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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Ecological Monitoring Program At Vims Esl : Annual Report 2020, Paige G. Ross, Richard A. Snyder Apr 2021

Ecological Monitoring Program At Vims Esl : Annual Report 2020, Paige G. Ross, Richard A. Snyder

Reports

An Ecological Monitoring Program (EMP) has been established at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Eastern Shore Laboratory (VIMS ESL) for the coastal environment near the Wachapreague lab. The goals of the initiative are to 1) provide status and trends information to scientists who study and regulators who manage Virginia’s marine resources, 2) provide a scientific context for short-term research and grant proposals 3) provide pedagogical enrichment to educators for their classes, and 4) build capacity in staff expertise and training of interns and students at VIMS ESL.

The program formalizes and standardizes data collection for a long-term status ...


The Status Of Virginia’S Public Oyster Resource 2020, Melissa Southworth, Roger L. Mann Feb 2021

The Status Of Virginia’S Public Oyster Resource 2020, Melissa Southworth, Roger L. Mann

Reports

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) monitors recruitment of the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791), annually from late spring through early fall, by deploying spatfall[1] (settlement and recruitment of larval oysters to the post metamorphic form termed spat) collectors (shellstrings) at various sites in three Virginia western Chesapeake Bay tributaries. The survey provides an estimate of a particular area’s potential for receiving a "strike" or settlement (set) of oysters on the bottom and helps describe the timing of recruitment events in a given year. Information obtained from this monitoring effort provides an overview of long-term recruitment ...


Monitoring The Abundance Of American Shad And River Herring In Virginia’S Rivers 2020 Annual Report, Eric J. Hilton, Patrick E. Mcgrath, Brian Watkins, Ashleigh Magee Jan 2021

Monitoring The Abundance Of American Shad And River Herring In Virginia’S Rivers 2020 Annual Report, Eric J. Hilton, Patrick E. Mcgrath, Brian Watkins, Ashleigh Magee

Reports

This report describes the results of the twenty-third year of a continuing study to estimate the relative abundance and assess the status of American shad (Alosa sapidissima) stocks in Virginia by monitoring the spawning runs in the James, York and Rappahannock rivers in spring 2020, evaluating hatchery programs, and contributing to coast-wide assessments (ASMFC 2007, ASMFC 2020).

We also report on two fisheryindependent monitoring programs using anchor gillnets in the Rappahannock River (year 3) and the Chickahominy River (year 6; a major tributary of the James River), to determine relative abundance and stock structure for the adult spawning run of ...


Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program 2020, Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program, Virginia Institute Of Marine Science Jan 2021

Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program 2020, Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program, Virginia Institute Of Marine Science

Reports

No abstract provided.


Estimation Of Juvenile Striped Bass Relative Abundance In The Virginia Portion Of Chesapeake Bay Annual Progress Report: 2020-2021, Jack R. Buchanan, Mary C. Fabrizio, Troy D. Tuckey, Troy D. Tuckey Jan 2021

Estimation Of Juvenile Striped Bass Relative Abundance In The Virginia Portion Of Chesapeake Bay Annual Progress Report: 2020-2021, Jack R. Buchanan, Mary C. Fabrizio, Troy D. Tuckey, Troy D. Tuckey

Reports

No abstract provided.


Seasonal And Annual Variation In The Extent Of Suitable Habitats For Forage Fishes In Chesapeake Bay, 2000-2016, Mary C. Fabrizio, Troy D. Tuckey, Aaron J. Bever, Michael L. Macwilliams Nov 2020

Seasonal And Annual Variation In The Extent Of Suitable Habitats For Forage Fishes In Chesapeake Bay, 2000-2016, Mary C. Fabrizio, Troy D. Tuckey, Aaron J. Bever, Michael L. Macwilliams

Reports

The sustained production of sufficient forage is critical to advancing ecosystem-based management in Chesapeake Bay. Yet factors that affect local abundances and habitat conditions necessary to support forage production remain largely unexplored. Here, we quantified suitable habitat in the Chesapeake Bay region for four key forage fishes: bay anchovy Anchoa mitchilli, juvenile spot Leiostomus xanthurus, juvenile weakfish Cynoscion regalis, and juvenile spotted hake Urophycis regia. We coupled information from 17 years of monthly fisheries surveys with hindcasts from a numerical model of dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions and a 3-D hydrodynamic model of the Bay that provided estimates of habitat conditions ...


