Preliminary Results From Striped Bass Tagging In Virginia, 1968-1969

A total of 8525 striped bass, Morone saxatilis (Walbaum), were tagged and released in Virginia during 1968 and 1969. Releases were grouped in three periods: (1) 3195 in winter 1968, (2) 2439 during summer-fall 1968; and (3) 2891 in winter 1969. Streamer disc tags, employed in winter 1968, were subsequently replaced by internal anchor tags (Floy Tag No. FD-67). This substitution shortened application time and eliminated a source of bias intrOduced by the entanglement of disc tags in gill nets. Releases were made in the James, York, and Rappahannock rivers in all three periods. Rewards of one dollar have been paid for return of tags. Percentages of returns within tagged year-classes increased with age, indicating change in fishing mortality rates of striped bass during their initial 3 to 4-year residence in the lower Chesapeake Bay system. The older the pre-migrating tagged fish, the more likely its recapture. Proportions of total catch taken by different types of fishing gear are"being estimated. Seasonal and annual differences, and differences between neighboring rivers are evident. The recreational share of total catches varied, depending on locale and season, between 10% and 50%. Estimates of annual fishing mortality rates, although preliminary, are included in a discussion of our utilization of tag return data in estimation of population parameters. Inferences on the behavior and migration of stocks are included.

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