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saw the below and thought it of interest


2005 YOUNG-OF-YEAR STRIPED BASS SURVEY SHOWS HIGH REPRODUCTION

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary C. Ronald Franks announced today that the 2005 striped bass (rockfish) juvenile index, a measure of striped bass spawning success in Chesapeake Bay, is 17.8, well above the 52-year average of 12.0.

During this year’s survey, DNR biologists collected 2,348 young-of-year (YOY) striped bass. The Choptank River index was the highest documented since the dominant year-class of 2001. Striped bass reproduction in the Upper Bay and Potomac River was slightly above average, but reproduction in the Nanticoke River well below average.

The survey documents spawning success of other species as well. American shad reproduction was very high for the sixth consecutive year, particularly in the Potomac River. White perch reproduced at average levels throughout Maryland’s portion of the Bay. Juvenile spot were very abundant as far north as the Susquehanna Flats. Biologists documented a modest increase in the abundance of juvenile Atlantic menhaden, but spawning success is still well below levels seen in the 1970s.

DNR biologists have monitored the reproductive success of striped bass and other species in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay annually since 1954. Twenty-two survey sites are located in the four major spawning systems: Choptank, Potomac, and Nanticoke rivers, and the Upper Bay. Biologists visit each site monthly from July through September, collecting fish samples with two sweeps of a 100-foot beach seine. The index is calculated as the average catch of YOY fish per sample. To see the 2005 YOY abundance data and graphs for striped bass, visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/juvindex/amweb.xls.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.Maryland.gov



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The spawning index is good news but whats the survival rate after the second and third years? How many will die from disease, stavation and poor water quality? The Chesapeake Bay is simular to Africa is this regard!

Norm
 

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I cant belive there will be any starving fish after seeing all the bait in the potomac. The last few times I fished in the woodbridge area there was ton of bait everywhere. More menhaden then I have ever seen that far up. Cast net yeilded atleast 50 a throw of 5" long fish. We were catfishing all night and bait was popping for as far as you could see in the spotlight. Catfish were super clean and in the 50 we caught NONE had any marks or sores even the big ones up to 38 lbs were clean. I did notice on the O2 monitoring station data that the potomac above 301 had a lot higher o2 levels then the lower potomac and mid bay this summer. But this fisn in the mid to upper potomac are in super shape.
 

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rockfish aren't starving, they are diseased. There's a difference. I think people have gone too far assuming that lack of menhaden causes disease, or even that there is a lack of menhaden. We see huge schools of 1 -2 year old menhaden in the tribs, but no rockfish. The 2 - 5 yr old rockfish we catch in open water seem fine, except they aren't. Most - nearly all - of the fish I've cleaned in the past three years have had cancerous looking lumps on the lower intestine. If you catch a skinny fish, don't assume its underfed...think cancer.
 
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