EPA Report Collection
Regional Center for Environmental Information
U.S. EPA Region ni
Philadelphia, PA  19103


                                                                      U.S. EPA Region III
                                                                      Regional Center for Environm
                                                                      1660 Arch Street (3PM52)
                        FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLANS   Philadelphia, PA  19103
       Chesapeake Bay Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) are prepared under the directive of the 1987
Chesapeake Bay Agreement and serve as a framework for conserving and wisely using fishery resources.
Bay fisheries are traditionally managed separately by Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, the Potomac River
Fisheries Commission, and the District of Columbia.  A Chesapeake Bay FMP provides a format for
undertaking compatible, coordinated management measures among the jurisdictions.  In addition, it creates
a forum to specifically address problems that are unique to Chesapeake Bay. This is particularly important
concerning habitat issues. The goal of Chesapeake Bay FMPs is to protect the reproductive capability of a
resource while allowing optimal harvest. The ecological, economic and sociological factors affecting the
resource must be considered in the process.  Objectives include: quantifying biologically appropriate levels
of harvest; identifying habitat requirements and  recommending protection and restoration measures;
monitoring the status of the resource, including fishery-dependent and independent surveys; and defining and
enforcing management recommendations.
       Development of a FMP is a dynamic, ongoing process.  It begins with initial input by the FMP
Workgroup under the Living Resources Subcommittee (LRSc) of the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP). The
FMP Workgroup consists of resource managers, scientists, stakeholders, and conservationists. They evaluate
the biological, economic and social aspects of a particular resource;  define problems  and/or potential
problems; and recommend strategies and actions to address the problems. Throughout development, FMPs
undergo scientific and public review. The FMPs are adopted when signed by the Chesapeake Executive
Council, the policy-making body of the CBP. Upon adoption, the appropriate management agencies begin
implementing the recommended actions. In some cases, regulatory and legislative action must be initiated
to fully implement a management action. In other cases, additional funding and staffing may be required.
Progress of FMP implementation and status of the stock and fishery  are updated annually for each FMP
species. As the status of a stock changes and management strategies change accordingly, amendments and
revisions may be recommended by the FMP Workgroup.
       Many important finfish species found in Chesapeake Bay also migrate along the Atlantic coast.
These fish stocks can be subject to fishing pressure by recreational and commercial fishermen from other
coastal states. The federal Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act of 1993 gave the Atlantic
States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) authority to specify conservation and management actions
needed by the States. The ASMFC is concerned with fishery resources within state jurisdictions (0-3 miles
offshore).  The federal Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 provided exclusive
management authority over fishery resources (except for tuna) within a fishery conservation zone of 3 to 200
miles offshore (the Exclusive Economic Zone, EEZ). The Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council
(MAFMC) is composed of representatives from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
and Virginia and is responsible for developing management and conservation measures in the EEZ. Both
the ASMFC and the MAFMC prepare and adopt FMPs that specify compliance requirements by the states,
but include a range of management options to meet the requirements.  The states have the primary role in
determining what options are  best for  their region and how the options will be implemented.  The
Chesapeake Bay FMPs for coastal migratory species follow the guidelines established by the ASMFC and
the MAFMC and outline how the Bay jurisdictions will comply with coastal management recommendations.



                    ernei loi HmnemmcmaMntormation
                     US EPA Region III
                    Philadelphia. P4 l')!01
                  Prepared by the
         Fishery Management Plan Workgroup
             Living Resources Subcommittee
               Chesapeake Bay Program
                December 1998
      Printed by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
            for the Chesapeake Bay Program

Chesapeake Bay Program
                             CHESAPEAKE    EXECUTIVE    COUNCIL

                                     ADOPTION  STATEMENT
                             TAUTOG FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN
         /    \~S  e , th
        w    ^^   e , the undersigned, adopt the /998 Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast Tautog Management Plan. We
agree to accept the Plan as a guide to conserving and protecting the tautog resource for long-term ecological, economic and social
benefits. We further agree to work together to implement, by the dates set forth in the Plan, the management actions recom-
mended to address the potential for overfishing, stock assessment and research needs, and habitat degradation.

  We recognize the need to commit long-term, stable, financial support and human resources to the task of managing the tau-
tog stock and addressing important research needs. In addition, we direct the Living Resources Subcommittee to periodically
review and update the plan and report on progress made towards achieving the plan's management recommendations.
                                                                  Date  Decembers, 1998
                               CHESAPEAKE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL


         The ultimate, long-term goal of the Chesapeake Bay Program is the protection, restoration and maintenance
 of the health of the living resources of the Bay. Many commercially valuable aquatic species once inhabited the Bay
 in great numbers and, although it may not be practical in all cases to reach these historic levels of abundance, the
 success of the program must ultimately be measured by the health and abundance of the Bay's living resources.
         The reasons for the decline of the Bay's living resources are complex, involving many interrelated factors.
 Degraded water quality, species overharvest, lost habitat, disease and competition from non-native species have all
 played a significant role in the decline.  It therefore follows that the Bay program, to be successful in restoring the
 Bay's living resources, must assume a bold leadership role  in reversing all of the causes of decline.
         The program has made progress in reducing nutrient and toxic pollution and addressing habitat restoration
 and the first time introduction of non-indigenous aquatic species. The  Bay Program has developed a number of
 species specific fisheries management plans over trie past 10 years. The Chesapeake Bay Program has adopted the
 following statement of philosophy and set of over-arching principles to assure a leadership role in ending species
 overharvest and protecting essential habitat, both in the Bay proper and in the Atlantic Ocean, where many of the Bay
 species spend at least a portion of their life cycle.
         It is the policy of the Chesapeake Bay Program to advocate the elimination of overharvest of all finfish and
 shellfish which spend any or all of their life cycle in the Bay in order to assure the long-term sustainability of both
 the commercial and recreational fisheries for future generations.  In order to achieve this objective, the Chesapeake
 Bay Program adopts the following set of guidelines for developing and revising Chesapeake Bay fishery management

Chesapeake Bay Program FMP's should:

1. Be risk averse (i.e., preventative of a crisis instead of reactive to one).
2. Utilize the best scientific information.
3. Establish sustainable targets for a species and:
        a. define and adopt a level of harvest that will quickly attain the established target and maintain that target.
        b. define, protect and restore the habitat needed to support that target.
4. Assure renewability of the stock (i.e., long term heakh and maintaining spawning stock biomass).
5. Identify, protect and restore critical fish and shellfish habitat for all life stages of the species and individual stocks
of the species.
6. Identify, coordinate and advocate necessary management  actions needed between the jurisdictions, including
regulations and legislative actions.
7. Strive to manage a fishery and/or species by maintaining essential food web relationships, through multispecies
8. Consider the long term socio-economic health of a fishery.
9. Take a more conservative approach than Atlantic  States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and Mid-Atlantic
Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) when all signatories of the Chesapeake Bay Program agree such action is
10. Minimize bycatch (that portion of a catch taken in  addition to the targeted species because of non-selectivity of
gear to either species or size differences).
11. Provide the background and justification for joint positions of Chesapeake Bay Program partners on Chesapeake
Bay issues under consideration by the ASMFC and MAFMC.

                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

      Introduction	      1
            Distribution and Migration	       1
            Habitat Preferences	     2
            Spawning	     3
            Feeding	     4
            Age and Growth	     5
      Biological Profile	     5
      Fisheries	     7
            Recreational Fisheries	      7
            Commercial Fisheries	      8
      Fishery Parameters	     9
      Problems and Concerns	     10
            Fisheries Data Needs	     10
            Habitat Issues	     10
                  Aquatic Reefs	      10
                  Artificial Reefs	     11
                  Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV)	      11
            Water Quality	     12
            Coastal Urbanization	     12

      FMP Status and Management Unit	      20
      A. Specific Compliance Issues Defined by ASMFC	      20
      B. Problem Areas and Management Strategies	     20
            1. Potential for Overfishing	     20
            2. Stock Assessment and Research Needs	     22
      3. Habitat Degradation	      24
      References	      32
APPENDIX A: Schedule for reviewing fishery management plans	      37
APPENDIX B: Laws and Regulations	     39
APPENDIX C: Glossary of Terms and Acronyms	     41
APPENDIX D: Plan Developers	     45
APPENDIX E: Potential Tautog Habitat	      46

                                 LIST OF FIGURES

1.     Virginia Tautog Recreational Landings	  14

2.     Maryland Tautog Recreational Landings	       15

3.     Tautog Citations, Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament	     16

4.     Virginia Tautog Commercial Landings and Dockside Value	       17

5.     Maryland Tautog Commercial Landings	       18

6.     Virginia Tautog Price per Pound	       19

                               EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
       The goal of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast Tautog Fishery Management plan (FMP)
is to "enhance and perpetuate tautog stocks and their habitat in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries,
and throughout its Atlantic coast range, so as to maintain the ecological role of the  stock while
generating optimum long-term social and economic benefits from their recreational and commercial
harvest and utilization over time."
       The tautog stock supports an important recreational fishery along the Atlantic coast. The tautog
resource is especially important within the lower portion of the Chesapeake Bay, as it allows anglers
access to the species year-round when other species may not be present. Recreational tautog landings
comprise approximately 85-90% of the total landings, as the species preference for structural habitat
makes commercial utilization difficult. While an active fishery exists in the federal Exclusive
Economic Zone (EEZ, 3-200 miles offshore), the Chesapeake Bay serves as an important nursery and
feeding ground for young tautog.
       Concerns of localized overfishing and a shift toward increasing commercial fishing pressure
since the early 1990s, have led to the development of a federal fishery management plan for the species
(ASMFC 1996).  The plan  defines overfishing as a rate of fishing that exceeds the natural mortality
rate (M=0.15). Due to the slow growth and long lifespan of tautog, as well as the lack of data on the
stock  structure and spawning biomass, this conservative reference point is warranted.  A recent
coastwide average fishing mortality of F=0.58 (u=41%; ASMFC 1996) identifies the tautog resource
as overexploited, chiefly in the region from Massachusetts to New York. The Virginia tautog fishing
mortality has been estimated at F=0.36 (u=28%; White pers. comm. 1998), while Maryland is
estimated at F=0.38 (u=29%; ASMFC Tautog Management Board 1998).
       To begin immediate reduction in exploitation levels, to rebuild the spawning stock and to
promote uniform management between  federal  and  state agencies, the Bay jurisdictions will
promulgate several fishery management measures for the species. The Bay jurisdictions will reduce
exploitation and improve protection of the spawning stock in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic by
complying with ASMFC recommendations;

       1) implement  a minimum size limit of 14"

       2) require all tautog pots to have escape vents as well as biodegradable hinges and

       3) reduce F to target levels through a combination of seasons, possession, and/or gear

       The Chesapeake Bay Program will continue its commitments to restore water quality and living
resources in the Chesapeake Bay.  Special emphasis will be placed on the following specific habitat
needs of tautog: the restoration of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), oyster reefs, and wetlands.
                                          va. i

                               GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

The goal of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast Tautog Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is to:

       "Enhance and perpetuate tautog stocks and their habitat in the Chesapeake Bay and its
       tributaries, and throughout its Atlantic coast range, so as to maintain the ecological role of
       the stock while generating optimum  long-term social  and economic benefits from their
       recreational and commercial harvest and utilization over time."