Results For The 2020 Vims Industry Cooperative Surveys Of The Mid-Atlantic, Nantucket Lightship, Great South Channel, Closed Area I, And Closed Area Ii Resource Areas, Sally Roman, David B. Rudders Oct 2020

Results For The 2020 Vims Industry Cooperative Surveys Of The Mid-Atlantic, Nantucket Lightship, Great South Channel, Closed Area I, And Closed Area Ii Resource Areas, Sally Roman, David B. Rudders

Reports

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) conducted high resolution sea scallop dredge surveys of the entire Mid-Atlantic (MAB), the Nantucket Lightship (NLCA), Great South Channel (GSC), Closed Area I (CAI), and Closed Area II (CAII) during July–September 2020. These surveys were funded by the Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Program (RSA). Exploitable biomass for each survey is shown in Table 1 for each spatially explicit SAMS Area (Scallop Area Management Simulator). SAMS Areas represent management relevant spatial subunits of the resource and explicitly account for differences in recruitment, vital rates, and fishing effort in the forward projection of survey ...


Evaluating Recruitment Of American Eel, Anguilla Rostrata, In The Potomac River (Spring 2020), Troy D. Tuckey, Mary C. Fabrizio Sep 2020

Evaluating Recruitment Of American Eel, Anguilla Rostrata, In The Potomac River (Spring 2020), Troy D. Tuckey, Mary C. Fabrizio

Reports

American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a valuable commercial species along the Atlantic coast of North America from New Brunswick to Florida. Landings from Chesapeake Bay typically represent 60% of the annual United States commercial harvest (ASMFC 2012). American Eel is also important to the recreational fishery as it is often used live as bait for Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) and Cobia (Rachycentron canadum). In 2016, Chesapeake Bay commercial landings of American Eel (728,717 lbs) were 78% of the U.S. landings (personal communication from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Fisheries Statistics Division). Since the 1980s, harvest along the U ...


Virginia Wild-Caught Blue Catfish: Nutrition And Contaminant Analysis, Robert A. Fisher Sep 2020

Virginia Wild-Caught Blue Catfish: Nutrition And Contaminant Analysis, Robert A. Fisher

Reports

The blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus, is an introduced freshwater species in Virginia’s tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay. Since its introduction in the 1970’s, significant recreational and commercial fisheries have developed within upriver, largely freshwater environments. Blue catfish are voracious, opportunistic predators, feeding on a variety of natural prey items, including native fish and shellfish species. Their varied diets result in a more nutrient-rich fish compared to farmraised catfish (USDA Food and Nutrient Database https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app. html#/?query=catfish) on the market, which are typically fed a plant-based diet.

In recent years, blue catfish populations ...


An Assessment Of Sea Scallop Abundance And Distribution In The Nantucket Lightship Closed Area And Surrounds - Final Report, David B. Rudders, Sally A. Roman, Erin Mohr Jun 2020

An Assessment Of Sea Scallop Abundance And Distribution In The Nantucket Lightship Closed Area And Surrounds - Final Report, David B. Rudders, Sally A. Roman, Erin Mohr

Reports

For the sea scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, the concepts of space and time have emerged as the basis of an effective management tool. The strategy of closing or limiting activities in certain areas for specific lengths of time has gained support as a method to conserve and enhance the scallop resource. In the last decade, rotational area management has provided a mechanism to protect juvenile scallops from fishing mortality by closing areas based upon scallop abundance and observed age distribution. Approximately half of the sea scallop industry’s current annual landings are attributed to from areas under this rotational harvest strategy ...


