Maryland’s juvenile striped bass survey finds rockfish reproduction is below average for the third year in a row, continuing a worrisome trend. Virginia’s survey, meanwhile, shows a nine-year streak of average or above-average reproduction.
Both states conduct surveys of young-of-year striped bass to track reproductive success of the Bay’s treasured fish. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports an index of 3.2 in the 2021 survey, which remains well below the long-term average of 11.4.
DNR is optimistic, saying in a press release, “The coastal striped bass population has decreased in size, but is still capable of strong reproduction with the right environmental conditions. Variable spawning success is a well-known characteristic of the species.”
They do acknowledge that the below-average numbers “are a concern”. In 2019 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)…