In order to achieve this goal, the following objectives must be met:

1) Follow the guidelines established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
(ASMFC 1996) for coastwide management of the Atlantic tautog stocks and make Bay management
actions compatible where possible.

2) Promote conservation of the resource and an equitable distribution of the responsibility of
resource conservation

3) Promote protection of the resource by maintaining a clear distinction between conservation goals
and allocation issues.

4) Maintain yield-per-recruit in the fishery to optimize benefits,  both biologically and

5) Maintain  the size  composition of the  tautog stock to  promote a healthy fishery and the Bay's
reputation as one of the prime tautog fishing locations on the east coast.

6) Coordinate the cooperative interstate collection of economic, social, and biological data
required to effectively monitor and assess management efforts relative to the overall goal.

7) Improve collection of standardized catch and effort statistics in the tautog fisheries.

8) Promote fair allocation of allowable harvest among various components of the fishery.

9) Continue  to provide guidance for the development of water quality goals and habitat protection
necessary to protect the tautog population within the Bay and state coastal waters.

                              SECTION 1. BACKGROUND


       The tautog, Tautoga onitis, is one of about 500 species comprising the wrasse or Labrid family.
 In the northeastern United States, it is often known by the common name "blackfish." Most labrids are
 inhabitants of tropical waters, making the tautog an exception to the rule, since it ranges from Nova
 Scotia to South Carolina (Bigelow and Schroeder 1953, Bearden 1961).  Tautog are most abundant
 between Cape Cod and the Delaware Capes.
       The tautog shares this  preference for temperate waters with one other labrid, the cunner,
 Tautogolabrus adspersus,  whose range extends even further north to Labrador.  The tautog can be
 distinguished from the cunner in that the former is stouter, has a higher head profile, and lacks scales
 on its gill covers (Migdlaski and Fichter 1976).  Tautog also grow to a much larger size than the
 cunner, with tautog growing to over 20 pounds with cunner reaching a maximum reported size of
 around two pounds (Bigelow and Schroeder 1953).

 Distribution and Migration

       Tautog have been caught in Chesapeake Bay waters as far inland as the Maryland Chesapeake
 Bay bridge (Jesien pers. comm.), but are normally a coastal species associated with the predominately
 saline waters of bays and estuaries (Cooper  1967). They are typically associated with the inner shelf
 waters in the southern part of their range.  Cooper (1966) found that tautog rarely occurred in water
 more than four miles offshore or greater than 60 feet deep when north of Cape Cod.  South of the
 Cape,  they could be found as  deep as 80 feet and 10 to 12 miles offshore.  In Virginia,  they are
 commonly encountered 40 miles  offshore and in 120 feet of water (VSWFT 1976-1998; Musick et al.
       A portion of the adult population (>25 cm) migrates inshore and offshore according  to water
 temperature, preferring temperatures between 50-76F (10-24.40C; Cooper 1967, Briggs 1977, Olla
 and Samet 1977), but found in waters up to 82F (26C; USFWS 1978).  During most years this
 population spends the cooler spring and fall months inshore, moving offshore  again in the summer and
 the coldest winter months.  Another segment of the adult population remains  offshore year-round.
 Juveniles remain on inshore structure year-round, moving seasonally to  nearby reefs as temporary
 homes and feeding locations, and aggregating at perennial locations to overwinter in areas with deep
 crevices. The fall migration of tautog appears to be triggered by either photoperiod or temperature.
 Tautog from New York and Rhode Island reefs begin their migration offshore by mid to late  October
 and large tautog disappear from inshore reefs in both locales by early November (Cooper 1966, Briggs
 1969). Olla et al. (1974)-found all  sizes offish present on October 12 when water temperature was
 63 F (17C) off Long Island, New York, but no large tautog were present on November 1 when water
 temperature had dropped to 50F (10C). Since temperatures were not given at the other test sites,
 it is difficult to determine the decisive factors influencing the time of departure. Olla et al. (1974) also
 noted that large and small tautog were on site and active on May  10, the following spring, when water
temperature was 50F (10C).
       Water temperature may not allow adult tautog in some parts of their range to remain active
throughout the year.  There is research, however, that indicate some adults overwinter inshore  and

 some also remain active throughout the year, particularly in the southern portion of the range (Auster
 1989, Eklund and Targett 1991, Adams 1993, Hostetter and Munroe 1993).  Cooper (1966) found
 adult tautog in a state of dormancy two miles offshore in 80-90 feet of water. Most of these adult fish
 had no food in their digestive tracts, illustrating their lethargic lifestyle in frigid water.

 Habitat Preferences

       Tautog are a demersal species inhabiting areas which provide them with cover. Preferred
 habitats include wrecks, jetties, pilings and naturally rough topography.  They exhibit a diurnal pattern
 of activity with normal feeding and movement limited to the daylight hours and a quiescent nocturnal
 behavior.  Tautog usually initiate roaming and feeding soon after daylight and return  to their home
 environment before dark (Briggs 1969).  There  is some variation between the movements of large
 mature fish and small fish (Briggs 1977). Larger fish were found to leave the home area and travel a
 greater distance to favored feeding grounds, while the small fish exhibited a distinct territorial behavior.
       Sogard et al. (1992) found that sea lettuce (Ulva lactucd) in shallow water (
 of the larger fish, the smaller ones would initially retain their position, but eventually the larger fish
 would assert their dominance and displace the others from the shelter (Olla et al. 1978).


       Tautog spawn in spring or early summer, depending on latitude at which they are found. White
 (1996)  determined from gonadosomatic indices (the ratio of gonad weight to body weight) and
 histological examination of ovarian tissue, that tautog in the lower Chesapeake Bay and coastal Virginia
 waters spawn from April to June, with peak spawning in  April during the 1995 spawning season.
 Increasing water temperature during springtime is a major cue to initiate spawning, but termination of
 spawning activity has not been related to environmental cues (White 1996). Potential annual fecundity
 ranges from 167,970 eggs (259 nun;  10.20 inches, age 3 fish), to 11,052,606 eggs (511 mm; 20.12
 inches, age 9 fish), with fecundity more closely related to total length and total weight, than to age
 (White 1996).  Tautog eggs are buoyant, about one mm in diameter, and hatch in 42-45 hours at 68-
 70F (20-21C) (Hildebrand and Schroeder 1927).  The larvae hatch at 0.09 inches (2.20 mm) in length
 and first resemble the adult fish when 0.40 inches (10 mm) long.  Later, juveniles (>40mm; >1.57
 inches) move into stands of eelgrass prior to becoming associated with the harder bottom substrates
 typical of the adult fish.
       Tautog normally reach sexual maturity at age 3 and  age 4 . Briggs (1977) found that in  New
 York waters the first influx of mature fish occurred at 8.50-9.50 inches (215-240 mm) and age 3-4 for
 males and 9.10 inches (230 mm) and age 4 for females. Rhode Island fish of both sexes  matured at age
 3 and an average length of 7.90 inches (200 mm) for males and 7.50 inches (190 mm) for females
 (Cooper 1966).  Growth in the warmer waters of Virginia is accelerated. Age 3 fish from the southern
 Chesapeake Bay measure 11.40 inches (289 mm; Hostetter and Munroe 1993) and have spawned at
 least once. Some fish may even be mature by age 2, but these fish are just reaching 10.70 inches  (272
 mm) and probably do not make a significant contribution to spawning. Based on trawl survey data from
 Rhode Island, egg production per unit ovary weight was at a maximum in age 7 to age 9 fish (16"-19")
 and declined in fish age 16 (20") and over (Chenowith  1963).
      Large mature tautog are sexually dimorphic.  Male tautog are distinguished from females by a
 more pronounced mandibular structure (Cooper 1967). Dominant males have a white coloration on
 the chin  and lips which is lacking on females.  Females  develop  external changes in coloration
 immediately prior to and during the spawning act.  A mottled white vertical bar, termed a "saddle,"
 develops down the mid-flank on each side of the body (Olla and Samet 1977). A smaller grayish-white
 patch resembling eyebrows develops in the supraorbital area, though this is less noticeable.  Changes
 in aggression are also apparent. The largest males initially demonstrate aggression towards both the
 female and  the smaller males by driving them from shelter and feeding areas.  As the spawning
 exhibition develops, the dominant males display increased aggression towards the subordinate males,
while mitigating this behavior in respect to the females.
      The spawning process was described under laboratory conditions in an experiment conducted
by Olla et al. (1978). Replicate trials were performed and a large number of spawns observed.  The
male rushes towards the female aggressively, but the female remains in position instead of fleeing.  The
male breaks off pursuit before encountering the female. After several passes, the female follows the
male for a short distance.  At the time  of actual spawning, the male rushes the female, she leaves her
resting place and swims parallel to and slightly ahead of the male. The pair then accelerates toward the

surface, turn so their ventral sides are facing each other, and release their gametes as they arch their
bodies simultaneously at the surface (Olla and Samet 1977). The fish often broke the water's surface
resulting in turbulence that aided mixing of reproduction products.  The spawning process has yet to
be observed in a natural setting due to typically turbid waters and the tendency offish to retreat from
intruding divers.
       The process of pair formation and spawning lasts up to 57 days of successive spawning under
laboratory conditions (Olla et al. 1979). A study by White (1996) indicated spawning frequency every
1.14 days during the 70 day spawning period of 1995, yielding 61 spawns per season per female. Olla
and Samet (1977) concluded  that pair formation was the principal mode of spawning, but noted
subordinate males sometimes join the pair at the surface and simultaneously release their gametes in a
form of "accessory" spawning.


       Studies of feeding behavior and analysis of gut contents show tautog feed mainly on blue
mussel, Mytilus edulis, with a lesser portion of the diet composed of other decapod and cirriped
(barnacles) crustaceans and invertebrates (Olla et al. 1974). Feeding behavior of all size tautog was
similar, with the exception that large fish roamed freely while smaller ones remained close to their home
territory.  Mussels made up 78% of analyzed gut contents, followed by decapod and other cirriped
crustaceans (15%) and other invertebrates (5%; Olla et al. 1974). Tautog would move up to a clump
of mussels, grasp them with their canine teeth and tear off a portion with a shaking movement of the
head. Shell crushing was done solely with the pharyngeal teeth and no prior crushing with the canines
was observed.  A result of this feeding method is that tautog of all sizes are limited to eating small
mussels,  average size 0.50 inches (11.90 mm), and one to two years old. Larger mussels can not be
ingested because the pharyngeal apparatus is only 0.47 times the size of the mouth (Olla et al. 1974).
Food contents were found to  pass through the  digestive system in less than 8  hours based on the
tautog's diurnal feeding regimen and the fact that fish sampled from 0400-0500 had empty guts. Chee
(1977) has described a pattern of seasonal depletion in the mussel population at the Chesapeake Light
Tower, offshore of the Chesapeake Bay entrance, presumably due to predation by  resident fishes such
as tautog.
       Feigenbaum et al. (1985) analyzed digestive tracts of tautog taken during a study on artificial
reefs. Tautog taken over artificial reefs at Cape Charles and Gwynn Island,  Virginia  in 1984 had been
feeding on a variety of shellfish and invertebrates. The two Cape Charles samplings saw large quantities
of Xanthid and miscellaneous crabs, while Gwynn Island tautog fed largely on barnacles and hard clams.
Other prey from both sites include razor clams, mussels, oyster, bryozoans and hydroids (Feigenbaum
etal. 1985).
       Adult tautog begin their daily activity shortly after sunrise when they leave shelter and begin an
active search for food. Individual fish have been observed to  move as far as 3.80 miles (6.20 km) from
their home base, although the majority stayed within 0.33 miles (0.50 km; Olla et al.  1974).  Most fish
moved to areas with large concentrations of mussels and remained in that area throughout the day.
Laboratory observations indicate peaks of activity in  early morning and early afternoon with lower
levels around mid-day (Olla et al. 1978). Return to the home reef occurred one half hour to two hours
preceding sunset.

