Each summer, the Maryland DNR conducts an annual survey to track the reproductive success of Maryland’s state fish. These numbers can be highly variable, and each year fluctuate depending on environmental factors such as water temperature, precipitation, and river flow.
This year, DNR collected more than 70,000 fish of 50 different species, including 3194 young-of-year (less than one year of age) striped bass in 132 sweeps of a 100-foot beach seine at 22 sites. Every year since 1954, DNR has conducted tests such as these, and this year’s MD Striped Bass juvenile index was the eighth highest on record. The survey found an average of 24.2 juvenile fish per sample, approximately double the long-term average of 11.9.
The present day survey covers sites in the four major spawning systems: the Choptank, Potomac and Nanticoke rivers, and the Upper Bay. Biologists visit each site monthly from July through September to collect samples. Biologists also conducted surveys of other fish species, including American Shad, White Perch, and River Herring. To read the rest of the report, click to the MD DNR page here.