The Effects Of Changes In Water Quality Of The Lower Chesapeake Bay On The Striped Bass Recreational Fishery


Location: Chesapeake Bay

The Effects Of Changes In Water Quality Of The Lower Chesapeake Bay On The Striped Bass Recreational Fishery

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE)

Overview:

  • Compilation of a site characteristics database for all Marine Recreational Fisheries Survey Statistics (MRFSS) Intercept Sites in and around the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Compilation of estimates of the striped bass stock abundance in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Compilation of striped bass life history parameters including age-specific reproduction and mortality estimates.
  • Compilation of Chesapeake Bay water quality data from the State of Maryland’s ”Eyes on the Bay” Program for as many years and from as many sites as practical.

Description:

Avatar was contracted by USEPA’s NCEE to develop data to support an ecological and economic assessment of the effects of changes in water quality in the Chesapeake Bay on the striped bass recreational fishery. The project involved several discrete tasks including:
  • Compilation of a site characteristics database for all Marine Recreational Fisheries Survey Statistics (MRFSS) Intercept Sites in and around the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Compilation of estimates of the striped bass stock abundance in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Compilation of striped bass life history parameters including age-specific reproduction and mortality estimates.
  • Compilation of Chesapeake Bay water quality data from the State of Maryland’s ”Eyes on the Bay” Program for as many years and from as many sites as practical.
Avatar fisheries scientists worked closely with the EPA NCEE and Chesapeake Bay Program, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE), and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and others. AVATAR compiled a Recreational Fishery Intercept Characteristic Database based on information available for site characteristics that are collected as part of NOAA’s MRFSS Intercept Surveys. This database was developed and populated with information to support typical recreational fishery demand models. Population estimates of the striped bass fishery of the Chesapeake Bay were made using available recreational and commercial fishery data, stock assessments, life history parameters including age-specific reproduction and mortality assessments and historical trends data. These data were correlated with available water quality data compiled from numerous databases created by a variety of agencies over the last 20-years. Information collected for each of the tasks were subsequently used by the NCEE and the NMFS to conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine, where possible, improvements in water quality in the Chesapeake Bay was reflected in the success of the recreational striped bass fishery.