Age and Growth

       Studies on age and growth of tautog indicate a relatively slow-growing, long-lived fish.
Comparison of growth from various locations is difficult, because uniform methods of measurement
have not been employed. Cooper (1966) evaluated the Rhode Island tautog population using opercular
(cheek) bones to age fish. He found male tautog grew faster in length than females, but slower in
weight. Virginia fish demonstrate similar variation in length-weight ratios by sex (Hostetter and
Munroe 1993). In Virginia waters, growth may be accelerated due to warmer temperatures. Hostetter
and Munroe (1993) found that age 2 fish were 10.70 inches (272 mm) in total length and 1.03 pounds
(468 g; both sexes combined), age 3 fish were 11.38 inches (289 mm) and 1.18 pounds (534 g), and
age 5 fish were 13.90 inches (353 mm) and 2.08 pounds (946 g). Feigenbaum (1986) estimated that
a 9 pound (4,086 g) fish was age 15, a 15 pound (6,810 g) fish was age 20, and a former world record
fish from Virginia waters, a 21.50 pound (9,761 g) specimen was approximately age 35. Opercular
bones were taken from several tautog weighing between 14 and 21.38 pounds caught off Virginia in
1993.  Munroe (pers. comm.) aged these fish and determined that none exceeded age 25. Fish over
age 10 showed substantial variation in length and weight at a given age, making age determination by
fish size alone very difficult for larger specimens (Hostetter and Munroe 1993).
Biological Profile

Total mortality rate:
Natural mortality rate:


Age/Size at maturity:

Total mortality in Virginia waters is currently estimated at
Z=0.51 (42%) based on catch curve analysis and MRFSS data from
1994-1996 (White pers. comm. 1998).  Total mortality in Maryland
waters is estimated at Z=0.53 (43%; ASMFC Tautog
Management Board 1998).

M=0.15 (14%) for males and 0.20 (18%) for females, coastwide.

Potential annual fecundity per female ranges from 167,970 eggs
(259 mm, age 3 fish), to 11,052,606 eggs (511 mm, age 9 fish;
White 1996).

100% maturity in Virginia waters occurs at age 4 (~ 13.50 inches)
in females and age 3 (11.40 inches) for males in Virginia waters
(Hostetter and Munroe 1993).

Tautog are long lived fish with males living longer than 30 years
and females around 25 years (Hostetter and Munroe 1993).
Spawning and Larval Development
Spawning season:
Spawning off the Virginia coast is protracted, with fish in
spawning condition observed from early April to mid June
(White 1996). Larval sampling indicate peak abundance in May

Spawning area:






Subadults and Adults

and June off southern Virginia and in June off the Delmarva
Peninsula (Sogard et al. 1992). Spawning frequency was
determined to be every 1.14 days during the spawning season
(White 1996).

Off Virginia, larval surveys showed greatest abundance from 10-45
nautical miles (18-83 km) offshore (Sogard et al. 1992).
Tautog were collected in spawning condition within the
Chesapeake Bay and out to 30 nautical miles (56 km) off the
Virginia coast by Hostetter and Munroe (1993) and White (1996).

Spawning occurs at depths of 8-30 feet in coastal waters to 140 feet
deep off Virginia's continental shelf (Sogard et al. 1992).

26 to 29 ppt. in Long Island Sound (USFWS 1978).

Adults inhabit water ranging from 50-82F (10-26C) and
spawning has been observed throughout this temperature range
(USFWS 1978).
Juveniles initially assume demersal life in coves and channels of
coastal areas and associate with algae or eelgrass (USFWS 1978,
Hostetter and Munroe 1993). Early juveniles were found to be
much more abundant in sea lettuce than in eelgrass (Sogard et al.
1992). Later juveniles (>40mm) occupy eelgrass beds before
assuming the structure oriented lifestyle typical of sub adults and

No data.

No data.
A portion of the adult population (>25 cm) migrates inshore and
offshore according to water temperature, preferring temperatures
between 76-50F (24.40-10C). During most years this
population spends the cooler spring and fall months inshore,
moving offshore again in the summer and the coldest winter
months.  Another segment of the adult population remains offshore
year-round. Juveniles remain on inshore structure year-round,
moving seasonally to nearby reefs as temporary homes and feeding

                           locations and aggregating at perennial locations to overwinter in
                           areas with deep crevices. Juveniles become torpid at very cold
                           temperatures 35-41F (2-4.80C; Olla et al. 1974) and less active
                           at high temperatures (28.70C ; Olla et al. 1978).

Salinity:                    Predominately saline waters, but no data available on lower
                           salinity limits.

Temperature:               35 to 83.70F (2-28.70C; Olla et al 1980).

       Coastwide, the recreational fishery has landed an average of 9 times as many fish as the
commercial fishery (6.4 million pounds vs. 700,00 Ibs.) between 1981 and 1997 (NMFS fishery
statistics). The percentage of fish taken by the commercial fishery has fluctuated between 4.8% (1982)
and 14.5%  (1990) of the total catch. Most recently (1994-1997), the commercial fishery has caught
between 7.5% (1995) and 12.4% (1997) of the total catch.

Recreational Fisheries

       Recreational catch data for the Chesapeake Bay region is limited and fluctuations in the
reported number offish caught are large. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS 1979-1998), the estimated number (excludes
fish that are caught and released) of tautog caught in Virginia waters between 1981-1997 (Figure 1)
varied between 71,599 (1982) and 579,795 fish (1983).  The average annual catch  from Virginia
waters during that period was 220,319 fish. This estimate of the annual catch is undoubtedly low,
because MRFSS does not collect Virginia data during January and February, when tautog are one of
the few species available to the recreational fisherman. MRFSS estimates of the Maryland recreational
fishery averaged 50,326 fish from 1981-1997 (Figure 2), with a range of 486 (1985) to 157,260 fish
(1994; MRFSS  1979-1998).
       Estimates of the number of recreational anglers participating in the tautog fishery are probably
under-reported due to the lack of sampling in January-February (wave one) of the MRFSS survey.
Anecdotal evidence (Bain pers. comm.) suggests increased numbers of participants  in the fishery,
especially those fishing offshore wrecks. There has also been a significant decline in the number of
citation tautog taken from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel complex, where fishing pressure has
likely remained more consistent.
       The only other Virginia recreational catch data comes from records of the Virginia Saltwater
Fishing Tournament (VSWFT 1975-1998). The minimum citation  weight was increased to 9 pounds
in 1975, so data prior to that time is not comparable to current figures. From 1975 to 1996, an average
of 170 citations (fish > 9 pounds) have been awarded each year.  During 1975-1979, 147 citations per
year were issued (Figure 3).  Following a fairly dramatic one  year drop in 1980, citation numbers
increased steadily to 390 in 1986. In 1987, the number of citations dropped to 130 and has remained
at a low level since that time. A developing tautog fishery off Virginia's eastern shore was largely

responsible for the surge in citation numbers from 1980-1986 (Bain pers. comm.; Reiger 1985). These
data represent only fish over 9 pounds and so may not be representative of the total number of fish
caught. The increased number of citations caught from Virginia waters during the development of the
eastern shore fishery and subsequent decline may well represent the initial exploitation of a "virgin"
fishery and a return to status quo (Reiger 1985). Two past world record tautog were caught in this area
between 1980 and 1986. However, the lower number of citation fish registered in the late 1980s and
early 1990s may represent an early warning of a decline in this fishery, particularly when the advance
in technology for locating offshore wrecks is  considered.
       Maryland's citation data (fish > 8 pounds) indicates the  number of citations  awarded has
increased from 6 in 1990 to 45 in 1993. The number of participants has varied over the years, so effort
is not comparable from year to year.

Commercial Fisheries

       Tautog are most frequently caught by handlines, fish traps, and rod  and reel.  Trawls are
capable of catching large numbers of tautog when the fish are migrating over open bottom, but gear
modifications are necessary to operate around structures and rough bottom where tautog aggregate.
Commercial fishermen in the Mid-Atlantic and New England States use gill nets, otter trawls, fish pots
and rod and reel to take tautog (Lynch 1990, 1991, 1992). During 1982-1991, gill nets dominated
commercial landings in Maine  and New Hampshire, otter trawls in Rhode Island through New York
and hand lines (including rod and reel) in Delaware, Virginia and Massachusetts. Fish pots caught the
bulk of Maryland and New Jersey's commercial landings (MAFMC 1993).
       Cooper (1966) cited the annual Rhode Island commercial catch at about 4,000 fish and noted
that the species' preference for rugged topography made trawling an inefficient fishing method.
Musick et al. (1979) sampled the continental shelf area of the Chesapeake Bight in the spring and fall
from 1967 to 1975. Despite their stations coinciding with areas tautog are known to frequent (VSWFT
1975-1998), only a single tautog was caught by trawling during that time period.  Recently, however,
the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) has become concerned about the impact
on tautog and Northern Star coral populations from modifications in trawl gear (rockhopper or roller
gear) which enables fishing over naturally rough bottom (MAFMC 1993).
       Weekly samples of pound net catches off Lynnhaven Inlet, Virginia, in 1982-1983 from March
through December contained 100 species of fish.  Tautog were taken sporadically and only during the
months of March-May.  They were sometimes common in weekly samples, but never listed as
abundant (Birdsong et al. in Feigenbaum and Blair 1986).  Virginia Saltwater Fishing  Tournament
citation records (1975-1993) show consistently large numbers of tautog taken in this area (Chesapeake
Bay mouth) from May 1-November 31 (entire listing period). Hence, the low incidence of pound net
catches in this same area is considered an indicator of the ineffectiveness of this gear for tautog.
   Total commercial landings  of tautog in Virginia waters from 1966-1997 ranged from  50 to 30,000
pounds (NMFS 1966-1997) and fluctuated in an unpredictable fashion. There has been a recent
increase in landings, however, which may largely be due to the implementation of mandatory reporting
in 1993 (Figure 4). Commercial landings from Maryland averaged 3,000 pounds annually from 1981-
1997, with a range of 140 to 7,700 pounds (Figure 5). Virginia and Maryland's commercial landings
for 1997 represent 8.3% (25,000 Ibs) and 2.5% (7,700), respectively, of the total commercial harvest.
Hildebrand and  Schroeder (1927) indicated that in 1921-1922 retail values averaged 0.10-0.15 cents


per pound. The current economic value of tautog in Virginia is $1.09 per pound (VMRC 1966-1997;
Figure 6) and $1.06 per pound in Maryland (NMFS 1997 statistics).
Fishery Parameters

Status of exploitation:
Long-term potential catch:
No official estimates for Delaware to Virginia populations, though
there is a small directed commercial fishery consisting of hook and
line and fish potting in both Maryland and Virginia. Tautog
populations from Massachusetts to New York are overexploited
(ASMFC 1996).

