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Tagging Study To Focus On Striped Bass Health
Anglers, commercial fisherman play vital role in data collection
ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) are conducting a cooperative tagging study to better understand mycobacteria disease of resident striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay.
Mycobacteriosis is a bacterial disease known to be present in striped bass since at least the mid 1980s. Stock assessment analysis has not demonstrated a decline in the population of striped bass and reproduction remains high. This tagging study is designed to determine how or if the disease progresses in fish over time. Diseased and healthy fish are collected, assessed for current health condition, implanted with bright-green anchor tags and released back into the Chesapeake Bay.
“Coordination between DNR and VIMS will ensure that fish recaptured in the Chesapeake Bay are collected and analyzed in a timely manner, regardless of where they are caught,” said Howard King, Director of DNR’s Fisheries Service. “Results of this study will increase our understanding of the potential impacts of mycobacteriosis on the striped bass population.”
Fish will be tagged each spring and fall through at least 2009. Both agencies are using a bright-green colored anchor tag marked with either “VIMS” or “MD DNR” that includes a toll free number (1-866-845-3379) to report the fish. A reward is being offered for the return of tagged whole fish to biologists so that they can be examined. Fish bearing the bright-green tag are exempt from Maryland and Virginia daily catch limits and seasonal and size restrictions, provided that they are reported promptly, kept intact, kept cool or chilled (not frozen) and turned over to DNR or VIMS. Cooperation by anglers, commercial fishermen and charter boat captains is very much needed for success of this study. Tagged fish captured outside Maryland and Virginia waters should still be reported on the toll free number and the tag returned by mail.
May 17, 2007
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 18,000 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