903R95007  CBP/TRS 132/95
                             February 1995
      Chesapeake Bay
        Striped Bass
Fishery Management Plan
                       A J Lippson
     Annual Progress Report
    Chesapeake Bay Program
                        Printed on Recycled Paper •

                 Chesapeake Bay
                   Striped Bass
            Fishery Management Plan

          Annual Progress Report 1994
             A Commitment Progress Report
         from the Living Resources Subcommittee
Printed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the Chesapeake Bay Program

                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

List of Tables and Figures	     i

Introduction	:	     1

Background	•	     1

Stock Status	     3

Fishery Dependent Monitoring	.....	     4
     Maryland	;	••••••     4
     Virginia	     7
     Potomac River	   10
     District of Columbia	   11

Stock Monitoring	   12
     Maryland	   12
     Virginia	.	   16
     District of Columbia	   18
     Cooperative Baywide Tagging Mortality Study	   19

Enforcement Program	   19
     Maryland	   19
     Potomac River	   20
     District of Columbia	   20

Water Quality and Habitat Issues	   20

Conclusion	*	   21

References	   30

Implementation Plan	 . .	   32

                    LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES

1.  Harvest of striped bass from Maryland by fishing year
    and fishery (pounds)	   22
2.  Harvest of striped bass from Virginia by fishing year
    and fishery (pounds)	   22
3.  Harvest of striped bass from the Potomac River by
    fishing year and fishery  (pounds)	   22
4.  Summary of the estimated striped bass losses from the
    Maryland fisheries during the 1993/1994 season due to
    illegal fishing, hook and release mortality, and
    bycatch	   23
5.  Annual striped bass juvenile indices from Maryland and
    Virginia, 1980-1994.....	   24
6.  Summary of hatchery striped bass recovered during
    Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment surveys and
    the coastal tagging survey, September - May 1993	   25


1.  Coastwide female striped bass spawning stock biomass
    (SSB)	   26
2.  Length-frequency distributions of commercial pound net
    catches from Fall 1970,  Fall 1992,  and Fall 1993	   27
3.  Age-frequency distributions of commercial drift gill
    net catches,  Winter 1981-82, Winter 1992-93, and Winter
    1993-94		   28
4.  Length-frequency distributions of Maryland's
    recreational harvest in 1979-1980,  1992,  and 1993	   29


     Protection of the striped bass (Morone saxatilisl resource has
been guided by mandatory coastwide management under the auspices of
the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) since 1984.
A Chesapeake Bay fishery management plan (FMP) for striped bass was
developed and  adopted in  1989 as part of the 1987 Chesapeake Bay
Agreement to address  specific Chesapeake Bay issues  and  implement
ASMFC    recommendations.    As    a    result    of    coordinated,
interjurisdictional management  efforts,  the coastal  striped  bass
stock has been declared restored to historic levels  as of January
1, 1995.  This  assessment is based on a  projected spawning  stock
biomass of mature Chesapeake Bay females exceeding the historical
high average (calculated for 1960-1972, ASMFC 1994).  In  addition,
estimated fishing mortality  rates have been below current target
levels  (F=0.25); juvenile  recruitment has been  excellent;  and.
catch-per-unit-of-effort (CPUE) has been steadily increasing.

      Since management plans  need to  be  adaptive and flexible  to
respond to the changing status of a particular resource, each FMP
is reviewed annually. The review provides a format for evaluating
the  progress  of  a  plan,  updating  management  measures,   and
incorporating new research information. The Striped Bass FMP  has
been reviewed in reports in 1991,  1992, and  1993. The Striped  Bass
FMP was also reviewed by an independent fisheries management  plan
re-assessment  task  force  during  1993   (Report to the  Living
Resources Subcommittee, July, 1993). The Task Force concluded  that
the  Bay  jurisdictions  were  in compliance  with   the  FMP   and
recommended  that  several  actions  be  reevaluated.   The FMP  is
scheduled for  a  substantive  review and revision in  August 1995.
Another Chesapeake Bay committee, the Fisheries Target Setting  Task
Force, will  be developing specific targets for  the  striped  bass
resource. The targets will follow ASMFC guidelines and compliance
requirements and will be  included in either a revised  FMP  or  an
amendment to the plan.

     The following report is an overview of the background, fishery
dependent and  independent monitoring  of  the fisheries, research,
regulations, and enforcement of  the  1989  Striped Bass FMP during
1993/1994. .For specific information  on the plan,  refer to the  1989
Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Management Plan.


     Striped bass are one of the most sought after commercial and
recreational finfish in the Chesapeake Bay.  Beginning in the mid-'
1970's,  their abundance,  especially  in the Chesapeake Bay began to
decline,   primarily due  to  overfishing.     In   1981,  the  ASMFC
developed a coastwide management plan for  striped bass.  Although
the ASMFC recommended management strategies,  they  lacked regulatory
authority.  As a result,  states were at their own  discretion to

implement   recommendations.   Stock  abundance   and  recruitment
continued to decline. Amendments were developed recommending more
stringent  controls on  the harvest  of  striped  bass.  Management
measures were  aimed at protecting  the  1982 and following year-
classes until females could spawn at least once. States along the
Atlantic   coast   from  Maine  to   Virginia   began  implementing
restrictions on  the harvest of  striped bass.  In  1984,  Congress
passed legislation providing federal authority  to close striped
bass  fisheries  in those states  which did not  comply  with ASMFC
recommendations. In the Chesapeake Bay region, Maryland enacted a
moratorium on striped bass fishing on January 1,  1985 and Virginia
enacted size limits and seasonal restrictions.  Four years later the
Potomac River and Virginia fisheries were closed.

     As  states   along  the  coast   began  implementing  harvest
restrictions, striped bass  abundance began to improve. The criteria
for managing a fishery under a transitional regime were developed
in ASMFC Amendment #3. The Maryland juvenile index was selected for
monitoring  recruitment   and  as  a  trigger   for  beginning  a
transitional fishery. The  transitional management regime specified
a target fishing rate (F) of 0.25 or approximately 20% of the legal
size  fish  being  harvested.   The  Striped  Bass   Scientific  and
Statistics  Committee  agreed  that an F=0.25  would provide  a low
level of harvest while allowing the  stock to rebuild. In 1989, the
Maryland  juvenile  index  was the  highest value since  1970  and
triggered the beginning of a transitional  management regime.  The
ASMFC  established measures  to control  fishing along the  coast
through  combinations  of size  limits, seasons and creel limits.
Monitoring   fishing  levels   and  implementing   research .  were
accomplished through state  programs  approved  by  ASMFC. In  the
Chesapeake region,  limited recreational and  commercial fisheries
were reopened for the 1990/1991 season.

     In October 1989, ASMFC adopted Amendment #4  which provided for
changes in management regulations and monitoring programs based on
stock  status..   Amendment  #4  addressed  the  following  issues:
procedures for  making changes to state regulations;  requirements of
state monitoring programs; calculation of juvenile  indices (change
to geometric mean  instead  of the arithmetic mean to reduce index
variability  and  increase  the  reliability  of  estimating  annual
harvest quotas); mandatory minimum sizes;  and,  the Delaware River
as a producer area.  During 1992,  ASMFC  concluded that the states
had implemented management  measures which kept fishing mortality at
the  level  specified  in   Amendment #4.  Additional  changes  to
Amendment #4 were adopted in May 1993. It provided for a year-round
coastal recreational fishery  at a minimum length  of 34" or larger,
and scaled seasonal closures for minimum  lengths between 28" and
34". Language was also added to ensure that producer areas maintain
a fishing mortality rate at or below F=0.25.

     With the striped bass resource declared recovered, Amendment
#5 is being developed to consolidate the  procedures  and programs of

Amendment  #4  and eliminate  the  management measures  no  longer
considered  appropriate.  The goal  of Amendment  #5  is to provide
management  guidelines for  the  long-term maintenance  of a  self-
sustaining  spawning  stock  and provide  for the restoration  and
maintenance  of critical  habitats. It will include  a  model  for
estimating spawning stock biomass  (SSB) in the Chesapeake Bay which
has  been used to  define stock recovery  and evaluate management
regimes.  Amendment  #5  will  be considered an  interim strategy
between  the transitional  fishing guidelines at F=0.25 and a  fully
restored fishery at  F=0.50.

                           STOCK STATUS

     In  Nay,   1994,  the  ASMFC  striped  bass board  declared  the
striped  bass  stock restored to historic  levels  as  of January 1,
1995.  This  declaration   was  based  on the results  of a   stock
simulation model of  coastal female SSB (Rugolo et al. 1994).  The
average historical spawning stock biomass  calculated  for  1960-1972
has been adopted as  a reference level and used as a definition of
recovery (Figure l) . An  index of stock biomass developed from  the
Maryland spring  spawning stock CPUE data  is strongly correlated
with the SSB  model  (Hornick et al.  1994) . In  the  last several
years, there  has  been approximately a five-fold increase  in  the
abundance of spawning female striped bass in the Maryland portion
of the Chesapeake Bay.  Maryland  studies  have  also  indicated a
progressive increase in overall stock size with the number of  year-
classes  reaching levels comparable to the mid- 1970s.