Total coastwide, historical catches have been as high as 17.84 million
pounds (1986) (NMFS data). Average landings from 1990-1997 were
5.60 million pounds. The 1997 landings were 2.44 million pounds.  No
estimate of long term potential catch or MS Y has been established.
Importance of recreational
Importance of commercial
Fishing mortality rates:
Significant in certain areas and seasons such as the winter fishery in the
Chesapeake Bay and the recreational headboat fishery out of Ocean
City,  Maryland.  The recreational  catch of tautog has  comprised
between 85% and 92% of the total Atlantic coast landings since 1990.
Tautog are an important catch as they can be active year-round, making
them available to fishermen year-round.
The commercial catch in Virginia is primarily by rod and reel and fish
potting. The Virginia catch averaged 3,448 pounds from 1983-1992.
Since the implementation of mandatory reporting in Virginia in 1993,
tautog landings (reported) have increased significantly; 11,441 pounds
in 1994; 30,000 pounds in 1995; 26,137 pounds in 1996; and 25,000
pounds in 1997 (NMFS data). Maryland commercial landings ranged
from 140 pounds to 7,700 pounds between 1980-1997, averaging 3,000
pounds (NMFS data).  The local Bay market is poorly developed and
the tautog's structure-oriented lifestyle makes them unavailable to most
gear types on a regular basis.  The Atlantic coast commercial fishery
averaged 766,000 pounds with a peak in 1987 of 1.16 million pounds
(1984-1997, NMFS data). The majority of commercial landings come
from New Jersey-Massachusetts.

The fishing  mortality  rate for Virginia is F=0.36 (u=28%) based on
catch curve analysis and MRFSS data from 1994-1996 (White
pers. comm. 1998).  Maryland tautog is estimated to have a fishing
mortality rate of F=0.38 (u=29%;ASMFC Tautog Management

                           Board 1998). Estimates for F from other areas of the Atlantic coast
                           range from 0.15 (u=13%; Connecticut) to 1.0 (u=59%; Rhode
                           Island).  Fishing mortality estimates from catch curve analysis
                           from Massachusetts to New York averaged 0.58 (u=41%,1988-
                           1992). An estimate from a New Jersey trawl survey indicated a
                           F=0.79 (u=51%) from 1988-1991, and F=0.77 (u=50%) from
                           1991-1994 (ASMFC 1996).

Problems and Concerns

Fisheries Data Needs

       Poor quality data on recreational and commercial landings, lack of tagging studies and catch-
per-unit-effort data makes estimates of population size or exchange impossible. Potential causes of
population variance include a lack of suitable habitat, habitat destruction or creation, population
migration, variance in water temperature, and relative abundance of prime food supplies, such as
       Currently, research at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) is working towards
improving data on Virginia tautog populations. Age analysis, as well as exploitation rates, are being
estimated from extensive sampling of tautog in the Chesapeake Bay and  the offshore waters of
Virginia. Additionally, the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament has been tagging tautog since 1995.
Results from this continuing survey help to provide data on migration and exploitation of the species.
       The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is conducting a headboat creel survey from
Ocean City, Maryland. The recreational survey will be conducted twice a week from April through
November during 1998 and 1999. Fishing effort and biological data on a number of species will be
collected. Results of this survey should provide some valuable data on tautog caught off Maryland's

Habitat Issues

       Coastal and estuarine areas are extremely important as feeding, spawning, and nursery areas
for tautog. Consequently, habitat modifications such as dredging, filling, coastal construction, energy
development, sewage effluent and ocean dumping pose serious threats to the tautog resource. Tautog
are particularly susceptible to inshore and nearshore disturbances since they are one of the few species
that live in the lower Chesapeake Bay and nearby coastal waters year-round.

Aquatic Reefs

       Juvenile tautog have been observed in association with oyster bars in the Piankatank River
(Harding and Mann, In review) The decline of the Chesapeake Bay oyster may have had a detrimental
effect on the tautog resource. Historically, oyster reefs were the predominant natural habitat available
in the Bay and probably supported tautog populations, especially providing habitat for young-of-the-
year and age 1 fish. Oyster reefs are created by the vertical and horizontal colonization of oysters,
which use one another as  a place for attachment.  The 3-dimensional nature of this community


provides increased surface area and allows for greater biotic diversity,
       Overharvesting, degraded water quality from pollution, and the emergence of the oyster
diseases Haplosporidium nelsoni (MSX) and Perkinsus marinus (Dermo), have extensively impacted
oyster populations. Of the historic 243,000 acres of public oyster reefs (Baylor Grounds) in Virginia
waters of the Chesapeake Bay, only about 5% of these reefs are still growing and producing healthy
oysters (Chesapeake Bay Program 1996a). Since the decline in oyster reefs, young tautog have relied
upon manmade structure such as artificial reefs, jetties, bridge and dock pilings and shipwrecks for
their primary habitat.

Artificial Reefs

       Habitat for tautog has  been  improved through the use  of artificial reef structures in both
Virginia and Maryland. Virginia's artificial reef program, which began in the early 1970s as an
outgrowth of private efforts, now has a total of 13 sites extending from the Gwynn Island site well
inside the Bay to the Triangle Wreck site about 30 miles offshore. Several additional reef sites are
currently under consideration.  Various materials have been used to construct these reefs including
Liberty Ships, tire in concrete units, donated bridge and concrete pipe materials and newer concrete
structures designed specifically for the artificial reef program. More stringent environmental standards
have curtailed the use of some formerly common reef building materials, such as junked automobiles
and wooden vessels. Maryland has developed over 20 reef sites in Bay waters and many are providing
protection and habitat for oysters. To date, Maryland has deployed approximately 95,000 cubic yards
of fossil oyster shell and 6,500 concrete cubes in order to create and enhance oyster reef habitat in the
Bay. These structures attract tautog, black sea bass and other species offish by providing shelter, often
within days after deployment, and subsequently develop an overlay of encrusting marine organisms
which soon form a food chain for the resident fish. They provide important habitat for juvenile and
adult tautog along the coast and a nursery area for juveniles in the Chesapeake Bay since structure is
believed to be limited in this area.

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) and Coastal Wetlands

       SAV provides important food and shelter to developing juvenile tautog.  In the Chesapeake
Bay, SAV underwent a dramatic decline during the late  1960's  and early 1970's. The decline was
attributed, in part, to increased nutrient enrichment and sedimentation as a result of change in land use
and population in the surrounding watershed (Kemp et al. 1983).
       Increased physical disturbance due to shoreline alterations, dredging and intense boat traffic
played an additional role in the decline of SAV. Intense population  pressures have adversely affected
many estuarine and marine habitats along the Atlantic coast. As residential and commercial use of
coastal lands increase, so does the recreational use of coastal waters. Marinas, public access landings,
private piers, and boat ramps all vie for space.  Furthermore, the impact on the environment from boat
discharge, boat traffic, litter, fuel and oil spillage substantially  degrades localized habitat.  As
population densities increase in these areas, greater pressures are  exerted to develop remaining lands,
and the demand for nuisance insect control on adjacent undeveloped wetlands either through chemical
or physical (i.e. ditching) methods, also intensifies.
       Significant coastal wetlands have been lost in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Demand for land


suitable for home sites, resorts, marinas, and industrial expansion has resulted in the loss or alteration
of large areas of wetlands through dredging, filling, diking, ditching, upland construction, and
shoreline modification. Between 1955 and 1978 about 24,000 acres of Maryland's coastal wetlands
and inland vegetated wetlands disappeared, accounting for 9% of its coastal wetlands (Tiner 1987).
Between 1956 and 1977, over 63,000 acres of Virginia's coastal and inland vegetated wetlands were
lost, with an overall loss of 6.30% of the coastal wetlands (Tiner  1987). These wetlands act as a
buffer, improving water quality throughout the Bay, benefiting all species that reside within. Recently,
however, the rate of decline in the loss of wetlands has slowed, with only a net loss of about 19,500
acres (2.50%) within the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed between  1982-1989 (USFWS 1994). The
quality of the remaining and mitigated wetlands may not be as  great as  original wetland habitat,
though, as many wetlands have been altered or transformed.

Water Quality

       The general decline in baywide water quality is directly and indirectly linked to the decline of
vital tautog habitats such as oyster reefs, SAV, and wetlands.  Increased nutrient inputs into the Bay
from agriculture and urban runoff, as well as increased  urbanization, industrial development and
shoreline alterations, have negatively impacted water quality.
       Chemical contaminants  of coastal waters include inputs  from municipal  and industrial
wastewater, agricultural pesticides and fertilizers, animal waste, urban nonpoint sources, storrnwater
runoff and atmospheric deposition. Within the Mid-Atlantic region (Cape May, N.J. to Cape Fear,
N.C., as defined in the Mid-Atlantic Marine Research Plan 1994), there are more than 75 coastal
counties and cities that have one or more publicly owned treatment works discharging to coastal waters
(MAFMC 1995). Toxic components of these contaminants include heavy metals such as lead,
cadmium, chromium,  zinc, copper, silver and mercury, and organic compounds such as  DDT,
chlordane, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic  aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).  The
source of these compounds are generally discharges to coastal waters from human activities, although
there are some cases of natural concentrations. In the Mid-Atlantic region, the northern Chesapeake
Bay (especially Baltimore Harbor) and the Elizabeth River in Virginia contain the highest levels of
these contaminants except for DDT (Mid Atlantic Marine Research Plan 1994).

Coastal Urbanization

       According to recent demographic estimates roughly 60% of the world's population (some 3.80
billion people) lives within 100 miles of the coast (Hinrichsen 1990).  Population shifts  to the
Chesapeake Bay region  and associated  industrial and municipal  expansion have  accelerated
competition for use of the same habitats as those required by tautog and other aquatic species. As a
result, these habitats have been substantially reduced and continue to suffer the adverse effects of
human-related activities.  Coastal population is particularly dense in the mid-Atlantic region as several
major cities (Hampton Roads, Va.; Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore, Md.) are in relatively close
proximity to each other. Between 1970 and 1994 population in the Bay region increased 26% and is
expected to increase another 12% from 1995  to 2010 (Chesapeake Bay Program 1996a).
       A major impact in the Baltimore-Washington-Norfolk corridor, in addition to commercial and
industrial activities, is suburban sprawl.  Suburban development patterns have increasingly become


low-density and single use residential areas. Low density, single-use development increases traffic
congestion and airborne sources of pollution entering the Bay.  The creation of multiple communities
outside of major work centers increases the demand for new roads and infrastructure, makes effective
mass transit less possible, and creates additional traffic by increasing commute miles traveled between
work and home. The amount of vehicle miles traveled in the Chesapeake Bay watershed increased by
105%  from 1970 to 1994  (Chesapeake Bay  Program  1997).  The construction of roads and
infrastructure remove natural buffer areas, such as forests, wetlands, and open space and increase the
area of impervious surface in the watershed. In 1997, Maryland passed legislation that directs state
funds for development and infrastructure to growth centers and discourages development in non-
designated growth areas. The Smart Growth Initiative represents a substantial effort to limit sprawl
development and preserve existing neighborhoods and agricultural, natural, and rural resources.
       These sprawl development patterns that tend to consume resource land such as farms, wetlands
and forests, directly impacts the water quality of Chesapeake B ay and its tributaries.  Sprawl increases
impervious surface coverage from roads, parking lots and rooftops. Pollutants that contact impervious
surfaces run directly into the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers, increasing runoff of soil, fertilizers,
biocides, heavy metals, grease and oil products, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and other materials.
Excessive suspended sediment can abrade sensitive epithelial tissues, clog gills, and decrease egg
buoyancy.   Turbidity from  sediments reduces light penetration; affecting  photosynthesis of
phytoplankton and bay grasses (MAFMC 1995).  Underwater plants help maintain dissolved oxygen
levels in the Bay (Moore et al. 1995).






