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  1. Keith Lockwood, Fisheries Biologist
  2. Oxford, MD
  3. Total Reports: 40
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Posted on July 12, 2011 | Permalink

Annual Striped Bass Young of the Year Survey Begins

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Eastern
Location: Choptank River

This morning I had the chance to meet up with the striped bass projects field survey team as they began the 2011 young of the year seining survey. This would be their very first site to be sampled in the 2011 survey which will take them to designated seine sites from the head of the bay to the Potomac River. They got an early start this morning as the seine and equipment was readied at the shore of the Choptank River at 7am. Fisheries biologist Eric Durel headed into the Choptank with the 110’ seine in what might be construed as a rite of baptism. Eric has been in charge of this survey work for a long time so it was fitting that he was the first to be in the water for the beginning of this year’s survey work. As prescribed by procedural methods the seine was swept in an arch and as Eric reached the beach and the net was gathered up, small menhaden darted in every direction until they a quivering mass of silver fish were placed in the sorting tub.

All hands on board worked quickly to separate the various species of fish; every effort was made to keep most species alive in their own specified buckets of water for later inspection. It was no surprise that the menhaden were goners once they were placed in the tub. Some of the juvenile species caught and cataloged included white perch, river herring, gizzard shad, channel catfish, and several species of baitfish such as killifish, silversides and at least two species of shiners. Oh yes and there were small young of the year striped bass in the catch as well. Everything was measured and cataloged and most fish were released back into the river relatively unharmed. The final results of the young of the year survey will be released in early October and always carries the anticipation and intrigue of Wall Street commodity futures or something like that. This year’s young of the year striped bass index is certainly a lot more important on a broader scale and fisheries managers up and down the east coast and recreational fishermen will all be hoping for a good year of striped bass reproduction this year. For more information on the young of the young of the year striped bass project be sure to clink on the following link.

Tags: Striped Bass