     Since   the   Hudson   and   Chesapeake  stocks   contribute
significantly  to  the coastal migratory  stock,  their  status  has
traditionally  been used  to  indicate  the status  of  the Atlantic
coast  stock.  More  recently, contributions  from  the  Delaware  and
Albemarle/Roanoke  areas   have  been  acknowledged.  Tag-recapture
studies from the Maryland Chesapeake  stock indicate that  mortality
rates have been at or below  the transitional target of F=0.25. The
most recent estimate of fishing mortality from the Chesapeake Bay
(MD and VA,  combined) was F=0.09 (ASMFC 1994) . Data from the Hudson
River indicates that fishing mortality  is  below the target rate of
0.25. Preliminary  data from Delaware also suggest that  mortality
rates are below target levels.

     Overall  recruitment and  CPUE data  indicate that  Atlantic
striped  bass  stocks continued  to grow  during  1993 and   1994.
Recruitment levels for striped bass  were  excellent  all along the
Atlantic coast during 1993, with  record  or near-record juvenile
indices  from  all  major   producer  areas.  The  Maryland  juvenile
striped  bass  survey,   conducted  since   1954,   has  been  used
intensively as an indicator  of stock  status not  only for the
Chesapeake Bay but for the  Atlantic  coast.  In  1993,  the Maryland
juvenile index arithmetic mean was 39.8  (13.9  geometric mean), a
value  significantly  higher  than  30 of  36 previous years.  In

Virginia,  an adjusted  overall geometric  mean is  calculated to
measure relative juvenile abundance. The Virginia juvenile index in
1993 was 18.1, the highest value over a 21 year sampling period and
was three and half times the overall average index of  5.3  (Austin
et al. 1993a). The 1989 supplement to the ASMFC Striped Bass  plan
recommended the development of a baywide juvenile index. Year-to-
year  variability  within each  river  system make it  difficult to
determine a baywide index. There is also a problem with the  lack of
a baywide data set to statistically validate a juvenile index. In
a few more years, the Maryland experimental gill net and Virginia
pound net monitoring data may provide a data set of sufficient  time
duration to use for validation. A baywide juvenile index should be
pursued since Virginia waters account for approximately 30% of the
Chesapeake Bay stock (Austin et al. 1993b).

     The CPUE data  from different  areas along the Atlantic coast
suggest that  there has  been  an increase in relative abundance, a
trend that has been  occurring  over the last five years.  The  mean
CPUE from the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey  (MRFSS)
has been  increasing, since  1989.  During  1993,  approximately  5.6
million   fish were  caught  by recreational anglers,  the  highest
recorded value since the survey started in 1979.


     Monitoring the commercial and  recreational harvest of  striped
bass and sampling the catch for age,  size and sex composition  are
essential to  meeting management needs.   Data  from commercial  and
recreational   landings   are  important   for   assessing    harvest
distribution  among  user  groups,   identifying  and/or  revising
existing management  recommendations, and  substantiating  fishing
mortality  rates  derived  from  fishery  independent  monitoring
programs for each jurisdiction during 1993-1994.  A comparison of
striped  bass harvested  by  fishing  year, type  of  fishery,   and
jurisdiction-can be found in Tables 1-3.


     Maryland Department of Natural  Resources  (MDNR)  developed a
harvest control model (Rugolo and Jones 1989)  to manage a  limited
striped bass fishery and control fishing mortality at 18% to 20% of
the stock.  The quota based system has been in effect since 1990.
The total fall 1993 to winter  1994 quota for resident premigratory
striped bass  for  all user  groups combined was 2,097,715 pounds.
This was an  increase from the  1992-93  quota  of 1,636,000 pounds.
The quota was allocated as  follows: recreational fishery,  891,529
pounds  (42.5%); commercial  fishery,  891,529 pounds  (42.5%);   and
charterboat  fishery,  314,657  pounds  (15%).   The Atlantic Coast
commercial quota remained at 25,000  pounds.   Quotas remained  the
same for the 1994/1995 fishing year.

Spring Recreational  Fishery
     The spring recreational striped bass fishery was open from May
1  through  May 31, 1993 and  limited to 3,000 fish.   Recreational
anglers wishing to participate in  this fishery were required to
possess a  valid striped bass fishing permit  unless fishing from a
charterboat.   During this time period the following  restrictions
were   in   effect:   a   36   inch   minimum   size   limit;   a   1
fish/angler/season creel  limit;  area closures to protect  fish on
spawning grounds; mandatory  tagging and  reporting  of  kept  striped
bass  at  designated  check-in stations; prohibition of  gaffs  and
natural bait;  and prohibition of possession  of  striped  bass while
on  the water between 8 p.m.  and 5  a.m.   MDNR monitored harvest,
biological characteristics  of  the   landings, and  fishing  effort
through   telephone  surveys,   check-in  station   reports,   and
charterboat  logbooks.  The total estimated harvest of  2,719  fish
(61,640 pounds) was based  on  estimates from the recreational (2,116
fish) and  charterboat (603  fish)  fisheries.  A total  of  34,910
permits were issued  by May  31, 1993 compared to 31,937 in  1992.
Check station results indicate that  661 fish were checked in during
the 1993 spring season.   These ranged from 36 to 55 inches TL and
15 to 52 pounds.  The average length and weight were  39 inches TL
and 23 pounds, respectively.   Based  on  length-at-age calculations,
it appears that the spring 1993 harvest was primarily 8-10 year-old
fish with  7  to 21+ year-old  fish present.

     The 1994 spring  trophy fishery followed 1993 restrictions with
only minor changes.  The  cap for 1994 increased to  5,000 fish and
the   creel   limit   was   set  at   1   fish/angler/day   and   3
fish/angler/season  for   private  boat  fishermen.     Charterboat
fishermen were allowed to catch 1 fish/day throughout the  season.
Mandatory tagging, reporting and charterboat  logbooks  continued to
be required in 1994.   Fishing effort continued to increase  in  1994
with 42,773 permits being  sold.  Total estimated  harvest  is  not yet
available  for the 1994 spring season.

Fall Recreational Fishery
     The fall  1993 recreational season in the  Bay was  open  from
October 1  through November  21,  1993.    Restrictions  included:  a
minimum size of  18  inches,  a  one fish/angler/day  creel limit;  a
special striped bass  fishing  permit; fishing  during  daylight hours
only;  and   a  gaff  prohibition.     Maryland's  Atlantic  coast
recreational season was open  from July 15 through November 30,  1993
and  was  not  included  in the Bay  quota but had  the  following
restrictions:  a creel  limit  of 1 fish/angler/day  with  a minimum
size of 28 inches TL.   A total of  146,821  fishing permits were
issued prior to closure of the season.   This was an increase  from
the 136,182 permits issued in 1992,  indicating that  fishing effort
increased.    Recreational  harvest estimates were based on access-
intercept  and  telephone   surveys.    A  total  estimate of 649,018
pounds (113,810 fish)  or  73%  of the recreational  Bay  quota was
harvested in 1993.  Catches from private boats averaged 24.8 inches
TL and 5.8  pounds. The catch was comprised primarily of 4-7 year-

old  fish  with fish 3-11 years old  being represented.  The  total
number of legal and sublegal striped bass released was  56,182  and
396,385 fish, respectively.

     Seven  days were  added to  the Chesapeake  Bay  recreational
season in 1994 extending it from September 24  through November  22.
Fishing effort continued to increase in 1994.  Preliminary results
indicate  166,471  permits  were  sold  when  the  fishery  closed.
Preliminary harvest estimates range from 631,739  to 650,699 pounds
for  the  Chesapeake Bay  recreational  season  (MDNR data).   These
estimates are based on new methods  using tag return data.   MRFSS
estimates  for  the Chesapeake  Bay and Atlantic  Coast  will  be
available early 1995.

Charterboat Fishery
     Regulations for the 1993 charterboat fishery were the same as
the  recreational  fishery  except  that  the  creel  limit was 2
fish/angler/day,  and  charterboat  anglers were  not  required  to
obtain a striped bass fishing permit. Charterboat captains wishing
to participate in the charterboat fishery were required  to declare
their intent.  Mandatory logbooks were issued to each captain  and
were used to determine harvest.  The total estimated  1993 harvest
was 349,531 pounds (57,960  fish) which was 11%  over the charterboat
quota.  Average weight  was  5.9 pounds.   The total  number  of striped
bass released from charterboats was 34,093.

     The 1994 charterboat fishery followed regulations for  the 1993
fishery.  Preliminary logbook estimates for 1994, indicate 57,965
fish  (296,201  pounds)  were harvested.   Average weight  was  5.1
pounds.  Logbooks also reported 91,288  striped bass were released.
Final logbook  estimates  will be available in 1995.   Preliminary
estimates for  the  1994 charterboat fishery,  based on tag return
data, indicate 482,098 pounds were harvested  (MDNR data).