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       The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), in cooperation with the Mid-
 Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC), has developed a tautog management plan for the
 states of Massachusetts to North Carolina (ASMFC 1996). For the purposes of coastal management,
 tautog from Delaware to North Carolina are currently considered a  unit stock. For the CBP Tautog
 FMP, the management unit encompasses all estuarine waters of the Chesapeake Bay, coastal bays, and
 coastal Atlantic Ocean to 3 miles offshore.


       The Fishery Management Plan for Tautog (ASMFC 1996) and the ASMFC Addendum 1 to
 the FMP for Tautog (1997) sets forth size limits for compliance and adopts a target fishing mortality
 rate (F) to be met through regulatory programs.  The interim target fishing mortality rate during 1998-
 2000 is F=0.24 (20%). At the end of this interim period, each state must reduce F to the natural
 mortality rate (M)=0.15 (13%).

 Recreational Fishery Management Measures:
       A. Size Limit: The FMP specifies a 14 inch minimum size for recreational fisheries.
       B. Fishing Mortality Reduction: Recreational fisheries reductions to reach the interim target
 F rate and finally, the natural mortality rate, may be achieved through possession limits, seasons, or
 a combination of both.

 Commercial Fishery Management Measures:
       A. Size Limit: The FMP specifies a 14 inch minimum size for commercial fisheries.
       B. Fishing Mortality Reduction: Commercial fisheries reductions  to reach the interim target
'F rate are to  be achieved through state-specific plans requiring  the ASMFC Tautog Technical
 Committee approval.  After submission of commercial plans in April 1996, and approval by the
 ASMFC Tautog Management Board, effort controls to reach the interim motality  rate  of F=0.24
 (u=20%) are to be implemented by April 1998 for the Delaware to North Carolina stock. Management
 measures to reach F=0.15 (u=13%) are to be implemented by April  2000.

       There are indications that the tautog stocks are overfished. White (1997; pers. comm. 1998)
 completed a fishing mortality study on Virginia tautog stocks that estimates the average fishing
 mortality (F) at 0.36 (u=28%).  The recommended target fishing mortality rate is 0.15 or u=13%
 (ASMFC 1996).


       Tautog are a long-lived, slow growing species; 100% maturity in Virginia waters occurs at age
4 (approximately 13.50") for females and age 3 (11.40") for males (Hostetter and Munroe 1993). As
younger fish are generally found within Bay waters, a potential decline in the future spawning stock
can occur if small, immature fish are constantly removed through fishing activities.
       Commercial landings in Virginia peaked at 30,000 pounds in 1995 and have remained around
25,000 pounds (1996-97, NMFS data) since then. Maryland commercial harvest has also increased
with 7,700 pounds harvested in 1997. The estimated recreational harvest (excludes the number of fish
caught and released) has  averaged 211,182 fish from Virginia  (1988-1997) and 67,432 fish from
Maryland (1988-1997, MRFSS data). Furthermore, a developing speciality market for live tautog in
the northeast, coupled with an expansion of the trawl fishery using "rockhopper" or roller gear in that
region, prompted the development of a fishery management plan by the ASMFC (1996). Coastwide,
trawls account for approximately 3 5 % of the harvest and pots and traps account for approximately 27 %
(ASMFC 1996).
       There is concern that as stocks of other species decline and entry to other fisheries becomes
more restricted, greater pressure will be placed on tautog stocks. Tautog and black seabass are the only
two fmfish species consistently available to fishermen in the winter months, increasing the demand
for maintenance  of healthy stocks.  Recreational and charter boat operators support management
measures that prevent overexploitation in this fishery. Compatibility of state and Exclusive Economic
Zone  (EEZ) regulations  are essential for  effective  management of the tautog fishery.   Non-
compatibility would allow a possible shift of the fishery into the F.F.7. upon CBP Plan implementation.
Once the CBP tautog FMP is adopted, the Secretary of Commerce and the NMFS should move as soon
as possible to adopt compatible regulations for tautog fisheries in the EEZ (3-200 miles from the
United States coast).

       STRATEGY 1
       Implement minimum size and possession limits applicable to the commercial and
       recreational fisheries to prevent overexploitation. Monitor size composition of landings in the
       recreational fishery to prevent compression of age structure in the population. Use size
       composition of fish in the recreational fishery and total landings in the commercial fishery as
       triggers to implement further  management of the fishery, should statistically significant
       compression of the age structure occur. This plan recommends that the Secretary of Commerce
       implement minimum  size and possession regulations for tautog in the FP.7  that are in
       accordance with state minimum size requirements contained in the plan.  It is the intention
       under the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Conservation and Management Act to have EEZ fisheries
       regulated  consistent with state possession and landing laws, and that the more stringent of
       state or federal law will apply regardless of whether fish are caught in the EEZ or in state

             ACTION 1.1
             Virginia, Maryland and the PRFC will implement a minimum size limit of
             fourteen inches in the recreational and commercial tautog fisheries. Minimum size
             limits may be changed as more data becomes  available on stock  condition and
             biological reference points are re-evaluated.

                    IMPLEMENTATION 1.1
                    Maryland:     October 1997
                    Virginia:      April 1998
                    PFRC:        March 1998

             ACTION 1.2
             Virginia, Maryland and the PRFC will reduce fishing mortality to interim and
             target rates,  as defined by ASMFC (1996 and 1997), through a combination of
             possession limits, gear, seasons, and/or other restrictions. Target rates may be changed
             and management measures adjusted as more data becomes available to manage the
             stock.  Due to differences in fishing mortality rates between Maryland and Virginia,
             different management strategies may be necessary to reach the target fishing mortality
             rate set by ASMFC (1996). The jurisdictions will continue to work towards a unified,
             Baywide management strategy.

                    IMPLEMENTATION 1.2
                    Interim F:     1998
                    Target F:      April 2000

             ACTION 1.3
             Virginia and Maryland waters will continue to require degradable fasteners in tautog
             pots and traps, utilizing one of the following materials:
                    a. Untreated hemp, jute, or cotton string of 3/16" (4.80 mm) or smaller;
                    b. Magnesium alloy, timed float releases (pop-up devices) or similar
                    magnesium alloy fasteners;
                    c. Ungalvanized or uncoated iron wire of 0.09" (2.39 mm) or smaller.

                    IMPLEMENTATION 1.3
                    Virginia:      April 1997
                    Maryland:     October 1997
                    PFRC:        Not applicable

      Fishery managers lack most of the biological and fisheries data necessary for effective
management of the tautog resource.  Estimates of sex and size composition within recreational and
commercial catches are poor. There have been no recent studies completed that provide a current
estimate of stock condition or of fishing mortality for Cheaspeake Bay and associated coastal waters,
though the current estimate of Virginia tautog fishing mortality is F=0.36 (u=28%). Furthermore, it
is not known whether tautog, like seabass, change sex at some point in their life. Initial studies don't
appear to support sex reversal within the species (White pers. comm. 1997). Additionally, data on the
rate of inshore-offshore migration, movement between localized habitats and spatial extent of daily
feeding excursions is lacking, especially in local waters.

       Research will be encouraged on the size, age, and sex composition of the Chesapeake Bay
tautog stock. Finfish stock assessment surveys will monitor the age and sex structure of the catch for
changes in stock composition. More emphasis will be placed on surveys of the recreational fishery
to refine estimates of landings in this segment of the fishery. Expanded and continued tagging studies
will provide valuable information on sex-reversal and migration for a relatively small cost.

       Effects of sex-reversal on tautog populations are unknown, as well as the effects of
       minimum size limits on the  spawning stock.  Data on commercial discards and length
       frequency, as well as a juvenile index and index at age survey, are lacking.

       STRATEGY 2.1
       Virginia and Maryland will work with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Old
       Dominion University, the University of Maryland, Smithsonian Institute and National Marine
       Fisheries Service's Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey to conduct research into the
       size, age, and sex composition of tautog in the Chesapeake Bay.  The agencies'  stock
       assessment departments will continue to collect information on size composition to monitor
       the status of tautog stocks. This stock assessment data will be used to determine a baseline of
       age and sex distribution for the local stock, significant deviation from which will be used as
       a trigger mechanism to determine the need for future management measures.

             ACTION 2.1
             The management agencies will gather data on age, size and sex distribution to be
             used as a baseline measurement of a healthy population and will encourage
             research into the possibility of sex-reversal in the tautog population.

             A) Virginia will continue the Baywide trawl survey of estuarine finfish species
             and crabs to measure size, age, sex, distribution, abundance and CPUE.

             B) Virginia implemented a mandatory reporting system for commercial licensees
             beginning January 1,1993. Maryland's mandatory reporting system has been
             in effect since 1944 (excluding eel).  Improved reporting of commercial landings,
             along with more detailed information on catch location and effort are some of the
             expected benefits of these programs.

             C) Virginia will continue to  supplement the Marine Recreational Fisheries
             Statistics Survey to obtain more detailed catch statistics at the state level.
             Virginia's new recreational saltwater fishing license may provide funding for more
             extensive surveys of the state's recreational fishery.

             D) Maryland's Coastal Bays Fisheries Investigation will be expanded by conducting
             a creel survey from recreational headboats . The survey will collect biological data on
             tautog such as sex, length, and age, and information on recreational fishing effort.


                    IMPLEMENTATION 2.1
                    A-C) Continuing; D) 1998-1999

       Data on the rate of inshore-offshore migration, movement between localized habitats and
       spatial extent of daily feeding excursions needs to be improved, especially in local waters.
       Mortality rates, age composition, and recruitment of localized stocks depend partially on
       migration between each area and are poorly understood. The Virginia Game Fish Tagging
       Program, may help alleviate this lack of information on migration and stock composition. The
       tagging of tautog was initiated 1995, and as of January 15, 1998, 1435 tautog have been
       tagged, with 142 recaptures (-10% recapture rate).

       STRATEGY 2.2
       The jurisdictions will promote research to determine the extent of migration and mortality in
       localized tautog populations. As reliance of this species on structure for both food and shelter
       may  limit populations in the Chesapeake Bay area, studies designed to determine the
       relationship between population size and available shelter and food sources should likewise
       be encouraged.

