Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Concern about the decline in landings of American shad (Alosa sapidissima) along the Atlantic coast prompted the development of an interstate fisheries management plan (FMP) under the auspices of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Management Program (ASMFC 1999). Legislation enables imposition of federal sanctions on fishing in those states that fail to comply with the FMP. To be in compliance, coastal states are required to implement and maintain fishery-dependent and fishery-independent monitoring programs as specified by the FMP. For Virginia, these requirements include spawning stock assessments, the collection of biological data on the spawning run (e.g., age-structure, sex ratio, and spawning history), estimation of total mortality, indices of juvenile abundance, and evaluation of restoration programs by detection and enumeration of hatchery-released fish. This annual report documents continued compliance with Federal law. Since 1998, scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have monitored the spawning run of American shad in the James, York and Rappahannock rivers. The information resulting from this program is reported annually to the ASMFC, has formed the basis for a significant number of technical papers published in the professional literature, and is contributing substantially to our understanding of the status and conservation of this important species. Data collected in the Virginia monitoring program will be used in revised stock assessment of American shad scheduled for peer review in 2005-2006. A number of individuals make significant contributions to the monitoring program and the preparation of this report. Commercial fishermen Tony Kellum, Raymond Kellum, Marc Brown and Jamie Saunders construct, set and fish the sampling gear and offer helpful advice. They have participated in the sampling program since its beginning in 1998, and their contributions as authors of historic log books during the 1980s and expert shad fishermen are essential elements of the monitoring program. The current staff and students of the American shad monitoring and research program are: K. Delano, B. Watkins, P. Crewe, A. Rhea, R. Harris, J. Hoffman, T. Tuckey and A. Aunins. Their dedication, consistent attention to detail and hard work in the field and in the laboratory are appreciated. K. Delano and R. Harris prepared data summaries for this report and B. Watkins determined ages of fish.
American Shad, Alosa sapidissima, James River, York River, Rappahannock River, Virginia, Fisheries
Funding Agencies: US Fish and Wildlife Service Virginia Marine Resources Commission Virginia Institute of Marine Science Contract Number: F-116-R-7
Olney, J.E. (2005): Monitoring Relative Abundance of American Shad in Virginia Rivers 2004 Annual Report. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. https://doi.org/10.21220/V5QK61