Commercial Fishery
     The Chesapeake  Bay  and Atlantic  coast  1993-1994  commercial
fishery were regulated under a•quota'system.   License holders were
required to declare their intent  to  fish and state which gear type
they would use.  The Chesapeake Bay commercial quota was allocated
according to  gear  type with drift  gill nets being  assigned  73%
(650,817 Ibs.), pound net and haul seine, 25% (222,882  Ibs.),  and
hook and line, 2%  (17,850 Ibs.).   The pound net/haul seine season
was  September  15  through  November  12,  1993,  and hook and  line
season was November 15 through December  7,  1993.   The drift gill
net fishery was split  into  three components: 1) December 1 through
December  17,  1993; 2)  January  3  through January  17,  1994  and
January 24  through January 26,  1994;  and 3)  February  1  through
February  14,  1994  and  February  21,   1994.    Daily   quotas  were
determined and  used  to  distribute  harvest.   The  Atlantic   coast
quota was not allocated according to gear type  but was available to
both drift gill netters and otter trawlers between December 1, 1993
and  February  28,   1994  until  individual  quotas  were met.     The

minimum  size was  18 and  28  inches  for  the Chesapeake  Bay and
Atlantic coast,  respectively  and each landed striped bass had to
have  been  tagged and  checked-in at  a  designated check station.
Daily  and  weekly  check  station  reports  were  the  basis  for
determining the commercial harvest.   The total 1993-94  Chesapeake
Bay  commercial  harvest was  858,622  pounds  or  96% of  the total
Chesapeake Bay  quota.   Harvest by  gear type included:  pound net
(181,215 Ibs,);  haul seine,  (22,156 Ibs.); hook and  line, (8,188
Ibs.); and  drift gill net,  (647,063 Ibs.).  The total Atlantic
coast harvest  was 4,065  pounds or  16.3%  of the Atlantic coast
quota.  The total Maryland commercial harvest was 862,687 pounds or
94%  of  the state-wide quota  of 917,500 pounds.   In  addition to
monitoring landings,  the commercial fishery was randomly  sampled to
obtain biological data.  A total of  3,746 fish were sampled during
the  pound  net  season.   The  mean total length  for this sampling
period was 20.7  inches.  During the Chesapeake Bay gill net season,.
the  commercial  catch was  subsampled at randomly selected check
stations.   The mean total length  for  this sampling period was
approximately 22.0 inches  and age 5  (1989  year-class)  fish were
most abundant in all areas sampled.   Biological monitoring of the
commercial  hook and line  fishery was  not conducted due  to the
patchy nature of fishing activity, and the small individual quotas.

     Restrictions for the 1994/1995  commercial striped bass season
are  identical  to the  1993/1994 season except  for minor season
changes.  The pound  net/haul seine  season  was  August 29 through
November 11, 1994; and hook and line season  was November  23 through
November 30,  1994.   Preliminary harvest  results from the  1994
commercial season  include:  237,308 pounds  (95%  of quota),  pound
net/haul seine fishery; and 46,954 pounds (263% of quota), hook and
line fishery.

Non-directed Mortality
     Striped bass losses due  to bycatch and illegal harvest were
calculated in order to  estimate  sources  of non-directed  mortality.
Specifically, MDNR estimated  losses  from 1)  the recreational and
charterboat fisheries;  .2)  the commercial striped bass  fisheries;
and  3)  the commercial  white  perch and American  shad  fisheries.
Overall, estimated losses due to bycatch and poaching activities in
Maryland's 1993-94 fishing season ranged between  97,217 and 240,734
striped bass (Table 4) .  A  complete description of  the assumptions
and calculations for  each fishery can be found in the Maryland DNR
monitoring report (MDNR 1994).  Estimates of non-directed striped
bass  losses during  the  1994/1995   fishing  season are not  yet

Recreational Fishery
     For the first time since 1990, Virginia's recreational fishery
was  strictly  a  weekend  fishery  (Thursday  -  Sunday).    The

recreational fishing season, including charterboats, was October 28
through  December 19,  1993.    No quota was  established  for the
recreational  fishery.    Daily creel  limits  were  2 fish/angler.
Minimum size limits were  18 inches and 28 inches for the Chesapeake
Bay and Atlantic Coast, respectively.  A maximum size limit of 36
inches was in effect for  all areas but recreational  fishermen were
allowed to keep one fish 48 inches or larger as part of their two
fish creel limit.

     Virginia relied exclusively on the National Marine Fisheries
Service  (NMFS) MRFSS for recreational catch estimates.  Estimates
are  calculated  using  access-intercept  (catch  estimates)  and
telephone surveys (trip estimates).   In  1993, the MRFSS instituted
new  procedures  for estimating  trips.    Because  trend  data  is
important  in  fishery  management,  1993  catch  estimates  were
calculated using both the "old"  and "new" method,  however, the
"new" estimates  are more accurate.   The MRFSS hopes  to provide
"new" estimates for 1990-1993 by the end of 1994.

     "Old"  and   "new"   methods   produced  recreational  harvest
estimates of  76,540 and 67,127  striped bass, respectively.   An
average  fish weight of 6.5 pounds  was calculated  using the "old"
method.   An estimated 495,450 pounds were harvested during the 1993
recreational fishery.

     Restrictions for Virginia's  1994 fishery were  similar to 1993
except:   1) no maximum size limits;  2)  the season  was adjusted to
October 27 through December 18, 1994,  to fit the Thursday  - Sunday
schedule; and 3)  the Atlantic Coast season was extended, December
19, 1994 through  March 31, 1995, with a 1 fish/day/person creel and
28  inch  minimum  size   limit.    MRFSS estimates  for  the  1994
recreational fishery will not be available until early 1995.

Charterboat Fishery
     A total of 167 permits were  issued  to charterboat captains in
1993.  Of these,  only  54.5% actually fished.   The estimated 1993
charterboat harvest,  from captain's  reports,  was  4,663 striped
bass.  A total o'f  1,773  striped  bass were measured and a length-
frequency distribution was estimated  for  the  entire recreational
fishery harvest.   Striped bass 20 to 25 inches TL accounted for 42%
of the recreational harvest.

     Virginia's  1994 charterboat  fishery followed recreational
fishery  restrictions.    Harvest  estimates for  1994 will  not  be
available until 1995.

Commercial Fishery
     Virginia's 1993 commercial striped bass season was split into
two fishing periods to accommodate fishermen and the temporal and
spatial  distribution  of striped  bass  and  gear  type   used  in
harvesting.   The  first period was  open  March  1 through March 31,
1993, for fyke nets only. The second period was open to all other


gear  types (gill  net,  pound net  and haul  seine),  September  15
through December 31, 1993.

     A commercial  harvest quota of 211,000 pounds, which has been
in effect since 1990, was set for 1993.  During each fishing period
a limited  entry system, in combination  with the mandatory fish-
tagging program, allowed the quota to be distributed by gear type
as follows: gill net (147,700 pounds); pound net  (52,750 pounds);
haul seine (6,330 pounds);  and fyke net  (4,220  pounds).  Fishermen
were  allowed  to  fish   one  gear type,  except during  the second
fishing period when hook and line could be used to supplement their
primary  gear  harvest.    Size  limits  were  the  same   as  the
recreational fishery except commercial fishermen were not  allowed
to harvest striped bass larger than 36 inches.

     All commercial fishermen and striped bass buyers  (first sale
from  harvester)  were required  to  obtain permits  from the VMRC.
First sale buyers  were  required to submit a final report of daily
purchases to the VMRC  one  week after the spring and fall  seasons
closed.  Daily  catch records were due one week after the spring
season and on a monthly basis for fall fishermen.  The commercial
harvest for 1993 was derived  from  written reports submitted from
harvesters and buyers and totaled 2,274 and 207,709 pounds  for the
spring and fall fishery, respectively.

     No biological data were collected during the spring fyke net
fishery.   During  the fall  fishery, VMRC  staff collected data on
length, weight, age, and sex composition.  The average length and
weight was 24.7  inches TL and 5.7 pounds,  respectively.  Length and
weight were similar to  1992 but slightly  larger than fish measured
in 1990 and 1991.   Fish aged 7+ comprised 15% of the 1992 and 1993
samples but only 2.5% in 1990  and 1991.   This increase in size and
age could be a result of fishermen selecting larger fish for market
or an increase  in number of older fish. Males accounted for 70% of
the fish sampled in 1990 through 1993.

     Virginia's 1994/1995  commercial fishery  had  minor  changes.
The fall season did not open until October 1 but the closure date
remained December 31,  1994.  The spring 1995 fishery will again be
open in March.   Seasonal quotas for each gear type were identical
to those in 1993.   However,  individual  tag allocations decreased
slightly due to  an  increase in the number  of fishermen and slightly
larger  fish  being  harvested.    Harvest  estimates  and  catch
characteristics   for    the   1994/1995   fishery  are   currently

Non-directed Mortality
     Data  to  estimate  non-directed  mortality  in  Virginia's
commercial fisheries are limited.   The  estimated illegal harvest
for 1993 is 225  striped  bass weighing 1,220 pounds.  This is based
on the  number  of  striped  bass that  the Virginia Marine  Police
confiscated in  1993,  and  is  a minimum  estimate.    Striped  bass

bycatch  occurs in  other commercial  fisheries but  is primarily
restricted to the winter and spring shad, white perch  and herring
gill net fisheries.  An estimate of bycatch mortality  in 1993 was
limited to Virginia's shad fishery with a total of 55,294 striped
bass weighing 237,738 pounds.   Non-directed striped bass mortality
estimates for 1994 are unavailable.