An Assessment Of Sea Scallop Abundance And Distribution In Georges Bank Closed Area I And Ii And Surrounds: Final Report, David B. Rudders, Sally A. Roman, Erin Mohr Jun 2020

An Assessment Of Sea Scallop Abundance And Distribution In Georges Bank Closed Area I And Ii And Surrounds: Final Report, David B. Rudders, Sally A. Roman, Erin Mohr

Reports

For the sea scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, the concepts of space and time have emerged as the basis of an effective management tool. The strategy of closing or limiting activities in certain areas for specific lengths of time has gained support as a method to conserve and enhance the scallop resource. In the last decade, rotational area management has provided a mechanism to protect juvenile scallops from fishing mortality by closing areas based upon scallop abundance and observed age distribution. Approximately half of the sea scallop industry’s current annual landings are attributed to from areas under this rotational harvest strategy ...


Ecological Monitoring Program At Vims Esl - Annual Report 2018-2019, Paige G. Ross, Richard A. Snyder Jun 2020

Ecological Monitoring Program At Vims Esl - Annual Report 2018-2019, Paige G. Ross, Richard A. Snyder

Reports

An Ecological Monitoring Program (EMP) has been established at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Eastern Shore Laboratory (VIMS ESL) for the coastal environment near the lab. The goals of the initiative are to 1) provide status and trends information to scientists who study and regulators who manage Virginia’s marine resources, 2) provide a scientific context for scientists’ research and grant proposals 3) provide pedagogical enrichment to educators for their classes, and 4) build capacity in staff expertise and training of interns and students at VIMS ESL.

The program formalizes and standardizes data collection for a long-term status and ...


From Efish To Recfish - Progress Towards Developing An App That Engages Recreational Anglers As Community Scientists, M. Lisa Kellogg Jun 2020

From Efish To Recfish - Progress Towards Developing An App That Engages Recreational Anglers As Community Scientists, M. Lisa Kellogg

Reports

The success of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with eBird and its associated apps demonstrates the potential value in engaging recreational enthusiasts as community scientists through the use of a cell phone application (hereafter “app”). However, significant differences exist between the recreational angler community and the birding community making it necessary to further investigate the feasibility of engaging recreational anglers as community scientists using an app. The funds awarded through the VIMS Dean and Director’s Innovation Fund were used to: 1) assess the existing landscape of for-profit fishing apps and not-for-profit efforts to use recreational anglers as community scientists ...


A Cooperative High Precision Dredge Survey To Assess The Mid-Atlantic Sea Scallop Resource In 2018: Final Report, David Rudders, Sally Roman May 2020

A Cooperative High Precision Dredge Survey To Assess The Mid-Atlantic Sea Scallop Resource In 2018: Final Report, David Rudders, Sally Roman

Reports

For the sea scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, the concepts of space and time have emerged as the basis of an effective management tool. The strategy of closing or limiting activities in certain areas for specific lengths of time has gained support as a method to conserve and enhance the scallop resource. In the last decade, rotational area management has provided a mechanism to protect juvenile scallops from fishing mortality by closing areas based upon scallop abundance and observed age distribution. Approximately half of the sea scallop industry’s current annual landings are attributed to areas under this rotational harvest strategy. While ...


Understanding Dredge Performance For A Lined Versus Unlined Nmfs Sea Scallop Dredge: Final Report, David B. Rudders, Sally A. Roman, Erin Mohr May 2020

Understanding Dredge Performance For A Lined Versus Unlined Nmfs Sea Scallop Dredge: Final Report, David B. Rudders, Sally A. Roman, Erin Mohr

Reports

The sea scallop fishery is typically supported by several primary survey methods (i.e., dredge and optical surveys), which provide multiple, spatially explicit biomass estimates on an annual basis. Since 2015, significant divergence in area-specific biomass estimates between the optical and dredge survey methods has been noted. The divergent estimates are associated with areas of high scallop densities within the Nantucket Lightship Access Area (NL) and the Elephant Truck Access Area (ET). In 2018 and 2019, the disparity in biomass estimates between the different survey methods in the ET was reduced, but in the NL, the issue has continued. Evidence ...


Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program Annual Report 2019, Susanna Musick, Lewis Gillingham May 2020

Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program Annual Report 2019, Susanna Musick, Lewis Gillingham

Reports

Through 2019, the Virginia Game Fish Tagging Program (VGFTP) has maintained a 24-year database of records for tagged and recaptured fish. The program is a cooperative project of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament (VSFT) under the Virginia Marine Resources Commission-(VMRC) and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) of the College of William and Mary (under the VIMS Marine Advisory Program).


Estimation Of Juvenile Striped Bass Relative Abundance In The Virginia Portion Of Chesapeake Bay Annual Progress Report: 2019 - 2020, Jack R. Buchanan, Troy D. Tuckey, Mary C. Fabrizio May 2020

Estimation Of Juvenile Striped Bass Relative Abundance In The Virginia Portion Of Chesapeake Bay Annual Progress Report: 2019 - 2020, Jack R. Buchanan, Troy D. Tuckey, Mary C. Fabrizio

Reports

The 2019 Striped Bass juvenile abundance index was 9.54 and was not significantly different than the reference mean of 7.77 from 1980-2009. Abundance indices in the James, York, and Rappahannock rivers in 2019 were average compared with their individual reference means (1980-2009). Relatively low catches of young‐of‐the‐year Striped Bass from sites upriver and downriver of core nursery areas suggest Striped Bass largely remained within core nursery areas in 2019. Juvenile White Perch abundance indices in 2019 were above historic averages in the James, York and Rappahannock river systems.

Juvenile abundance indices for Atlantic Croaker, Alewife ...


Annual Report - 2019 Data Collection And Analysis In Support Of Single And Multispecies Stock Assessments In Chesapeake Bay: The Chesapeake Bay Multispecies Monitoring And Assessment Program, Christopher F. Bonzek, James Gartland, Debra J. Gauthier, Robert J. Latour Apr 2020

Annual Report - 2019 Data Collection And Analysis In Support Of Single And Multispecies Stock Assessments In Chesapeake Bay: The Chesapeake Bay Multispecies Monitoring And Assessment Program, Christopher F. Bonzek, James Gartland, Debra J. Gauthier, Robert J. Latour

Reports

Historically, fisheries management has been based on the results of single-species stock assessment models that focus on the interplay between exploitation level and sustainability. There currently exists a suite of standard and accepted analytical frameworks (e.g., virtual population analysis (VPA), biomass dynamic production modeling, delay difference models, etc.) for assessing the stocks, projecting future stock size, evaluating recovery schedules and rebuilding strategies for overfished stocks, setting allowable catches, and estimating fishing mortality or exploitation rates. A variety of methods also exist to integrate the biological system and the fisheries resource system, thereby enabling the evaluation of alternative management strategies ...


Industry Report : Understanding Dredge Performance For A Lined Versus Unlined Nmfs Sea Scallop Dredge, David Rudders, Sally Roman, Erin Mohr Mar 2020

Industry Report : Understanding Dredge Performance For A Lined Versus Unlined Nmfs Sea Scallop Dredge, David Rudders, Sally Roman, Erin Mohr

Reports

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) tested a scale model of the sea scallop survey dredge in the flume tank at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University over two days in March of 2019. This work was conducted to understand how the liner, survey protocols, and catch volume effect dredge performance. Tow speed, warp tension, maximum bag height, height at the twine top end, wire angle, wheel height of bottom, and dredge angle were measured for the trials. Tow speeds tested ranged from 3-4.5 kts. Video footage of trials was recorded and can be viewed at ...


