Title

Status and Distribution of Alosine stocks in Chesapeake Bay

Publication Date

1976

Publication Title

Proceedings of a Workshop on American Shad

Start Page

47

End Page

82

Abstract

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science has assessed the stocks of alosine fishes in the Virginia waters of Chesapeake Bay since 1967. Total landings have declined from the late 1960s to the present. The number of pound nets fished declined from the late 1960s to the present. The number of pound nets fished declined from 332 to 200 units during 1967 to 1973, but has since increased slightly to 245 nets in 1976. Stake gill net effort increased in the James, York, and Rappahannock Rivers from 1969 to 1975 but declined in 1976 due to a limited fishing season in the James River as a result of Kepone contamination. The combined American shad catch-per-unit-of-effort (c/f) by stake gill nets in the James, York, and Rappahannock Rivers increased from 1969 to 1972, but then decreased until it rose sharply again in 1976. The c/f in the James River for shad declined from 30,000 lb. in 1972 to 5,000 lb. in 1975, but increased to 21,000 lb. in 1976. The c/f for shad in the York and Rappahannock Rivers similarly declined from 1971 to 1975 but did not recover in 1976 to the extent observed in the James River. The c/f of shad by pounds nets in the Rappahannock River declined from 7,384 lb. in 1968 to 125 lb. in 1975, and the c/f of river herring (alewife and blueback) decreased 91% from 1967 to 1976. All shad fishing gear in the Potomac River reflected a downward trend in c/f from 1968 to 1976, and river herring c/f has declined about 87% from 1967 to 1976.

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