Recreational Fishery
     The 1993  Potomac  River recreational striped bass season was
scheduled for 29 days,  October 1 through 19 and November 5 through
14 with a 1 fish/person/day creel limit, a 18 inch minimum, and a
36 inch maximum size limit.  Due to very low harvest estimates, the
fishery was  extended 7 days  to November 24.  The  Potomac River
Fisheries Commission (PRFC)  has regulated the recreational fishery
since 1990 through a mandatory free fishing permit system.  A total
of 7,097  permits were issued  in 1993 which is  an  increase from
6,644 in 1992.   Efforts by the PRFC to increase permit return rates
continued in 1993 and appears to be somewhat  successful.  Although
the overall return  rate was slightly less  than last year, return
rates for renewal permittees was  63.5% compared with a 44% rate for
first-time permittees.   The  1993  estimated recreational harvest of
striped bass  from the Potomac River was 120,899  pounds (21,385
fish).  This estimate was  based upon  fisheries data collected from
returned 1993 permits as well  as  non-respondent data gathered from
a 1991 study.

     The 1994 Potomac River recreational fishery was September 30
through October 23,  1994 and November 4  through November 15, 1994.
Creel and size limits  were  unchanged from 1993,  but  the maximum
size  limit  was removed.   The number  of permits issued  in 1994
dropped slightly to 6,813.   The preliminary harvest estimate, with
53%% permits returned,  is 50,000 pounds.

charterboat Fishery
     The chartefboat season began on  October  8  in 1993  and was
scheduled to run until  November 7 or until the 22,860 pound cap was
reached.  Low catch estimates and numbers of charterboats operating
in the Potomac prompted the  PRFC to extend the season by one week.
Monitoring efforts  remained unchanged  from 1992  and consisted of
mandatory catch reports.  Logbooks  indicated 9,857  pounds (1,925
fish) were harvested by the charterboat fishery, which  was 43% of
their quota.

     The only  change  for the 1994  charterboat  fishery was the
season,  October 1 through November 6,  1994.   Preliminary harvest
was 6,000 pounds, as of December.

Commercial Fishery
     The 1993-1994 Potomac River commercial  fishery was identical


to  the 1992 cap  of 155,000  pounds.   Fishing  seasons and  quota
allocations were delineated according to gear type.  The commercial
seasons and quotas were: hook and line, Wednesdays  and Thursdays,
August 4 though September 3,  1993 (10,000 Ibs); pound  net, Monday
through Friday, August 23 through September 3,  1993 and October  4
through November 19, 1993 (35,000 Ibs); and gill  net,  November 29
through December  23, 1993  and  February 1 through  March 5,  1994
(110,000 Ibs).  Fishermen were required to tag  individual striped
bass prior to landing.  Reporting requirements  remained unchanged
from 1992 and was the basis  for  monitoring harvest.  Estimates for
the commercial harvest are:  hook and line, 7,380  pounds; pound net,
43,967 pounds; and gill net,  91,395 pounds for  a  total of 142,742
pounds (24,451 fish), 92% of  the quota.

     Seasons for 1994-1995  fishing  year included: hook and  line,
August  8  through  September  29,  1994  and  November  28  through.
December 23, 1994;  pound net,  August 22 through August 26, 1994 and
October 3  through  November 18,  1994; and gill net,  November 23
through December 23,  1994 and February  6 through March 10,  1995.
Estimates for  the  1994 fishery  are preliminary: hook and  line,
6,250  pounds;  pound  net,   28,861  pounds;  and  gill  net,  47,149

Non—directed Mortality
     Additional striped bass  losses  due  to  poaching and hook and
release   mortality   were    calculated    according   to   ASMFC
recommendations.  A 15% rate was used to calculate illegal harvest
and an 8% rate was  used to  calculate hook and release mortality.
During the  1993 fishing  season,  47,364  pounds  (9,629  fish) of
striped bass  were  lost  due  to  poaching  and  hook  and  release
mortality  (PRFC 1994).    Non-directed  mortality  estimates for
striped bass during 1994  are unavailable.


Recreational Fishery
     The recreational season extended from June 7 to November,  1993
with a minimum size  limit of  18  inches,  maximum size limit of 36
inches, and creel  limit  of  1  fish/angler/day.    The sale of
recreational catch was strictly prohibited.

     In 1993,  a total of  11,916 licenses  were  sold  to  anglers
fishing in the  District of Columbia.   Of these,  4,150 were sold to
District  of Columbia  residents  and  7,113   were  sold to  non-
residents.   In addition,  there were  653  short-term  licenses sold
for 14 day angling.

Commercial Fishery
     There is no commercial  season in the District of Columbia.

                         STOCK MONITORING

     In  addition to monitoring  the commercial  and recreational
harvest of striped bass, fishery independent monitoring is required
to evaluate stock status.   The essential  elements of a long-term
monitoring  program  include:  the annual  assessment  of  juvenile
abundance; spawning stock assessment; stock characterization (age
distribution, catch per unit effort  (CPUE), size distribution, and
sex ratios); stock identification, and tagging.


     The objectives of Maryland's stock assessment studies include
characterizing    and    monitoring     the    spawning    and
resident/premigratory stocks, assessing the relative abundance of
juvenile  striped bass,  determining the contribution of  hatchery
striped bass to  the population,  and participating in baywide and
coastal striped bass tagging studies.  The following is a summary
of  the  Striped  Bass  Stock  Assessment  Program   (SBSA)  during
1992/1993, the fall 1993 mortality  study  and preliminary results
from 1994.  Except for work completed in 1994,  details can be found
in Hornick et al. (1993).

Spawning Stock Survey
     Excessive fishing mortality on  Chesapeake Bay spawning stocks
during the 1970's and early 1980's reduced the number of spawners
and  diversity  in  age  and  size  of spawners  which  resulted  in
decreased reproductive potential.  Management actions were set in
the  1989  Chesapeake  Bay Striped  Bass  FMP (i.e. size limits and
fishing mortality rates) to allow a limited  fishery and provide
growth in the spawning stock.

     Maryland has monitored the striped bass spawning stock since
1982.  This survey enables biologists to examine how  actions set in
the ASFMC FMP and the Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass FMP have impacted
the  Chesapeake Bay  spawning stock.  In  1993 and 1994,  data was
collected from experimental  drift gill  nets  and commercial pound
nets on age,  size, sex  composition and relative abundance from the
Choptank River,  Potomac River,  and upper Bay.   Results  indicate
that the Chesapeake Bay spawning  stock  continues  to diversify in
age and size,  and increase  in abundance.

     The  number  of  year-classes  representing the  male  spawning
stock increased to ten in 1993.   In  1988, when the survey expanded
to include the Potomac River only five  year-classes were present.
The upper Bay male spawning stock was predominately composed of age
3, 4,  and 5 year-old striped  bass.  The age  composition  of the
Choptank  River  and  Potomac  River male spawning  stock was  more
evenly distributed between  2  and 8 year-old fish. Age 4 males were
the most  abundant cohort  in all sampling  areas,  indicating  good
recruitment by the strong 1989 year-class.


     The  number of year-classes  present in  the female  spawning
stock has more than doubled since  1988.  In 1993, striped bass 3 to
18 years  of age were  present.   The majority of these'fish  were
between 6 and 11 years old.

     The female component of the 1993 spawning stock was comprised
of more than  60%  age 8+  striped bass.   When  pooled with  male
striped bass,  the Baywide  percentage  of fish age 8+  was 15% in
1993.  In 1993, the ASMFC decided to use a spawning stock biomass
index (SSB)  of 56.22 as a target for a recovered fishery instead of
a percentage of age 8+ fish.   The SSB model calculated  that  this
level would be surpassed in 1995  (Figure 1).

     Data for the  1994 spawning stock survey are being  analyzed,
however, some results  are  available.   Note that sampling was not
conducted in the Potomac River in 1994.  The number of year-classes
in the  male  spawning  stock increased to twelve in  1994.   Age
distributions among sampling areas remained similar to 1993 and the
1989 year-class was again the most abundant.

     Striped bass  3 to 16  years-old  represented the 1994 female
spawning stock.  The majority of fish were between 5 and 11 years
of age.   Females  from  the  1986 and  1988  year-classes were  most
abundant in the upper Bay.  The 1985 year-class was most abundant
in the Choptank River.

     The percentage of  age 8+ fish continued to show improvement in
1994.  Females  age 8+  comprised over 70% of the female  component
and total baywide percentage of age 8+ fish increased to 19%.

