Estimation of Juvenile Striped Bass Relative Abundance in the Virginia Portion of Chesapeake Bay Annual Progress Report: 2021 - 2022
The 2021 juvenile Striped Bass abundance index was 6.30 and was not significantly different than the reference mean of 7.77 for the period 1980 to 2009. Abundance indices were average in the York and Rappahannock rivers and below average in the James River in 2021 compared with the river-specific reference means . Relatively low catches of young-of-the-year Striped Bass from sites upriver and downriver of core nursery areas suggest juvenile Striped Bass largely remained within core nursery
... in 2021. Juvenile abundance indices for Alewife, American Shad, Atlantic Croaker, Atlantic Silverside, and Spot were generally below their historic averages in 2021. In contrast, abundance indices for Banded Killifish, and Spottail Shiner in 2021 were generally greater than their historic averages in Virginia waters. Inland Silverside abundance in 2021 was similar to the historic average observed in Virginia waters. Juvenile White Perch abundance indices in 2021 were above historic averages in the York and Rappahannock river systems, but below historic averages in the James River. The juvenile abundance index for Blueback Herring was average in all rivers, except the Pamunkey River, where below-average recruitment was observed. Together, these results suggest modest production of forage fish prey for piscivores in Virginia.