             ACTION 2.2
             Research on migration of tautog between areas is encouraged. Tagging experiments
             to provide data on tautog migration may be funded from sales of saltwater fishing
             licenses.  The Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program will be continued.

                    IMPLEMENTATION 2.2

       Resource managers involved in habitat decisions should begin to recognize that habitat loss
and degradation can have as important an effect on fishery resources as overfishing (Able and Kaiser
1991). This is especially true of species such as tautog that inhabit estuarine and coastal areas during
critical life stages. Coastal and estuarine habitats, namely submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and
macrophytic algae (Ulva lactuca), tidal wetlands and natural oyster reefs, provide shelter and food for
both juvenile and adult tautog.  In Chesapeake Bay, these nearshore  and inshore  areas have
substantially declined in both quality and quantity over the past several decades.  Increased nutrient
loadings from agriculture and urban runoff into the Bay, as well as increased urbanization, industrial
development and shoreline alterations have all contributed to the decline of SAV and wetlands, as well
as the decline in water quality. "Decreased water quality, the invasion of oyster pathogens, and the
oyster harvest techniques have all contributed to the destruction of the natural oyster reef system. The
degradation of these vital habitats may pose a serious threat to the health of the tautog population.

       The jurisdictions will continue their ongoing commitment to develop:  "guidelines for the


protection of habitats and water quality conditions necessary to support the living resources found in
the Chesapeake Bay system, and to use these guidelines in the implementation of water quality and
habitat protection programs" (Chesapeake Executive Council 1987). They also will strive to develop
and implement new and innovative habitat restoration strategies to evaluate and supplement the
progress of these programs. The importance of coordinating and integrating these habitat restoration
programs will also be stressed. Integration will aid the effective management of the Bay's ecosystem
(Chesapeake Bay Program 1995).

      Oyster  reefs, once  plentiful in the Bay, have slowly been destroyed by oyster harvest
      techniques, water pollution, and the spread of oyster pathogens. Reef structures are important
      to both juvenile and adult tautog. They provide habitat for the dispersal of young fish, thereby,
      reducing predation and competition. Depending on salinity, healthy reef systems attract large
      numbers of adult tautog, black sea bass, scup and other species of fish, providing them with
      food and shelter. Of the recorded 243,000 acres of public oyster grounds in Virginia waters
      (Baylor Grounds), only about 3,000 acres are still capable  of producing  healthy oysters
      (Wesson pers. comm. 1996). At the same time that the aquatic reef programs work toward the
      restoration of the Bay's reef systems, artificial reef programs are gaining popularity. Artificial
      reefs provide habitat for a variety of marine life that once relied on the oyster reefs for food and
      shelter. Both Virginia and Maryland will continue to increase available habitat for tautog
      through artificial reef programs.

      STRATEGY 3.1.1
      Restoration of aquatic reefs could lead to increased habitat for tautog.  Jurisdictions will
      continue to expand and improve their current oyster restoration programs with periodic
      program evaluations to ensure maximum success.

             ACTION 3.1.1
             A) Maryland and Virginia will continue the implementation of the 1994 Oyster FMP
             (Chesapeake Bay Program 1994b), which combines the recommendations of both the
             Virginia Holton Plan and the Maryland Roundtable Action Plan. Strategies in both
             Virginia and Maryland have  taken a new focus as the programs intensify efforts to
             manage around the devastating oyster diseases, Dermo and MSX, currently infecting
             Chesapeake Bay oysters.

             B) Maryland and Virginia will continue the implementation of the Aquatic Reef
             Habitat Plan (Chesapeake Executive Council 1990c). "The purpose of the Aquatic
             Reef Habitat Plan is to guide the development and implementation a regional program
             to rebuild and restore reefs as habitat for oysters and other ecologically valuable aquatic



The creation of new artificial reefs and the expansion and improvement of preexistingreefs will
provide additional habitat for the tautog population.  Again, when the decisions are made
concerning new reef locations and monies are spent on their development, the importance of
this habitat to tautog should be considered (see Appendix E-Potential Tautog Habitat).

       ACTION 3.1.2
       A) Jurisdictions will continue to maintain, expand, and improve their artificial reef
       programs. Since 1995, Virginia has developed three new reef sites within the Bay and
       expanded several existing sites,  deploying  more than 6,000 designed structures
       (concrete tetrahedrons)  and  over 5,000 tons of concrete rubble.  Maryland has
       designated 3 sites as oyster sanctuaries where harvest is not allowed: Plum Point, lower
       Severn River and Cambridge. Maryland will also be examining the efficacy of small
       hill sanctuaries at 3 sites: Tangier, Choptank and Strong Bay (Chester River).


       B) Virginia has recently prohibited the use of all gear except recreational rod and reel,
       hand-line, spear, or gig  on four artificial reefs in state waters.  The result of this
       regulation is similar to the MAFMC/ASMFC Special Management Zones that protect
       vital tautog habitat.


Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) provides important food and shelter to developing
juvenile tautog. Vegetated areas generally yield greater fish densities than nonvegetated areas
(Funderburk 1991) because of food abundance and shelter from predation. Li Chesapeake Bay,
SAV underwent a dramatic decline from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. The decline
was attributed, in part to increased nutrient enrichment (Kemp et al. 1983). Increased physical
disturbance due to shoreline alterations, unregulated dredging activities, and intense boat traffic
also contributed to the decline of SAV. In 1976, the decline of SAV was chosen as one of the
top three problems in the Bay.

Researchers  believe that recent efforts to improve water quality, through nutrient  input
reductions and reduced shoreline  development, have influenced the recovery of SAV  in
Chesapeake Bay (Maryland Sea Grant 1994). SAV acreage has increased from a 1984 low of
37,000 acres to just under 60,000 acres in the Bay and its tributaries in 1995 (VIMS data 1984-


1995). Chesapeake Bay Program scientists estimate that historically 400,000 to 600,000 acres
of SAV might have existed. In 1993 the Chesapeake Executive Council adopted an "interim
SAV restoration goal" of 114,000 acres Baywide.. Total SAV acreage has increased in the last
few years (1996-1997) with the 1997 acreage representing 61% of the interim restoration goal.
This goal corresponds to  the first of three target restoration goals established by the
Chesapeake Bay Program:

Tier I. Restore SAV baywide to areas currently or previously inhabited by SAV as mapped
through aerial surveys conducted 1971-1990. If current recovery rates continue, this goal
(114,000 acres) will be achieved by the year 2005.

Tier II.  Restore SAV to all shallow water areas delineated as existing or potential SAV
habitat down to one meter depth contour.

Tier III. Restore SAV to  all shallow  water areas delineated as existing or potential SAV
habitat down to the two meter depth contour (611,000 acres).

Jurisdictions will continue  efforts to:  "achieve a net gain in submerged aquatic vegetation
distribution, abundance, and species diversity in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries over
current populations" (Chesapeake Executive Council 1990a) by the following actions:

       A) Protect existing SAV beds from further losses due to increased degradation of water
       quality, physical  damage to the plants, or disruption to the local sedimentary
       environment as recommended by the Chesapeake Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation
       Policy Implementation Plan (Chesapeake Executive Council 1990a).

       B) The Guidance for Protecting Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in Chesapeake Bay
       from Physical Disruption (Chesapeake Bay Program 1995) was developed in response
       to the above action  and should be used by agencies making decisions that influence
       SAV survival in Chesapeake Bay. The following recommendations from the guidance
       document should be strongly considered when making decisions that impact SAV, with
       special emphasis on SAV that falls within the salinity range of juvenile tautog:

             1) Protect SAV and potential SAV habitat from physical disruption. Implement
             a tiered  approach to SAV protection, giving highest priority to protecting Tier
             I and Tier n areas but also protecting Tier HI areas from physical  disruption.

             2) Avoid  dredging, filling or construction activities that  create turbidity
             sufficient to  impact nearby SAV beds during SAV growing season.

             3) Establish  an appropriate undisturbed buffer around SAV beds to minimize
             the direct and indirect impacts on SAV from activities that significantly


             increase turbidity.

             4) Preserve natural shorelines. Stabilize shorelines, when needed, with
             marsh plantings as a first alternative. Use structures that cause the smallest
             increase in local wave energy where planting vegetation is not feasible.

             5) Educate the public about the potential negative effects of recreational and
             commercial boating on SAV and how to avoid or reduce them.


       Set  and achieve  regional water and habitat quality objectives that will result in
       restoration of  submerged  aquatic  vegetation  through  natural  revegetation  as
       recommended by the  Chesapeake Bay  Submerged  Aquatic Vegetation  Policy
       Implementation Plan (Chesapeake Executive Council 1990a).


       Set regional submerged aquatic vegetation restoration goals in terms of acreage,
       abundance, and species  diversity considering historical distribution records  and
       estimates of potential habitat as recommended by the Chesapeake Bay Submerged
       Aquatic  Vegetation Policy  Implementation Plan  (Chesapeake Executive Council

The jurisdictions will use The Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Habitat Requirements and
Restoration Targets: A Technical Synthesis (Chesapeake Bay Program 1992), as a guide to set
quantitative levels of relevant water quality parameters necessary to support continued
survival, propagation and restoration of SAV, as well as established the regional SAV
restoration target goals defined earlier in this section.

       ACTION 3.2.2
       When choices must be made in selecting SAV restoration projects, to fund and support
       under the Chesapeake Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Policy Implementation Plan
       (Chesapeake Executive Council 1990a), specific attention should be given to action


       items that lead to the protection and restoration of SAV found within the juvenile
       tautog habitat range.


       Over the past 40 years, wetlands have undergone a demise similar to SAV, as coastal
development and land use pressures in the Chesapeake watershed continue to increase. The
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that of the 1.70 million acres  of wetlands in the
Chesapeake watershed, 12% are estuarine wetlands.  Between the 1950s and 1970s, annual
losses of Chesapeake Bay wetlands averaged over 2,800 acres (Tiner 1986).  Although this
average annual loss dropped to 129 acres from 1982 through 1989, the no net loss goal of the
Chesapeake Bay Wetlands Policy has  not  yet been achieved.  As coastal wetlands  in
Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast disappear, so does vital tautog habitat; therefore,
the protection and restoration of estuarine wetlands in the salinity range of the tautog, i.e. the
mesohaline and polyhaline range, should be given high priority in management  decision

In 1988, the Chesapeake Executive Council adopted the Chesapeake Bay Wetlands
Policy in recognition of the ecological and economic importance that wetlands play in the
Chesapeake Bay. The Wetlands Policy establishes an immediate goal of no net loss with a
long-term goal of a net resource gain for tidal and nontidal wetlands (Chesapeake Executive
Council 1990b). It identifies specific actions necessary to achieve both the short term goal of
the Policy, "no net loss" and the long term goal of "a net resource gain for tidal and nontidal

       ACTION 3.3
       The Jurisdictions should strive towards achieving the following, especially in the
       salinity range of the tautog.
       A) Define the resource through inventory and mapping activities.
       B) Protect existing wetlands.
       C) Rehabilitate, restore and create wetlands.
       D) Improve Education.
       E) Further Research


Poor baywide water quality is partly to blame for the decline of estuarine and coastal habitats.
Therefore, improvements in baywide water quality are paramount to protect tautog habitat.