Egg Presence-Absence Survey
     A field trial of presence-absence egg sampling was  conducted
during 1994 in  the Choptank and Nanticoke  Rivers.  These results
were contrasted with historic data to  investigate baywide spawning
biomass trends, develop criteria for  assessing whether  spawning
stock  was  at   a  self-sustaining  level,  and  evaluate  spawning
population recovery.   The  successful  1994 field trial  indicated
that  egg  present-absence   sampling  has  a place in  Maryland's
monitoring  of  striped  bass   spawning  stock.     The  ease  of
interpretating  egg presence-absence in  the  field allowed  for  a
preliminary assessment  of  spawning stock,  available  to managers
within  the  same timeframe  that recruitment  is assessed by the
juvenile survey.  Detailed  information .can be found in Uphoff Jr.

Juvenile Survey
     Maryland's 1993 striped bass juvenile survey produced a  bay-
wide arithmetic mean (AM)  of 39.8  and geometric mean (GM)  of 14.1.
This was a record value, significantly  higher  than all years since
1970, except for 1989, and significantly greater than the AM target
period average  (TPA) of 12.0.   The  TPA is  the average of indices
from 1959  through  1972  and has  been suggested  as  a  period of


general stock health (ASHFC 1989).   Of the four major spawning and
nursery areas sampled each produced record or near record values in
1993 (Table 5).  Sampling from auxiliary sites also produced record
results in 1993.

     Maryland's 1994 striped bass juvenile survey produced a bay-
wide AM of  16.1  and GM  of 6.4  (Table 5).   Of the  four major
spawning areas  sampled, each produced values well above the TPA,
except for the Potomac River.  Auxiliary sampling in 1994 continued
in the  upper Bay  and Patuxent River, and produced  above average
values.  Additional  auxiliary  sites were sampled in  the Wye and
Miles Rivers in 1994.  It appears these sites had good production
but their values still need to be compared to past data.

     The continued importance of the JI  survey is reflected in its
many uses.   The  JI is related to adult relative abundance, used as
a projection tool in the SSB  model to determine stock size and
health, and  used  in establishing  quotas  by  the  Harvest Control

Resident/Premigratory Stock Survey
     Maryland continued its fall and winter stock assessment and
commercial fishery monitoring  during the  1992-1993  fishing year.
Commercial pound nets were sampled in September and October, 1992
and commercial and experimental drift gill nets were sampled from
December,   1992  through February,  1993.  The objective  of  this
survey is to characterize the age,  size and relative abundance of
the resident/premigratory striped bass stock.

     Striped bass  from  the 1988 (age 5)  and 1989  (age 4)  year-
classes dominated both the pound net and gill net fisheries.  The
1990  (age   3)   and  1984  through   1987  (ages 6-9)   year-classes
comprised the remainder of  the harvest.   Striped bass older than
age 10  were not  encountered during sampling and were presumed to be
fully recruited to the coastal migratory stock.   Ages 4 through 7
have been the predominate age-classes targeted  in the fall pound
net and winter drift gill net fishery for the past three years.

     Mean lengths  of  the total catch from pound nets increased from
upper to lower  Bay  sampling areas.  This trend  was  also evident
during  fall  1991  pound net sampling and  coincides with  the age
differences observed between sampling areas.   Younger striped bass
were more abundant in upper and middle Bay samples.

     Since the re-opening  of the striped bass  fishery in 1990, the
commercial gill net  fishery has been sampled onboard commercial
watermen's  boats.    This  allowed  Maryland  biologists  to obtain
estimates of  abundance.   However,  these abundance  estimates are
dependent upon a number of factors,  including individual fishermen,
mesh sizes,  and  area fished, which resulted in  inconsistencies from
year  to year.    Abundance  estimates,  therefore,   characterize
commercial catch  and not the  resident  striped  bass  population.


Because  of  these problems,  CPUE  estimates will  no  longer  be
obtained  from the fishery and  characterization of the  1993-1994
commercial gill net catch will occur by sampling catches at check-
in stations.

     Only some of the results for the 1993-1994 fishing year  are
available.    Striped  bass  aged  2  (1992)   to  10  (1984)  were
represented  in the fall 1993 pound  net  samples.   The 1989 year-
class was most abundant and the majority of fish were between 3  and
8 years of age.   Average weights  for the upper, middle,  and lower
Bay are 3.9,  5.8  and  4.2 pounds,  respectively.

     A  total of  9 age classes  (ages  3-11)  were  represented  in
winter 1993-1994  gill net  samples.   Age 5 (1989 year-class) fish
were  most abundant  followed by  age  6  (1988  year-class) fish.
Check-in  station sampling was  divided into  Northern (above  Bay
Bridge),  Eastern  (Eastern shore  below Bay  Bridge),  and  Western
(Western shore below  Bay Bridge)  areas.   Mean lengths were: 22.0
inches TL, Northern;  22.8  inches  TL, Eastern; and 21.5 inches  TL,
Western.  Average weights  for the Eastern and Northern areas were
4.9 and 4.0 pounds, respectively.

     The effects  of  intensive management on striped bass  stocks
over the last 14  years are evident from Maryland's Chesapeake  Bay
resident population.   Length-frequencies and the  number  of  age
classes present  in Maryland's resident  population  has  increased
substantially  (Figure 2  &  3) .   Management measures  have also
dramatically altered Maryland's recreational harvest.  The presence
of a  wide range  of sizes  and age-classes has  allowed  selective
harvest  of  larger  striped  bass  not previously  available   in
Maryland's resident population (Figure 4).

     Maryland participated in the  Cooperative Coastal  Striped Bass
Tagging  Program  during the 1992/1993  and 1993/1994  sampling
seasons.   Fish  were  tagged  from the resident/premigratory  and
spawning  stock   in   the  Bay,    and  Maryland   biologists  also
participated  in  a tagging cruise off  the coast of Virginia  and
North Carolina.  These tagging studies provide valuable information
on stock movements and fishing mortality rates.

     During the  1992/1993  sampling  season a  total  of 2,998 (412
resident/premigratory and 2,586  spawning) striped bass were tagged
in the Chesapeake Bay  and  530 were  tagged  in the territorial  sea
south of Cape Henry,  VA.

     During the 1993/1994 sampling season,  in the Chesapeake Bay,
4,899 resident/premigratory fish were tagged  as part of a directed
mortality study   and  2,035  fish  were  tagged during the  spring
spawning survey.   During  the 1994 North Carolina  tagging cruise
4,632 fish were tagged.

gatcherv Fish Sampling
     Maryland  continued hatchery  production in  1993  to enhance
striped bass spawning stocks.  Hatchery fish are  implanted with  a
small  magnetically detectable  coded wire  tag  (CWT).    A major
component  of  Maryland's sampling  involved  scanning fish for the
presence   of  hatchery  implanted  CWT's  to  determine  hatchery
contribution to the population.

     A total of 11,206 striped bass were scanned  during  1992/1993
sampling  and  298  tested  CWT positive  (2.6%).    Separation by
sampling mode included:  4.3%, pound nets; 2.8%,  main bay gill nets;
1.0%, Choptank River gill nets; 2.0%, spring spawning stock survey;
and  0.1%,  juvenile survey  (Table 6).   During the 1993 coastal
tagging operation, 577 fish were scanned and 34 (5.9%) tested CWT

     During the  fall  1993  pound net  sampling  survey,  2,033 fish
were scanned and 74  (3.6%)  were  positive.   A total of 4,235 fish
were scanned  during 1993-1994 winter gill  net  sampling and 6.0%
were positive.   At the time of  Maryland's  1994 juvenile survey,
hatchery fish had  only  been stocked  in  the Nanticoke River.  The
juvenile  survey  crew  scanned  2,619 juveniles  throughout  the
Chesapeake  Bay,  517  from  the Nanticoke  River,  but  all scanned
negative.   Reduced stocking efforts  and abundant  1993  and 1994
year-classes have overwhelmed contributions from hatchery fish.  In
the  1994  spring spawning  survey  approximately  3,300  fish were
scanned and 106 (3.2%) tested positive.  Coastal  tagging results in
1994 are preliminary.  Approximately 1,500 fish were scanned and 59
(3.9%)  tested positive.

     Annual trends  in hatchery contribution are difficult  to detect
because no statistical  analyses  have  been  conducted.   It appears
that a increased percentage  of Chesapeake  Bay  hatchery fish have
migrated from the resident stock to the coastal stock.


The  following  is   a   review of   Virginia's  1993  striped  bass
monitoring programs for  1993.   Details can be  found in Virginia
Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) Striped Bass Report (1994).