Estimating Relative Abundance Of Young-Of-Year American Eel, Anguilla Rostrata, In The Virginia Tributaries Of Chesapeake Bay (Spring 2019), Troy D. Tuckey, Mary C. Fabrizio Mar 2020

Estimating Relative Abundance Of Young-Of-Year American Eel, Anguilla Rostrata, In The Virginia Tributaries Of Chesapeake Bay (Spring 2019), Troy D. Tuckey, Mary C. Fabrizio

Reports

American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a valuable commercial species along the Atlantic coast of North America from New Brunswick to Florida. In the U.S., harvests have declined, with similar patterns occurring in the Canadian Maritime Provinces (Meister and Flagg 1997). An average of 62% of the annual landings of U.S. commercial harvest since 1993 have come from the Chesapeake Bay (personal communication from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Fisheries Statistics Division, 9 February 2015).

In 2013, Virginia commercial landings were approximately 100,298 lbs; since mandatory reporting began in 1993, average annual landings in Virginia have been 193 ...


Estimating Relative Abundance Of Young-Of-Year American Eel, Anguilla Rostrata, In The Virginia Tributaries Of Chesapeake Bay (Spring 2020), Troy D. Tuckey, Mary C. Fabrizio Mar 2020

Estimating Relative Abundance Of Young-Of-Year American Eel, Anguilla Rostrata, In The Virginia Tributaries Of Chesapeake Bay (Spring 2020), Troy D. Tuckey, Mary C. Fabrizio

Reports

American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a valuable commercial species along the Atlantic coast of North America from New Brunswick to Florida. In the U.S., harvests have declined, with similar patterns occurring in the Canadian Maritime Provinces (Meister and Flagg 1997). An average of 62% of the annual landings of U.S. commercial harvest since 1993 have come from the Chesapeake Bay (personal communication from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Fisheries Statistics Division, 9 February 2015). In 2013, Virginia commercial landings were approximately 100,298 lbs; since mandatory reporting began in 1993, average annual landings in Virginia have been 193 ...


Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program 2019, Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program, Virginia Institute Of Marine Science Feb 2020

Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program 2019, Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program, Virginia Institute Of Marine Science

Reports

No abstract provided.


Monitoring The Abundance Of American Shad And River Herring In Virginia's Rivers - 2019 Annual Report, Eric J. Hilton, Robert Latour, Patrick E. Mcgrath, Brian Watkins, Ashleigh Magee Jan 2020

Monitoring The Abundance Of American Shad And River Herring In Virginia's Rivers - 2019 Annual Report, Eric J. Hilton, Robert Latour, Patrick E. Mcgrath, Brian Watkins, Ashleigh Magee

Reports

This report describes the results of the twenty-second year of a continuing study to estimate the relative abundance and assess the status of American shad (Alosa sapidissima) stocks in Virginia by monitoring the spawning runs in the James, York and Rappahannock rivers in spring 2019, evaluating hatchery programs, and contributing to coast-wide assessments (ASMFC 2007). We also report on two fishery-independent monitoring programs using anchor gillnets in the Rappahannock River (year 2) and the Chickahominy River (year 5; a major tributary of the James River), to determine relative abundance and stock structure for the adult spawning run of river herring ...


The Code In The Water: An Investigation Into Harmful And Non-Harmful Algal Blooms, Samantha Fortin Jan 2020

The Code In The Water: An Investigation Into Harmful And Non-Harmful Algal Blooms, Samantha Fortin

Reports

Grades: 9-12 Subjects: Biology | Environmental Science | Oceanography

Algal blooms can be detected using the DNA extracted from water samples. This activity allows students to identify algae and understand the causes of algal blooms.


