Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Concern about the decline in landings of American shad (Alosa sapidissima) along the Atlantic coast prompted the development of an interstate fisheries management plan (FMP) under the auspices of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Management Program (ASMFC 1999). Legislation enables imposition of federal sanctions on fishing in those states that fail to comply with the FMP. To be in compliance, coastal states are required to implement and maintain fishery-dependent and fishery-independent monitoring programs as specified by the FMP. For Virginia, these requirements include spawning stock assessments, the collection of biological data on the spawning run (e.g., age-structure, sex ratio, and spawning history), estimation of total mortality, indices of juvenile abundance, biological characterization of permitted by-catch and evaluation of restoration programs by detection and enumeration of hatchery-released fish. This annual report documents continued compliance with Federal law. Since 1998, scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have monitored the spawning run of American shad in the James, York and Rappahannock rivers. The information resulting from this program is reported annually to the ASMFC, has formed the basis for a significant number of technical papers published in the professional literature, formed the basis for a recent coast-wide stock assessment and peer review for American shad (ASMFC 2007a, 2007b) and is contributing substantially to our understanding of the status and conservation of this important species.



American Shad, Alosa sapidissima, James River, York River, Rappahannock River, Virginia, Fisheries


Funding Agencies: US Fish and Wildlife Service Virginia Marine Resources Commission Virginia Institute of Marine Science Contract Number: F-116-R-14



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