Ichthvoplankton Monitoring Survey
     Management actions were implemented within  the  Chesapeake Bay
in  early  1985  in  order to reduce  fishing mortality rates  and
protect and  enhance  the  spawning stock.   Olney et al (1991),
recorded substantial increases in egg production and  spawning stock
size in  the latter part of the  1980's.   In 1989,  the  Virginia
Department of  Game and  Inland Fish  (VDGIF)  initiated  a  spring
electroshocking  survey  of  the  York  River  system.   An area  of
overlap existed  in the Pamunkey River where  ichthyoplankton and
electroshocking data collection occurred. Ideally, observations of


increased  egg production  in  the Pamunkey  should parallel  adult
catch rates.  However, electrofishing CPUE  during 1989-1993  found
an  increase  in  male but  not female  abundance  on  the'  spawning
grounds.   Mean annual CPUE  of females have  not corresponded to
biomass estimates based on the VIMS egg production model.  Because
an  increase  in  female  abundance  was expected  due  to harvest
restrictions, concerns about the validity of the data generated in
these  surveys has mounted.   Whether  assessment techniques have
accurately  reflected  trends  in female abundance is unknown.  All
resources  and effort  in 1994 were directed towards a  critical
analysis of historical data resulting from these two surveys  in the
York River  system during the five year period 1989-1993.

Spawning Stock Monitoring Survey
     VIMS Anadromous Fish Program has been monitoring the striped
bass spawning stock using experimental gill  nets and  pound nets on
the Rappahannock River since the early 1980's.  In 1993,  gill net
and pound net CPUE was greatest for males from the 1988 year-class
and females from the 1987 year-class.

     Since 1988,  the VDGIF, USFWS, VIMS, and VMRC have attempted to
enhance the Chesapeake Bay spawning stock  by  stocking hatchery-
reared fingerlings in  the  York River  system.   Personnel  from the
VDGIF and United  States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) collected
spawning  stock  data  while   electrofishing for   broodfish  from
February  to  June  of  1989-1992.     In 1993,  female  CPUE  was
substantially higher than those from 1989-1991.  Despite  problems
in locating large  (age 8 and older) females, the CPUE for older
females remained close to the 1992  record high value.  Most of the
observed decrease in female CPUE occurred in younger  age-classes.
This is probably related to the fact that young  females are always
abundant in the upper rivers.  Sampling efforts were  concentrated
downstream  because   large   females  were   concentrated  further
downstream  in 1993 where the majority of sampling occurred.

Juvenile Survey
     The striped bass juvenile index from the Virginia Chesapeake
Bay nursery areas in  1993  was  18.1  and was  the highest on record
(Table 5) .  Recruitment success in  the York  River drainage was the
highest for the entire time series with fish  being abundant in both
the Pamunkey and  Mattaponi  Rivers.   In 1993, both the  Chickahominy
and main  stem of  the  James and  produced  record values.    The
Rappahannock  River  produced  its  third highest  year-class  and
contributed to the record 1993 index.

     VIMS continued to sample auxiliary index stations in 1993 to
account for the annual variability in the center of young-of-the-
year abundance.   This annual  variability  makes  it  difficult  to
provide   an  accurate  state-wide   index   of   annual    juvenile
recruitment.   This  issue  was  addressed with  support  from the
Chesapeake  Bay Stock  Assessment  Committee  (CBSAC) and  in 1993  a
baywide index was developed from scaled, geometric means, weighted


by area of spawning ground in each producing river but has not yet
been approved by the ASMFC.

     VIMS also validated  the Virginia's juvenile index with CPUE
from a fishery-independent monitoring program.  The juvenile index
is related to subsequent year abundance of age  l  to age 3+ cohorts
in fall Rappahannock River pound net catches.

     A  total  of 42,165  wild striped  bass have  been  tagged and
released in the  James (17,730) and  Rappahannock Rivers (24,435)
since 1987.  The USFWS has reported  over 11,000 returns for both
rivers, combined.

     In fall 1992,  VIMS tagged and released 491 striped bass in.the
James River.  The  size  of the fish  ranged between 15.4 and 26.2
inches fork length  (FL)  with  50% between 15.8 and 19.7 inches FL.
The  1989  and 1990  year-rdasses  accounted  for 75% of  the total
tagged fish.

     In spring 1993, VIMS tagged and released 621 striped bass in
the Rappahannock River.   Tagged fish ranged between 22.2 and 44.1
inches  FL.   Male  striped bass between 21.7-23.6  inches  FL and
females 24.0-25.6  inches  FL  were  most abundant.   Catch-per-unit-
effort  (CPUE)  data was  also  collected  during  spring  tagging
operations.   Results  were   similar  to  data  collected  by  the
Anadromous Fish Program with  females from the 1987 and males from
the 1988 year-classes dominating the age composition.


     During 1993, the District of Columbia sampled for striped bass
with gill nets,  a bagless seine,  and an electroshocking boat on a
monthly basis at  seven  fixed sites  (Potomac River,  4;  Anacostia
River, 2; and Washington Channel, 1).   In addition, ichthyoplankton
surveys were conducted at these sites.  The study period extended
from the last week of February to the last week of December.

     Catch rates  indicate  the  maximum number of  fish were caught in
July.  The catch consisted primarily young-of-year fish.  Striped
bass were not found in the District  waters earlier than April or
later than November.

     Age analysis  of the  adult population shows  fish age  1 to 8
were present.   Age 1 fish were most abundant and the frequency of
older fish (age 2-8) gradually reduced.

     The 1993 young-of-year index for striped bass set a new record
for that area of the Chesapeake Bay.   The index was 7.02 with all
sites combined.   However,  if  only  sites where  young-of-year were
actually collected  are taken into consideration, the index rises to



     A total  of  eight striped bass were tagged with USFWS  anchor
tags.  No recaptures  were reported.


     The VMRC, PRFC, and MDNR implemented a baywide mark-recapture
program to  estimate the rate of exploitation  in the Bay arid  the
abundance of the resident,  premigratory stock over 18 inches.   The
study  was  conducted  prior  to  the  fall  1993  recreational,
charterboat, and commercial striped bass  season.  Reporting rate,
exploitation  rate, population abundance,  and  directed fishing
mortality  rate  were   estimated.    There  was  a  high  degree  of
variability associated with the reporting rate  (75%)  due  to  the
number of tags issued in each region of the Bay and the  number of
associated recoveries.  The rate of exploitation  (the fraction of
the  total population taken  as  catch)  by the  recreational  and
charterboat fisheries for the entire Bay was 0.05.  The  estimated
fishing mortality  rate due  to the recreational,  charterboat,  and
commercial fisheries was 0.09.  These rates are well  below the  F =
0.25 recommended by the ASMFC.  The estimated number of fish  in  the
baywide, resident  premigratory  striped bass  stock,  18 inches  and
larger, was 6.6 million.  The baywide estimate of stock  abundance
was 7.7 million  (Rugolo et al. 1994).

                       ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM


     Natural Resource  Police  (NRP) officers concentrated aggressive
enforcement efforts  on  areas of  heavy fishing  activity,  using
highly visible operations (patrol vessels,  cars, and aircrafts)  as
a deterrent during 1993 and  1994.   NRP  officers also  continued
soliciting active participation of the public, including fishermen,
to  report  fishing  violations by  calling a  toll free  "Catch a
Poacher" line.

     In 1993,  NRP police spent an average  of 2,914 hours  per month
enforcing striped bass regulations.  A total of  85,497 striped bass
checks were conducted resulting in  48.4 arrests  and  118 written
warnings.   Arrests and warnings were most frequently for untagged
fish, possession during the  closed  season, and fishing without a

     Preliminary results for  1994  indicate NRP officers spent  an
average of 2,255 hours per month enforcing striped bass regulations
through November.  To date,  86,748  striped bass  checks have been
conducted resulting  in 1,960  arrests  and 149 written  warnings.
Possession of  striped  bass during the closed season continues to be


a problem  throughout the year,  accounting for  1,650  arrests in
August.   Other enforcement  problems frequently  encountered are
untagged fish, undersized fish, and fishing without a license.


     Law enforcement in the Potomac  is done by  the cooperative
efforts  of Maryland NRP and  Virginia  Marine Patrol  officers.
Defendants  are  tried through  the  Maryland or  Virginia District
Court  systems  and statistics  on inspections, arrests,  etc. are
maintained by the respective agencies.

     Each boat fishing during the striped bass season is required
to have in  possession a  valid  permit.   Officers are requested to
initial the log sheet  on each permit at each boarding.   A  sport
fishing flyer is given with each  recreational  striped bass permit.
It includes information on season,  size, and creel limits for all
species in the Potomac River in addition to striped bass.


     The enforcement of fishing regulations is entrusted with the
District of Columbia Harbor Police who monitor angling activities
on a daily basis.   No infractions were reported in 1993.


