Virginia Institute of Marine Science
MARINE AND COASTAL FISHERIES
Directed commercial fisheries for American shad Alosa sapidissima in the primary Virginia tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay have been under moratorium since 1994. Monitoring of adult American shad within these rivers has been ongoing since 1998 through a cooperative program involving commercial fishers. The monitoring program is designed to mimic traditional commercial fishing practices so that stock status can be inferred by comparing contemporary catch-per-unit-effort levels with those derived from historic logbooks. In this paper, we present analyses of the available monitoring and historic catch rate data along with updated stock status information for American shad in the James, York, and Rappahannock rivers. Two analytical methods were used to derive annual indices of relative abundance; both methods yielded very similar patterns for each river system. Comparisons of contemporary and historic indices of relative abundance suggest that American shad in the James and York rivers continue to persist at low levels of abundance. Measures of stock abundance in the Rappahannock River have been higher than the logbook reference value for much of the monitoring period. However, current moratoria and restoration strategies, which include hatchery releases of fry, the removal of obstructions blocking spawning and nursery habitat, and reductions in bycatch from other fisheries, should continue into the foreseeable future.
UNDER-THE-CURVE; ALOSA-SAPIDISSIMA; JAMES RIVER; YORK RIVER; SALMON; ABUNDANCE; RECOVERY; CATCH; FISH
We extend our appreciation to commercial fishers M. Brown, R. Kellum, T. Kellum, and J. Sanders for their efforts associated with field collections of American shad. We thank P. Crewe, A. Rhea, R. Norris, and former staff and students associated with the VIMS American shad research program. Comments provided by two anonymous reviewers improved earlier versions of this manuscript. This cooperative research is funded by the Wallop-Breaux Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Marine Recreational Advisory Board of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (contract numbers F-116-R-1 through F-116-R-12). Support from the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence is also appreciated. This is contribution number 3231 of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary.
Robert J. Latour , Eric J. Hilton , Patrick D. Lynch , Troy D. Tuckey , Brian E. Watkins & John E. Olney (2012) Evaluating the Current Status of American Shad Stocks in Three Virginia Rivers, Marine and Coastal Fisheries, 4:1, 302-311, DOI: 10.1080/19425120.2012.675978