Juvenile striped bass have been on the rebound in Virginia waters this year, according to preliminary results from a long-term monitoring program conducted by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point.
Monitoring efforts suggest an average number of young-of-year striped bass, also called rockfish, was produced in Virginia tributaries of Chesapeake Bay in 2013, said David Malmquist, director of communications at VIMS. The 2013 year class represents the group of bass hatched this spring that could grow to fishable size in three to four years.
The program, formally known as the Juvenile Striped Bass Seine Survey, recorded more than 10 fish per seine haul, Malmquist said, which is roughly equivalent to the historic average of nine fish per seine haul.
This is a considerable increase in annual rockfish numbers from last year, researchers said, when the gain in juvenile striped bass throughout Chesapeake Bay was among the lowest ever observed.