Jurisdictions will continue efforts to improve Baywide water quality through the efforts of
programs established under the 1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement (Chesapeake Bay Program
1987). In addition, the jurisdictions will implement new strategies, based on recent program
reevaluations, to strengthen deficient areas.

       ACTION 3.4.1
       A) Based on 1992 baywide nutrient reduction plan reevaluation, the jurisdictions
             1. Expand program efforts to include the tributaries.
             2. Intensify efforts to control nonpoint sources of pollution from
             agriculture and developed areas.
             3. Improve on current point and nonpoint source control technologies.


       B) Based on the 1994 Chesapeake Bay Program Toxics Reduction Strategy
       Reevaluation Report (Chesapeake Bay Program, 1994a) the jurisdictions will
       emphasize the following four areas:
       1) Pollution Prevention: Target "Regions of Concern" and "Areas of
       2) Regulatory Program Implementation: Insure that revised strategies are
       consistent with and supplement pre-existing regulatory mandates.
       3) Regional Focus: Identify and classify regions according to the level of
       4) Directed Toxics Assessment: Identify areas of low level contamination,
       improve tracking and control nonpoint sources.


       C) The jurisdictions will continue to develop, implement and monitor their
       tributary strategies designed to improve bay water quality.


The Chesapeake Bay Program partners will "Plan for and manage the adverse environmental
effects of human population growth and land development in the Chesapeake Bay watershed"
(Chesapeake Bay Program 1987).  In 1996, the Chesapeake Bay Program accepted  the
Priorities for Action for Land, Growth and Stewardship in the Chesapeake Bay Region
(Chesapeake Bay Program 1996)  as  a framework to address land use and development


pressures in the Chesapeake Bay. This approach recognizes that communities are the basic
unit for addressing growth, land-use  and long-term stewardship of the natural environment.
These priorities are voluntary actions which are expected to be accomplished through a variety
of public and private partners, including but not limited to, the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Jurisdictions will forward the goals of the Priorities for Action, which encourage sustainable
development patterns.  Given the fact that tautog are particularly  vulnerable to suspended
solids which abrade epithelial tissues and to decreasing SAV and shellfish beds which serve
as habitat and feeding areas, the goals of the Priorities for Action which are  germane to
nutrient and sediment load reduction  will be promoted.

       ACTION 3.4.2
       Encourage efficient development patterns which reduce nutrient and sediment loads to
       the Chesapeake Bay and promote responsible land management practices and decisions
       regarding present and future development by pursuing the following:
       1.  Revitalize  existing communities.  Revitalization  efforts  can  assist existing
       communities and help reduce  sprawl by encouraging the use of state-of-the-art storm
       water management and pollution prevention practices.
       2. Encourage efficient development patterns. Ecologically sound, efficient development
       patterns encourage higher population density; compact and contiguous development.
       Benefits to the Bay include reduced impervious surfaces; conservation of  farms,
       forests, and wetlands.
       3. Foster resource protection and land stewardship.  Cooperation and linkages among
       local watershed protection planning efforts should be increased to  foster a regional
       sense of stewardship toward the bay's natural resources.  The development of new
       policies that integrate  natural and  community infrastructure in public and private
       planning, development and protection efforts will further this goal.


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selected decapod crustaceans in southern New Jersey eelgrass habitat: a comparison with sea lettuce
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Adams, A.J.  1993. Dynamics of fish assemblages associated with an offshore artificial reef in the
southern Mid-Atlantic Bight. M.S. Thesis, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia.

ASMFC. 1996. Fishery Management Plan for Tautog. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission,
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, D.C.

Auster, P.J. 1989. Species profiles: Life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes
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Bearden, C. M.  1961.  Common marine fishes of South Carolina, Bears Bluff laboratories, No. 34,
47 p.

Bigelow, H. B. and W. C. Schroeder. 1953. Fishes of the Gulf of Maine. U.S. Fish Wildlife Service,
Fish. Bulletin, 53, 577 p.

Briggs, P. T.  1969. The sport fisheries for tautog in the inshore waters of eastern Long Island. N. Y.
Fish and Game Journal. 16(2): 238-254.

Briggs, P. T.  1977. Status of tautog populations at artificial reefs in New York waters and effect of
fishing. N.Y. Fish and Game Journal. 24(2): 154-167.

Briggs, P.T. and J.S. O'Conner. 1971. Comparison of shore-zone fishes over naturally vegetated and
sand-filled bottoms in Great South Bay. N.Y. Fish Game J.  18:15-41.

Chee, P. K.  1977. Feeding ecology of black sea bass Centropristis striata on an artificial reef off
Virginia. M.S. thesis, Old Dominion University, 51 p.

Chenowith, Stanley B.  1963. Spawning and fecundity of the tautog, Tautoga onitis (Linnaeus). M.S.
thesis.  Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 60 p.

Chesapeake Bay Program. 1987. Chesapeake Bay Agreement. Chesapeake Bay Program Office, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, Annapolis, Maryland.

Chesapeake Bay Program.   1992.  Chesapeake Bay  Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Habitat
Requirements and Restoration Targets: A Technical Synthesis. Chesapeake Bay Program Office, U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, Annapolis, Maryland.

Chesapeake Bay Program.   1994a.   Chesapeake  Bay Basinwide  Toxics Reduction Strategy
Reevaluation Report.  Chesapeake Bay Program Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Annapolis, Maryland.

Chesapeake Bay Program. 1994b. Chesapeake Bay Oyster Fishery Management Plan. Chesapeake
Bay Program Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Annapolis, Maryland.

Chesapeake Bay Program.  1995.  Guidance for Protecting Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in
Chesapeake Bay from Physical Disturbance. Chesapeake Bay Program Office, U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, Annapolis, Maryland.

Chesapeake Executive Council.  1990a.  Chesapeake Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Policy
Implementation Plan.  Chesapeake Bay Program Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Annapolis, Maryland.

Chesapeake Executive Council.  1990b.  Chesapeake Bay Wetlands Policy Implementation Plan.
Chesapeake Bay Program Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Annapolis, Maryland.

Chesapeake Executive Council. 1990c. Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Reef Habitat Plan. Chesapeake Bay
Program Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Annapolis, Maryland.

Cooper, R. A.  1966. Migration and population estimation of the tautog, Tautoga onitis (Linnaeus),
from Rhode Island. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 95: 239-247.

Cooper, R. A.  1967.  Age and growth of the tautog, Tautoga onitis (Linnaeus), from Rhode Island
Trans. Am. Fish. Soc., 96: 134-142.

Eklund, A.M. and T.E. Targett. 1991. Seasonality of fish catch rates and species composition from
the hard bottom trap fishery in the Middle Atlantic Bight (US East Coast). Fisheries Research 12:1 -22.

Feigenbaum, D. 1986. Fishfinder - Mid Atlantic (Reiger) Saltwater Sportsman. May: 160-161.

Feigenbaum, D. and C. Blair. 1986. Artificial Reef Study - Final Report.  Virginia Marine Resources
Commission. VMRC-83-1185-616,93 p.

Feigenbaum, D., Blair, C. and A.J. Provenzano.  1985. Artificial Reef Study - Year n Report. Virginia
Marine Resources Commission. VMRC-83-1185-616, 57 p.

Funderburk, S.I., S.J.  Jordan, J.A. Milhursky and D. Riley, (ed).   1991. Habitat Requirements for
Chesapeake Bay Living Resources. Second Ed.


Harding, JM and R. Mann. (In review). Fish species richness in relation to restored oyster reefs,
Piankatank River, Virginia. Bulletin of Marine Science.

Hinrichsen, D. 1990.  Coasts in Crisis. Earthscan, London. England.

Hildebrand, S. F. and W. C. Schroeder. 1927. Fishes of the Chesapeake Bay. U.S. Bureau of Fish,
XLffl(l): 1-366.

Hosteller, E. B. and T. A. Munroe.  1993. Age, growlh and reproduction of Tautog Tautoga onitis
(Labridae: Perciformes) from coastal waters of Virginia. Fish. Bull. U.S. 91:45-64.

Jesien, Romain.  Personal communication.  Horn Point Environmental Lab. MD trawl survey data.

Kemp, W.M., W.R. Boyton, R.R. Twilley, J.C. Stevenson and J.C. Means.  1983. The decline of
submerged vascular plants in Chesapeake Bay: A summary of resulls concerning possible causes.
Marine Tech. Soc. Journal 17: 78-89.

Lynch, T. R. 1990. Annual Progress Report. Marine Sport Fisheries Investigations - Taulog Studies,

Lynch, T. R. 1991. Annual Progress Report. Marine Sport Fisheries Investigations - Tautog Studies,
1990. Ref. Doc. TT-492.

Lynch, T. R. 1992. Annual Progress Report. Marine Sport Fisheries Investigations - Tautog Studies,
1991. Ref. Doc. TT-193.

MAFMC.  1993.  Report of the January 1993 Mid-Atlantic Council meeting. Mid-Atlantic Fisheries
Management Council, Dover, De. 14 p.

MAFMC.  1995. Fishery Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement For the Black
Sea Bass Fishery. Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, Dover, De.

MRFSS.  1979-1998. Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey, National  Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

Maryland Sea Grant College. 1994. Underwater Grasses Increase 85% Since 1984. Maryland Marine
Notes,  12:5.

Migdlaski, C. C.  and G. S. Fichter.  1976.  The fresh and salt water fishes of the world. Alfred A.
Knopf.  1976.

Moore, Kenneth A., Goodman, Jill L., Stevenson, J. Court, Murray, Laura, and Karen Sundberg. 1995.
Chesapeake Bay nutrients, light, and SAV:  relationships belween water quality and SAV growth in
field and mesocosm studies. Year 1 - Final Report. EPA Chesapeake Bay Program.


Annapolis, Maryland.  63 p.

Musick, J. A., J. A. Colvocoresses, and C. J. Foell.  1979. Historical community structure analysis of
finfishes. Bureau Land Man. A 550-CT6-62, Spec. Rep. Appl. Mar. Sci. Ocean. Eng. No. 198(10),
211 p.

Olla, B. L, A. J. Bejda, and A. D. Martin.  1974. Daily activity, movements, feeding, and seasonal
occurrence in the tautog, Tautoga onitis. U.S. Fish. Wildl. Serv., Fish. Bull. 72(1): 26-33.

Olla, B.I. and C. Samet. 1977. Courtship and spawning behavior of tautog. U.S. Fish. Wildl. Serv.,
Fish. Bull. 75(3): 585-599.

Olla, B. L, A. L. Studholme, A. J. Bejda, C. Samet, and A. D. Martin.  1978.  Effect of temperature
on activity and social behavior of the adult tautog, Tautoga onitis under laboratory conditions.  Mar.
Biol. (45), 369-378.

Reiger, G. 1985.  "The wrecking crews of Wachapreague" Saltwater Sportsman.

Sogard, S. M., K. W. Able and M. P. Fahay. 1992. Early life history of the tautog Tautoea onitis in
the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Fish Bulletin. 90(3):529-539.

Tiner, R.W., Jr. and J.T. Finn. 1986. Status and recent trends of wetlands in the mid-Atlantic states.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hadley, Ma and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region ffl,
Philadelphia, PA.  Cooperative publication.

