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  #1  
Old 10-14-2005, 04:22 AM
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Default 2005 Young-Of-Year Striper Survey Shows High Reproduction - 2006 - No

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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


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  #2  
Old 10-14-2005, 08:24 AM
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Thanks for the info Jim, I was going to ask about it last week but got distracted....
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:36 AM
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This stuff is so cool. Rocc. for instance the size variance in the less than year old fish
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:45 PM
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Rockfish reproduction may be rebounding this year
By Pamela wood, Staff Writer for the Capitol
Rockfish reproduction was up this year, caused by a combination of favorable weather and conservative management, the state Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday.
The annual survey of "young of year" rockfish - fish hatched last spring - showed an increase over last year, a level that's also above long-term averages.
"It's a real healthy spawn that bodes well for the future," said Eric Durell, a fisheries biologist who supervises the survey.
Teams from the DNR sweep 100-foot-long seine nets 132 times over the summer in different areas of the Chesapeake Bay to find the young of year fish. On average, they found 17.79 fish per seine this year.
Last year's index was 11.44 and the long-term average is about 12.
The catch-and-release survey helps gauge how well rockfish are reproducing, which is important because 75 percent of the East Coast rockfish population spawns in the bay and its tributaries.
Regulators, fishermen, charter boat captains and others with a stake in the bay's rockfish population watch the survey results closely.
Capt. Russ Green, president of the Upper Bay Charter Captain's Association, said he's pleased with this year's index.
"If you have a good young of year index, it means future fishing will be good," Capt. Green said. "That's the major fish we go for in the upper bay."
Capt. Green said when the rockfish population was near collapse in the 1980s and regulators closed the harvest, his business dropped off 50 percent.
While the numbers are up, rockfish, also called striped bass, still face significant challenges. Stripers are showing up with nasty lesions caused by a disease called mycobacteriosis. And there's concern that the rockfish's favorite food, menhaden, is being overfished in the bay. On top of that, rockfish are affected by pollution and dead zones just like other bay critters.
Bill Goldsborough, a senior scientist at the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said the young of year index is a sign that the 1980s moratorium and other conservation measure has worked. But he cautioned that more needs to be done to reduce the human impacts on rockfish - especially poor water quality and a lack of forage fish such as menhaden.
"What it shows is we've been successful in conserving striped bass and rebuilgin their numbers, but we haven't rebuilt their support systems," he said.
This year's young of year class will reach 18 inches, the legal size for most of the rockfish season, in about three or four years. The class wasn't quite good enough to be termed a "dominant class," but does merit being called a "strong class," Mr. Durell said.
An example of a dominant class is 1996, when all five areas surveyed had above-average reproduction for a total index of 59.39. Those fish are now some of the largest fish being hauled in during spring trophy season tournaments.
Mr. Durell said harvest limits allow the small fish to grow and keep too many large, reproducing fish from being caught. Those regulations, combined with mild spring temperatures and average rain, helped along this year's class, he said.
"We manage conservatively. We try to protect the large, spawning fish," Mr. Durell said.
Mr. Durell's team samples rockfish in five areas of the bay: the Choptank, Nanticoke, Patuxent and Potomac rivers and the upper reaches of the bay.
The Eastern Shore's Choptank River had an index of 55.17 this year. And the upper bay - the largest area for spawning - also was above average at 13.24.
While the survey is intended to catch and count rockfish, the DNR researchers also count several other types of fish that appear in their nets.
For the second year, American shad had strong numbers, a positive sign for managers who are trying to restore the fishery after sharp declines.
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Old 10-14-2005, 06:47 PM
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I d like an old girl in the 1985 class please. :)
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Old 10-15-2005, 08:02 AM
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I was realy into studying it at one time, seems like the older I get, the less time I have for research......

ON an inteeesting note, the Merrimack has had an influx of 8-10" stripers, conventional wisdome says fish that small dont migrate, I have seen documentation of a winter over and spawning strain in the Mac from the 1800's, also I have taken egg laden fish up river in the spring...