     Restoring and improving habitat and water quality for living
resources  have  been priorities  of the Chesapeake  Bay  Program.
Actions towards fish passage, wetlands, monitoring,, toxics, exotic
species, submerged aquatic vegetation  (SAV),  nutrient reduction,
and  atmospheric  deposition  are being  implemented.   The  water
quality and habitat requirements for striped bass have been defined
and reported by Setzler-Hamilton and Hall in the document entitled:
Habitat  Requirements   for  Chesapeake  Bay   Living   Resources
(Funderburk et al. 1991).  To  date,  habitat sections within each
Chesapeake Bay FMP have been generic and similar  from plan to plan.
Both the Fisheries Management Plan Reassessment Task Force and the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation have  recommended strengthening the FMP
habitat actions and utilizing them for managing habitat.  There are
some inherent problems  in  moving from water  quality  and habitat
improvements to enhanced fish production.  The effects of habitat
alteration  and water quality  on fish populations are  generally
indirect,  gradual and unquantifiable  (Burns  1991).   Fish habitat
consists of  a wide  range  of  physical,  chemical and  biological
factors. Modifications of fish habitat can  vary along a geographic
range  or across  a temporal  spectrum  and present a  very complex
situation.   To add  another  level of complication, fish  can also
respond to their environment  by changes  in their behavior, growth,


reproduction,  and physiology.   The  FMP  Workgroup will  begin a
comprehensive review of habitat issues and how they relate to  fish
production during 1995.  The ultimate goal of this project will be
to develop habitat sections in the FMPs that  can  be utilized  as a
vehicle  for  encouraging and  justifying resource conservation by
those  agencies with regulatory  authority over  modifications to
terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (Carter, in prep).

     One of the goals of the ASMFC Amendment  #5, to the interstate
plan, is to provide for the restoration and maintenance of  critical
habitats  for  striped  bass.   In  order to accomplish this task,
critical habitats and  environmental  factors  that limit long-term
maintenance and productivity  must be identified and standards of
environmental  quality  adopted and promoted.   Amendment  #5  will
include a description of striped  bass spawning, nursery, and adult
resident habitats; narratives on the present status of  habitats and
impacts on the fisheries; and the identification  and distribution
of essential habitats.  The status of  habitats will include current
threats and effects  on the ability to harvest  and market.    Once
these parameters are  described by ASMFC, they can be applied to the
Chesapeake Bay region.   Each  state will  be required to implement
management measures  that  protect striped bass  habitat  so  that
existing  habitat  is preserved;  incompatible  activities  between
state  and  federal fishery  management agencies are  avoided;  and
historical habitat is restored, improved or enhanced.


     Coordinated,   interjurisdictional  management  efforts   have
restored coastal  striped bass stocks to  historic  levels (as of
January l,  1995).  This assessment is  based on a projected  spawning
stock  biomass  of  mature  Chesapeake Bay  females  exceeding  the
historical high average (calculated for 1960-1972,  ASMFC 1994). In
addition, estimated fishing mortality rates have been below current
target levels  (F=0.25);  juvenile  recruitment has been excellent;
and CPUE has been steadily increasing.   The  ASMFC is developing
Amendment #5 to  provide management guidelines  for the  long-term
maintenance of a  self-sustaining spawning stock  and  provide the
restoration and maintenance  of critical  habitats.   During 1995,
areas that should  be  emphasized to improve striped bass management
     1) Adopt Amendment #5 to the ASMFC Fishery Management Plan.
     2) Review and revise  the Chesapeake Bay FMP to  account for
     changes in Amendment #5.
     3) Continue  to refine  the spawning stock biomass  (SSB) model.
     4) Continue  and improve efforts to  monitor commercial  and
     recreational (including charterboat)  harvests.
     5) Review and improve the habitat section,  focussing on how
     habitat issues relate to striped bass production,  so it can be
     used to justify the protection   and  enhancement  of  critical


Table l.  Harvest of striped bass from Maryland by fishing year and
          fishery (pounds).
Charter boat
4 , 065
* Final totals for each fishery. Previously reported numbers were
Table 2.  Harvest of striped bass from Virginia by fishing year and
          fishery (pounds).
Charter boat
* 8,000
* 9,540
* New estimates should be available in 1995.
Table 3.  Harvest of striped bass from the Potomac River by fishing
          year and fishery (pounds).
Charter boat

Table 4.  Summary of  the estimated striped bass  losses from the
          Maryland fisheries  during the 1993/1994  season due to
          illegal fishing, hook and release mortality, .and bycatch
          (MDNR 1994).
White Perch
American Shad

pound net
gill net
hook & line
ocean trawl
gill net
ocean gill

(# of fish)
Hist. 192,461
New 89,673
poaching- 1,500
bycatch- 4,894
150 - 40,879
97,217 - 240,736
• *
150 - 40,879
* Data not available,

Table 5.  Annual striped bass juvenile  indices  from Maryland and
          Virginia, 1980-1994.
(Arithmetic Mean)
(Geometric Mean)


Table 6.  Summary  of  hatchery striped  bass recovered
          during   Maryland's   Chesapeake   Bay   Stock'
          Assessment  surveys  and  the  coastal  tagging
          survey, September  1992 - May 1993.
Fall Pound net  (Sept. - Oct. 1992)
Upper Bay
Middle Bay
Lower Bay
Winter Gill Net  (Jan. - Feb. 1993)
Choptank R.
Main Bay
Spring Spawning Stock (April - May 1993)
Choptank R.
Potomac R.
Upper Bay
Coastal Tagging Survey (Feb. 1993)


            Figure 1. Coastwide female striped bass

                spawning stock biomass (SSB).
                                 Source: Rugolo et a!., 1994

      Figure 2.  Length-frequency distributions of

      commercial pound net catches from Fall 1970, Fall

      1992, and Fall 1993.
     20 -
     15 -
10 -
                           LENGTH (inches TL)
                                     MONR Striped Bass Stock Assessment Data

           Figure 3. Age-frequency distributions of commercial drift
           gill net catches, Winter 1981-82, Winter 1992-93, and
           Winter 1993-94.
           10 -
            0 4
                                            1981 -82


                                          * 1993-94
                                     AGE CLASS
                                             MDNR Striped Bass Stock Assessment Data

     Figure 4. Length-frequency distributions of

     Maryland's recreational harvest in 1979 -1980,1992,

     and 1993.


                          LENGTH (inches TL)
                                     MDNR Striped Bass Stock Assessment Data


ASMFC 1994. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 1994 Annual
     Review  of  Interstate  Fishery  Management  Plans:   Atlantic
     Striped  Bass  (Morone  saxatilis).  John  Field,  ed.  October,
     1994. p.  33-39.

Austin,  H.M.,  A.D.  Estes  and D.M.  Seaver.  1993a.  Estimation  of
     juvenile,  striped  bass  relative  abundance  in  the  Virginia
     portion of  the Chesapeake Bay. Annual Progress Report 1993.
     Virginia  Institute  of  Marine  Science,  Gloucester  Point,

Austin,  H.M.,  J.A.  Colvocoresses,  and T.C.  Mosca,  III.   1993b.
     Develop a Chesapeake  baywide young-of-the-year striped bass
     index. Final Report to the  Chesapeake Bay  Stock Assessment
     Committee,  Cooperative Agreement No. NA16FUO393-01.

Hornick, H.T., R.K.  Schaefer,  D.T.  Cosden, K.J. Booth, D.M.
     Goshorn,  J.L.  Markham, M.L.  Gary,  C.B. McCullough,  and W.S.
     Harbour.  1993.  Investigation of striped  bass in Chesapeake
     Bay.  USFWS Federal Aid Performance Report.  Project No. F-42-
     R-6.   Maryland Department of  Natural Resources, Annapolis,

Maryland Department of Natural  Resources.  1994. Maryland's spring
     and  fall  1993,  and  winter  1994 striped bass  harvest and
     background  fishing losses.   Maryland  Department of  Natural
     Resources,  Annapolis, Maryland.

Olney, J.E., J.D. Field, and J.C. McGovern.   1991.  Striped bass
     egg  mortality, production,  and female  biomass  in  Virginia
     Rivers, 1980-1989.   American Fisheries Society.  120:354-367.

Potomac River  Fisheries Commission.  1994.  The 1993 striped bass
     harvest  report.   A  special  report  to  ASMFC,  March  1994.
.     Potomac River Fisheries Commission,  Colonial  Beach,  Virginia.

Rugolo, L.J.,  P.W.  Jones.  1989.  A recruitment-based interseason
     harvest   control  model  for  Chesapeake   Bay striped  bass.
     Maryland  Dept.  of Natural Resources, Annapolis, Maryland.

Rugolo, L.J.,  P.W. Jones, R.K.  Schaefer,  K.S.  Knotts, H.T.  Hornick
     and J.L.  Markham.   1994.   Estimation  of Chesapeake  baywide
     exploitation  rate   and  population  abundance  for  the  1993
     striped bass stock.   Maryland Dept.  of Natural Resources,
 •  •  Annapolis,  Maryland.

Rugolo, L.J.,  V.A.  Crecco, and M.R.  Gibson.   1994. Modeling stock
     status  and the  effectiveness  of  alternative  management
     strategies  for Atlantic coast striped bass. Summary  Report  to
     the Striped Bass Management Board, ASMFC.  May, 1994.  p.  1-30


Uphoff Jr., J. H.  1994.   Spawning stock status of striped bass in
     Maryland's  Chesapeake  Bay,  1955-1994  determined  by  egg
     presence-absence.  Fisheries Division,  Technical Report 12.
     Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources,  Annapolis, Maryland.

Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC).  1994.  Review of
     Virginia's  1993  striped   bass   fisheries   and  monitoring
     programs.   A  Report to  the ASMFC  Striped Bass  Technical
     Committee.  VMRC, Newport News,  Virginia.