Tiner, R.W.  1987. Mid-Atlantic wetlands. A disappearing natural treasure. U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service. Newton Corner, MA. 28 p.

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U.S. Deptartment of the Interior. Vol. 5, 340 p.

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White, Geoffrey G.  Personal communication. VIMS, January 1998.

                                 APPENDIX A
Blue Crab
1989- adopted
1993- reviewed
1997- revised
1999- review
Striped Bass
1989- adopted
1995- reviewed
1997- draft Amendment
Summer Flounder
1991- adopted
1996- reviewed
1997- Amendment #1
Weakfish/Spotted Seatrout
1990- adopted
1996- reviewed
1998- revise
Shad & Herring
1989- adopted
1995- reviewed
1998-Amendment #1
1999- revise
Every other year
1989- adopted
1993- reviewed
1994- revised
1998- review
Every other year
1995- reviewed
1997- reviewed
Every third year
American Eel
1996- reviewed
Every third year
Atlantic Croaker/Spot
1991- adopted
1995- reviewed
1998- review
Every third year
Black Drum
1993- adopted
1997- review
Every third year

Red Drum
Spanish/King Mackerel
Horseshoe Crabs
Black Sea Bass
1993- adopted
1997- review
1994- adopted
1998- review
1994- adopted
1998/1999 - review
1997 - adopted
Every third year
Every third year
Every third year
Every third year

                                      APPENDIX B

                              LAWS AND REGULATIONS

Limited entry:       Virginia's limited entry  program, effective in  1992, requires previously
                    unlicensed applicants to wait two years after registering with the respective
                    state agency before a license to harvest finfish with commercial fishing gears
                    will be issued. As of June, 1998, Maryland implemented new changes to its
                    limited entry program. The moratorium on commercial fishing licenses was
                    removed but the number  of tidal fish licenses will continue to be capped.
                    MDNR will set, by regulation, targets for the number of tidal fish licensees for
                    each fishing activity based on the number issued between September 1,1998
                    and March 31, 1999. The PRFC also has a moratorium on any new gill net,
                    pound net, or hook and line licenses.

Minimum size limit:  Virginia currently has a 14" minimum size for tautog effective April 1,1998.
                    A 14" minimum size was implemented on October 20, 1997, in Maryland.
                    PRFC 14" minimum size limit became effective on March 15,1998.
Creel limit:
Currently, there is a 10 fish possession limit in Virginia. Maryland has a 5 fish
limit for both the recreational and commercial fisheries. There currently is no
limit for the PRFC.
Harvest quotas:      Not in effect for Maryland, Virginia, or Potomac River.

By-catch restrictions: None in effect for Maryland, Virginia, or Potomac River.
Area restrictions:
No closed season for Maryland, or Potomac River. There is a closed season in
the recreational fishery in Virginia from  May  1 - June 30, annually. The
commercial fishery is closed annually from May 1 - August 31.
Maryland: purse seines, trawls, trammel nets, and monofilament gill nets are
prohibited (otter and beam trawls are legal on the Atlantic Coast at distances
of one mile or more offshore). Prohibition on gill netting in most areas of
Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries during the summer.

Virginia: trawling is prohibited in Chesapeake Bay and territorial sea.  It is
unlawful to set, place or fish a fixed fishing device of any type within three
hundred yards, in either direction, from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
Also, 28.1-52 and 28.1-53 of the Code of Virginia outline placement, total
length, and distance requirements for fishing structures.

Potomac River: current moratorium on any new gill net,  pound net, or hook


and line licenses. The use of a purse net, beam trawl, otter trawl or trammel net
is prohibited.  Length restrictions for various gear types exist. Gill nets are
restricted to a mesh size of 5 to 7 inches. Seasonal restrictions for gill net also

Tautog pots and traps: are required to have hinges and fasteners on one panel
or door made of one of the following degradable materials:
A) Untreated hemp, jute, or cotton string of 3/16" (4.80mm) or smaller;
B)  Magnesium alloy, timed  float releases (pop-up  devices)  or similar
magnesium alloy fasteners; or
C) Ungalvanized or uncoated iron wire of 0.09" (2.39mm) or smaller.

                                    APPENDIX C

                      GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND ACRONYMS

Anoxia:  No oxygen

ASMFC: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Benthos:  Community of organisms living on the bottom or burrowed in the sediment.

Bivalve:  Mollusk with two shells connected by a hinge (e.g. clams, oysters).

Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE): CPUE is an indicator of stock abundance or stock density. It is the
number or weight (biomass) of fish caught by an amount of effort. Effort is a combination of gear
type, gear size, and length of time a gear is used.  CPUE may be influenced by changes in abundance.
For example, higher CPUE may mean more tautog are available to be caught.

CBP: Chesapeake Bay Program

Demersal: Community of organisms living near the bottom.

Dermo: Perkinsus marinus, a pathogen that causes widespread mortality in oysters, though harmless
to humans.

Dimorphism:  The  state of having two distinct forms in the same species when the sexes differ in
secondary as well as primary sexual characteristics.

Diurnal: Occurring or active during the daytime rather than at night.

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): The area in the ocean 3-200 miles offshore. Often called "federal
waters," because  the U.S. federal government has exclusive  management authority over fisheries
resources (except for tuna) in this area. Formerly called the Fishery Conservation Zone.

Exploitation (u): The fraction of a population at a given time that is removed by fishing over the
course of a year. Exploitation may also be expressed as a percentage of the population.

Fmax: The level of fishing mortality (F) that maximizes the  yield per recruit. Fmax is one  of the
biological reference points used to define overfishing.

Fishery-dependent: Data obtained from commercial or recreational harvest.

Fishery-independent: Data collected from an independent survey rather than from commercial or


recreational harvest.

Fishing mortality (F):  A measure of the rate at which fish are removed from the population by the
fishing activities of man. If F is constant over time, harvest will be greater during times of high
abundance and less during times of low abundance.  Mortality rates can be expressed in terms of
instantaneous or annual mortality. Instantaneous rates are used extensively in fisheries management
for ease of comparing the relative importance of different sources of mortality. Annual mortality rates
can be easily converted to percentages, whereas, instantaneous rates cannot. Fishing mortality (F) is
expressed in terms of an instantaneous rate.

FMP: Fishery Management Plan

Gonadosomatic indices: The ratio of the weight of a fish's reproductive organs to its total weight;
used to indicate spawning period or spawning condition.

Growth overfishing: When fishing pressure on smaller fish/crabs is too heavy to allow the fishery
to produce its maximum poundage. Growth overfishing, by itself, does not affect the ability of a fish
population to replace itself.

Histological (histology): Referring to the production of microscope slides to analyze tissue at the
cellular level.  In many cases, refers to analysis of development within reproductive tissue.

Hypoxia: Low oxygen.

Mandibular:  Referring to the lower jaw.

Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY): The largest average catch or yield that can continuously be
taken from a stock under existing environmental conditions. MSY should be used cautiously, as an
over-estimate of MSY can lead to overfishing.

MDNR:  Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Mean batch fecundity: Average number of eggs released in one spawning event, or one DAY of
spawning if that day is broken into numerous spawning events. This is usually dependant on size, and
classified by length groups.

MRFSS: Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey.

MSX: Haplosporidium nelsoni, a pathogen that causes widespread mortality in oysters, though
harmless to humans.

Natural mortality (M): A measure of the rate of mortality over time due to natural causes (predation,
disease, etc.). Does not include mortality due to fishing effort. See also, total mortality.


NMFS: National Marine Fisheries Service.

Nocturnal:  Active at night.

Pharyngeal apparatus: For tautog, the region of the throat which contains crushing plates (one on
floor of throat, two on roof) used to break up food prior to swallowing. There is a maximum food size
that can fit in between these plates to be crushed and ingested.

Plankton:  Small or microscopic algae and organisms associated with surface water and the water

Post-release mortality: Death that occurs some time after a fish has been caught and released (in this
context, similar to catch and release mortality). Post-release mortality could also refer to mortality
after stocking efforts.

ppt: Parts per thousand.

PFRC: Potomac River Fisheries Commission

Recruitment:  A measure of the number of fish entering a class during  some period of time.
Recruitment may be to a spawning class, age class, or size class.

Recruitment overfishing:  The rate of fishing above which recruitment to the fishable stock is
reduced. Recruitment overfishing is characterized by a reduced spawning stock and generally very low
production of young year after year.

SAV:  Submerged Aquatic Vegetation.  Also called grass beds.

Spawning stock: All females that  survive natural and fishing mortality to reproduce.

Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB): SSB is  the weight of all (mature) adult females in the population,
calculated as the number of individual females in each year-class times the percent that are mature
times their average weight (The total weight of female fish in a stock that are old enough to spawn).

Stock:  A grouping  of fish  usually based on genetic relationship, geographic distribution and
movement patterns. A region may have more than one stock of a species.

Supraorbital: The region directly  above the eye.

Total mortality (Z):  A measure of the rate of mortality over time due to natural causes and removal
by the fishery.   Natural mortality plus fishing mortality, equals total mortality (M+F=Z).  The
measurement is an instantaneous rate and is calculated as the natural log of the ratio of the number of


deaths in a given time to the total number of fish alive during that time.

VSWFT: Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

Virtual Population Analysis (VPA):  Utilizes catches from a given year class and fishing mortality
rate to back-calculate the total number of fish that were alive before removal by the fishery.

VMRC:  Virginia Marine Resources Commission

Yield-per-recruit (YPR): The theoretical yield that would be expected from a group of fish of one
year class if harvested at a constant and specified level over the lifespan of the fish.

                                  APPENDIX D


The 1998 Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Coast Tautog Fishery Management Plan was developed
under the direction of the Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) Workgroup, of the Living Resources
Subcommittee, Chesapeake Bay Program. Habitat recommendations were developed by the
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Workgroup, Aquatic Reef Habitat Workgroup, and the
Habitat Objectives/Restoration Workgroup, all of the Living Resources Subcommittee.

FMP Workgroup Members

Robert Bachman - Co-Chair - Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)
Jack Travelstead - Co-Chair, Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC)
Nancy Butowski, Assistant Chair - MD DNR

Dave Blazer - Chesapeake Bay Commission
Ernie Bowden - VMRC Finfish Subcommittee
K. A. Carpenter - Potomac River Fisheries Commission
Ellen Cosby - VMRC
James Drummond - Citizen Representative
Jeffrey S. Eutsler - MD Waterman
William Goldsborough - Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Anne Henderson-Arzapalo - Leetown Science Center
Rick Hoopes - Pennsylvania  Fish & Boat Commission
Edward Houde - Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
Roman Jesien - University of MD, Horn Point Environmental Laboratory
Ron Klauda - MDNR
Andrew Loftus - Citizen's Advisory Committee
David Martin - MD Seafood Dealer
Robert Murphy - Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Richard Novotny - MD Saltwater Sportsmen's Association
Ed O'Brien - MD Charterboat Association
Derek Orner - National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Ira Palmer - District of Columbia, DCRA
Larry Simns - MD Watermen's Association
Jorgen Skjeveland - US Fish  & Wildlife Service
Lt. Col. Thomas Turner - MD DNR-Police
Lyle Varnell - Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Staff to the Workgroup
Beverly Sauls - MDNR            David Boyd - VMRC       Mike Barnette - VMRC