Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Chesapeake Bay striped bass support important recreational fisheries along the US Atlantic coast; in the late 1970s, the population of striped bass collapsed as a result of overfishing and poor water quality in rivers used for spawning and rear-ing of young. Informed by stock assessments, strict management regulations were enacted in the mid-1980s and early 1990s; these highly effective regulations resulted in the recovery of the population in 1995. A key to the successful recov-ery of the Atlantic coast striped bass was the wide range of ages of spawning females and the associated differences in spawning behavior among ages. Age diversity among spawning females and the variation in timing of spawning within a year ensure that some eggs and larvae encounter favorable growing conditions in nursery areas. In addition, survival of young striped bass is affected by the amount of freshwater flow in the tributaries, the number and strength of pulsed freshwater discharges, and wind and temperature conditions during spring; these conditions affect feeding opportunities and growth of young fish through complex physical processes that occur in nursery habitats. The annual production of young striped bass (recruitment) partially reflects environmental conditions, which vary from year to year.


Prepared for the Recreational Fishing Advisory Board; Virginia Marine Resources Commission.



Striped bass -- Virginia; Striped bass fisheries -- Virginia