 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. A recent American Eel benchmark stock assessment report found that the American Eel stock status is depleted and emphasized the importance of the coast-wide survey as an index of sustained recruitment over the historical coastal range and an early warning of potential range contraction of the species (ASMFC 2012). In 2012, 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, Chesapeake Bay, Anguilla rostrata, Fisheries


This project was supported by the VMRC Marine Recreational Fishing Advisory (MRFAB) and Commercial Fishing Advisory Boards (CFAB), Project No. RF/CF 12-01.



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