                                             CHESAPEAKE BAY STRIPED BASS IMPLEMENTATION PLAN 1994
            Problem Area
1.1  Overfishing.
1.1.1 The jurisdictions will utilize a
combination of harvest restrictions to
meet target fishing mortality rates.
Began 1990, continued
    through 1994.
The striped bass stock has been
declared restored as of January 1,
1995.  Jurisdictions will establish
strategies to meet transitional fishing
mortality targets,               	
                                      1.1.2 The jurisdiction will cap
                                      commercial harvest with a quota not to
                                      exceed 20% of the average annuel
                                      commercial catch from 1972-1979.
                                              Began 1990, continued
                                                  through 1994.
                               The MD harvest is governed by a
                               harvest control model. During 1993
                               and 1994, the commercial quotas
                               were: 991,529 Ibs., MD; 211,000
                               Ibs., VA; 155,000 Ibs., PRFC; and no
                               commercial fishing in DC.
1.2 Reduced spawning stock.
1.2.1  The jurisdictions will establish a
minimum size limit of 18 inches in the
Began 1990, continued
    through 1994.
                                      1.2.2 The jurisdictions will prohibit the
                                      keeping and sale of sublegal striped
                                      bass bycatch.
                                               Begen 1990, continue
                                                  through 1994.
                                      1.2.3 The jurisdictions will establish a
                                      maximum size limit of 36 inches in the
                                                   Begen 1990,
                                               discontinued in 1994.
An 19 inch minimum size limit has
allowed the stock to increase in size  •
and diversify in age and length. The
Atlantic coast minimum size limit is 29
Inches and Maryland's spring trophy
size limit is 36 inches. Size limits are
being reviewed for the transitional
                               Harvest of sublegal fish has been
                               minimized with mesh size restrictions.
                               Regulations are in place that prohibit
                               the possession and sale of fish under
                               19 inches.  Losses due to sublegal
                               bycatch have bean estimated.
                               Maximum size limits were set as a
                               conservative measure. Stocks have
                               recovered and jurisdictions are
                               eliminating maximum size limits.

1.3 Reduced number of spawners.
1.3.1  During the trensition fishery, age
VIII and older females will be protected
until they comprise a certain
percentage of the female spawning
                                       1.3.2 During a recovered fishery,
                                       females age VIII and older will be
                                       protected at a certain percentage of the
                                       spawning population.
                                       1.3.3 Maryland and Virginia will
                                       continue hatchery production to
                                       enhance the striped bass spawning
                                       1.3.4 Hybrid and non-native striped
                                      bass stocking will be restricted
                                      according to ASMFC guidelines.
Began 1990, continued
    through 1994.
                                              Began 1991, continued
                                                  through 1994.
The ASMFC declared the striped bass
stock recovered based on the results
of a stock simulation model of coastal
female spawning stock biomass (SSB).
The SSB model was agreed upon as a
management tool in place of
protecting age 8 + females because it
reduces the amount of error strong
year-classes have on the population.
                                The SSB model will be used to monitor
                                and protect a sustainable spawning
                                Stocking has been restricted but
                                efforts continue to enhance areas
                                where striped bass abundance remains
                                at tow levels.
2.1  Allocation issues.
2.1.1 Maryland quota will be allocated
as follows: 42.5% commercial; 42.5%
recreational; and  15% charter.  Virginia
and Potomac River Fisheries
Commission will use various
restrictions to equitably allocate
Began 1990, continued
    through 1994.
Commercial quotas for each
jurisdiction were allocated by gear
type. The 1993/1994 and 1994/1995
recreational caps were: 891,529 Ibs.,
MD recreational; 314,657, MD
charterboat.  The VA and PRFC
recreational fisheries had a creel limit
and seasonal restrictions.
                                       2.1.2 Commercial fishing seasons will
                                       be closed when harvest caps are
                                       reeched, regardless of time during
                                               Began 1990, continued
                                                  through 1994.
                                Jurisdictions continue-to monitor the
                                commercial harvest of striped bass.
2.2 Gear restrictions.
2.2.1 The jurisdictions will establish
minimum mesh sizes for gill nets.
 Began 1990, continued
    through 1994.
 Jurisdictions continue to enforce
 minimum mesh sizes targeting striped
 bass 18 inches and larger: 5 Inches,
 MD and VA; and 5.25 inches. PRFC.

2.2 Gear restrictions (continued).
2.2.2 Maryland and Virginia will require
drift gill net* to be marked, tended, and
recovered daily.  Other Virginia gill nets
must be marked.  Potomac River
Rsheries Commission will continue
fixed location for gill nets.
                                       2.2.3 Maryland and Virginia will
                                       establish a maximum length of gill net
                                       allowed. Potomac River Fisheries
                                       Commission will establish a maximum
                                       number oY gill net licenses.
                                       2.2.4 Maryland and Virginia will
                                       establish annual quotas for their
                                       commercial fisheries.
Began 1990, continued
    through 1994.
                                               Began 1990, continued
                                                   through 1994.
                                               Began 1990, continued
                                                   through 1994.
Regulations vary between Jurisdictions.
                                Regulations have been enacted.
                                Commercial harvest caps were
                                enacted (see Action 1.1.2). Daily and
                                seasonal limits ware also established.
2.3 Selling and buying striped bass.
A) Maryland will establish check
B) Virginia dealers and watermen will
be required to have a special permit to
C) Sale by recreational and charter
fishermen will be prohibited.
Began 1990, continued
    through 1994.
A) MD established check stations.
B) VA established a permit system for
harvesters and dealers.
C) Regulations ware established.
                                       2.3.2 Jurisdictions will establish
                                       reporting systems for buyers end
                                       commercial watermen.
                                               Began 1990, continued
                                                   through 1994.
                                MD watermen are required to maintain
                                daily logs and submit it at the end of
                                the season and dealers call in daily and
                                submit weekly submittals.  VA
                                watermen and dealers must submit
                                weekly reports.  PRFC watermen
                                report weekly.
2.4 Seasons, creel limits, and fishing
2.4.1 A-E Jurisdictions will establish
fishing seasons in the Bay with as
much consistency as possible.
Began 1990, continued
    through 1994.
Seasons differed slightly because of
striped bass migratory patterns and
local practices. Refer to the annual
report for seasons.  Season
restrictions are being reviewed.

2.4 Seasons, craal limits, and fishing
areas (continued).
2.5 Monitoring
2.6 Management and enforcement
3.1 Stock assessment and research
2.4.2 Maryland will prohibit commercial
striped bass fishing on weekends and
at night.
2.4.3 Jurisdictions will maintain striped
bass fishing areas. Jurisdictions will establish creel
limits of. up to 5 fish for the
recreational and charter fisheries. Maryland may allow one trophy
fish per boot during a May trophy
2.5.1 Jurisdictions will monitor striped
bass harvest using a variety of
2.5.2 District of Columbia will conduct
an angler survey to determine striped
bass catch and effort.
2.6.1 Jurisdictions will develop
appropriate mechanisms for timely
management of the striped bass
2.6.2 Jurisdictions will adopt
consistent enforcement policies.
3.1 Jurisdictions will continue their
efforts to collect stock information.
Began 1 990, continued
through 1994.
Began 1990, continued
through 1994.
Began 1992, continued
.through 1994.
Began 1992, continued
through 1994.
Began 1990, continued
through 1994.
Began 1991, continued
through 1994.
Began 1990, continued
through 1994.
Began 1990, continued
through 1994.
MD has established regulations
prohibiting commercial striped bass
fishing on weekends and at night. MD
also prohibits recreational fishing at •
Striped bass area restrictions are being
MD fall creel limit*: 1 fish/person/day,
recreational; and 2 fish/person/day,
charterboats. VA: 2 fish/person/dey.
PRFC and DC: 1 fish/person/day.
Creel limits are being reviewed.
MD 1993: 1 fish/angler/season. MD
1994: 1 fish/angler/day and 3
Jurisdictions used a combination of
access/intercept and telephone
surveys, check stations and reports
from harvesters and dealera.

Jurisdictions have the authority to
regulate their fisheries. Regulations
permit the opening and closing of
seasons when quotas/caps are
Jurisdictions continued to maintain an
aggressive enforcement program.
These programs include assessment of
Juvenile and adult abundance,
monitoring the fisheries, tagging for
stock discrimination, migration and
mortality estimates.

  3.1 Stock assessment and research
  needs (continued).
3.2 Jurisdictions will review, update,
and initiate studies as needed on
reproduction, early mortality, etc.
Jurisdictions are in the progress of
developing a bavwWe juvenile index.
  4.1 Water quality.
4.1 Jurisdictions will continue to
support the commitments under the
1987 Chesapeake Bay Agreement.
Significant habitat Improvements have
been mads within the main*tern of the
Bay. Tributary and Basinwide Toxics
Reduction and Prevention Strategies
have been adopted and will further
enhance Bay habitat.
MD - Maryland
VA - Virginia
PRFC - Potomac River Fisheries Commission
DC • District of  Columbia