Dichotomous Keys: An Essential Tool For Fish Detectives, Jackson Martinez Jan 2020

Dichotomous Keys: An Essential Tool For Fish Detectives, Jackson Martinez

Reports

Grades: 6-8 Subjects: Life Science | Biology

How do scientists identify an unknown fish?

In this activity, students will utilize a dichotomous key to identify unknown fishes from the Chesapeake Bay and will then characterize their trophic levels based on feeding preferences and adaptations. Students will gain an understanding of organism classification, trophic level interactions, and how fishes may play different trophic roles throughout their lives.


Old Macdonald Had An Aquaculture Farm, Shantelle Landry Jan 2020

Old Macdonald Had An Aquaculture Farm, Shantelle Landry

Reports

Grades: 6 Subjects: Earth Science | Natural Resources

With this activity, students will learn the importance of aquaculture and how it can be used to manage a resource.


Zoop Soup (And Poop!), Kristen Sharpe Jan 2020

Zoop Soup (And Poop!), Kristen Sharpe

Reports

Grades: 6-12 Subjects: Biology | Life Science | Environmental Science | Oceanography

Microscopic poops with a global impact!

Students learn about the ecological and global importance of zooplankton and their fecal pellets in the ocean carbon cycle. Students are guided through the scientific method while participating in an activity that simulates real sediment trap fecal pellet research. Students hypothesize where a sediment trap was set based on the "fecal pellets" contained in their sample, identify source species using a dichotomous key, count and weigh biomass of pellets, and graph and share results with classmates.


Wave Fever: The Climate Induced Range Expansion Of The Atlantic Marsh Fiddler Crab, Kayla Martinez-Soto Jan 2020

Wave Fever: The Climate Induced Range Expansion Of The Atlantic Marsh Fiddler Crab, Kayla Martinez-Soto

Reports

Grades: 9-12 Subjects: Biology | Environmental Science | Oceanography

In 2014, scientists found that the Atlantic marsh fiddler crab had extended its northern limit by ~90 miles to New Hampshire, which is in the Gulf of Maine. Range expanding species can alter salt marsh characteristics such as biodiversity and food webs. In this lesson, students will combine sea surface temperature data from a federal database and fiddler burrow densities from field photos to determine the relationship between ocean warming and range expansions.


Targeted “Hotspot” Removal Of Derelict Blue Crab Traps (Va, Md), Kirk J. Havens, Donna Marie Bilkovic, David Stanhope, Kory Angstadt, Andrew M. Scheld Jan 2020

Targeted “Hotspot” Removal Of Derelict Blue Crab Traps (Va, Md), Kirk J. Havens, Donna Marie Bilkovic, David Stanhope, Kory Angstadt, Andrew M. Scheld

Reports

In the winter of 2019/2020, five commercial watermen spent a cumulative total of 120 removal days on the water and collected 971 derelict blue crab traps which contained 985 blue crabs, 239 fish (oyster toad fish, black sea bass, flounder, pig fish, striped bass, speckled trout, perch, butterfish), 31 diamond back terrapin (a listed “species of concern”), and one duck. A majority of the traps removed were metal as opposed to vinyl coated (83% and 17%, respectively). Bycatch was present in 43% (346) of metal traps and 44% (72) of vinyl coated traps removed. On average, the instantaneous capture ...


The Status Of Virginia’S Public Oyster Resource 2019, Melissa Southworth, Roger L. Mann Jan 2020

The Status Of Virginia’S Public Oyster Resource 2019, Melissa Southworth, Roger L. Mann

Reports

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) monitors recruitment of the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791), annually from late spring through early fall, by deploying spatfall1 (settlement and recruitment of larval oysters to the post metamorphic form termed spat) collectors (shellstrings) at various sites in three Virginia western Chesapeake Bay tributaries. The survey provides an estimate of a particular area’s potential for receiving a "strike" or settlement (set) of oysters on the bottom and helps describe the timing of recruitment events in a given year. Information obtained from this monitoring effort provides an overview of long-term recruitment trends ...