I used to give scale samples and weight,length data to a bioligist friend that ran the fish ladder at the Lawrence dam, once he retired I kinda lost interst..... Those YOY are our future and the futre of our children and grand children...... I'm sure JB24 would like one of those class of '85 ladies himself.... you guys have time... it still could happen this season...

as for me, the boats coming out of the water today ( if all this rain hasn't sunk it) and I'll chuck plugs from the shore along Gloucester and Boston rockpiles until my cruise the end of the month...
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Old 10-25-2005, 07:30 PM
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[ON an inteeesting note, the Merrimack has had an influx of 8-10" striperse]

its funny you say that I cought a striper on a trip to the vinyard this summer that was about that size, on a dropper. I also didnt think that they migrate that young.
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Old 10-25-2005, 08:42 PM
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Default Gonna need those numbers

We are going to need those YOY numbers to make up for the slaughter.

Check out this thread from the reel time forum.

http://www.reel-time.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46523
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Old 10-26-2005, 10:46 AM
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This an OLD problem, how many do you think get caught in gill nets?????? I once watched a gill netter (back in the early '80's) load his boat in october, (the comercial season was different back then) he was fishing cod (says he) one mile off the beach no one cared, I know of draggers that have whacked them in the summer while dragging bait.... three years ago, I saw a dragger working the mud about three miles off of the beach in early July, that year we were taking some big fish during the day by liveling macs or herring under a baloon on the inshore rock piles, bait was scarce that day so i went out to try and jig herring out by the dragger, well, not only was his net containing herring, it was full of bass too,long story short that day I dip netted dead,drifting herring and driffted behind the dragger as it towed, It was one of the hottest bass bites in mid summer I have ever seen!

This by-catch problem is not unique to stripped bass, there are tons of other fish being discarded every day.... IMHO a good argument to outlaw draggers and promote longlining, where hooksize and bait choice will give undersized or unwanted species a chance of being avoided...

As usual this is only MY opinion and I could be wrong!
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Old 10-26-2005, 11:48 AM
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I think this is pretty bad with all the regulations and the typical sport fisherman that is out there doing all he can from tagging to catch and release, to help bring the population back. Our voices aren't always heard by writing letters but sometimes it just makes you feel better. One of the best things I think we, as sport fishermen and women can do is do what I've always been taught, teach the younger and upcoming fisherpeople from a young age how to catch and release in a safe manner and teach them that killing these younger fish is not right. Being proactive is a great intuitive on our end. How different is the law for draggers when it comes to dragging and killing all these young species of fish? I guess what i'm trying to ask is, if we see these draggers killing all of these fish, can we call someone and have these guys at least fined?
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Old 10-26-2005, 11:52 AM
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It's a long drawn out political affair....... basicly the government, weather it be state of local is more concerned with the comercial interest...allways has been that way.
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:01 PM
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I guess there just more concerned with the monetary policy of the commercial industry. It produces income for the government and the that's what matters. it's a sad state of affairs. I remember from the time I wasa a kid all the political hype that has gone on to bring the species back to a good level but yet they pull this *rap. it's just ridiculous!!
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Old 11-16-2005, 02:39 AM
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The ASMFC announced last week that the biomass now stands at 65.3 million pounds, 10 percent higher than the average stock size for the previous five years.
Further, female spawning stock biomass is estimated at 54.8 million pounds, and is well above the spawning stock biomass target and threshold levels of 38.6 and 30.9 million pounds, respectively.
Recruitment of young fish (age 1) at 12.7 million is close to the average recruitment observed since the stock was first declared recovered in 1995.
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Old 11-05-2006, 11:31 PM
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Default 2006 well below the 53-year average of 12.0.

Annapolis, Maryland --Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that the 2006 striped bass (rockfish) juvenile index, a measure of striped bass spawning success in Chesapeake Bay, is 4.3, well below the 53-year average of 12.0. During this year's survey, DNR biologists collected 561 young-of-year (YOY) striped bass.
Striped bass populations are well known for highly variable reproductive success from year to year. Typically, several years of average year-classes are interspersed with occasional large and small year-classes. Striped bass spawn in large numbers and individual females can produce millions of eggs to take advantage of favorable environmental conditions in some years. The survey has documented above average spawning success in three of the past six years (see attached chart).
Overall, reproduction of anadromous - those species that migrate into fresh water to spawn - was low this year, likely due to spring drought conditions. Similar drought conditions and low anadromous fish reproduction were observed in 2002. One notable exception this year occurred in the Potomac River, where biologists observed healthy numbers of juvenile American shad for the seventh consecutive year. Once the subject of a large commercial and recreational fishery, American shad are currently under a protective moratorium.
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: The Upper Bay and the Choptank, Potomac and Nanticoke rivers. 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.
Media Contact:
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[email protected]

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