WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland Rockfish Producing At Record Lows

Play associated audio
Rockfish, also known as striped bass, caught from the Chesapeake Bay.
Rockfish, also known as striped bass, caught from the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland's Department of Natural Resources is estimating that the fewest number of rockfish have reproduced in more than 60 years — this coming after a banner year in 2011 in which Maryland's signature fish spawned in record numbers.

Biologists say one year of bad rockfish reproduction is nothing to be alarmed about, but if the trend goes on for several years, the species could be in trouble.

DNR officials say the usual number of rockfish, or striped bass as they are commonly known, swam into the Chesapeake Bay to spawn this past spring, but dry conditions and sharp temperature changes caused many of the eggs and larvae to perish.

Biologists say it's a delicate process, and that a sudden jump in temperature or even just one rainy week, could mean the difference between a record year, or an all-time low.

State biologists track spawning success by dragging 100-foot-long nets at dozens of locations around the Bay and its rivers throughout the summer.

If the species reproduces poorly for three years in a row, only then will the state consider adding fishing regulations to protect them.

WAMU 88.5

Kate Mulgrew: "Born With Teeth" (Rebroadcast)

Kate Mulgrew, who stars as "Red" in the Netflix TV series "Orange Is The New Black", opens up in a new memoir about her complicated family and the baby she gave away for adoption as a young woman.


Sweet Name Of Kids' Clinic Gives Some People Heartburn

The Krispy Kreme Challenge Children's Specialty Clinic gets its name from a student-run charity race in Raleigh, N.C., that has already raised $1 million for kids. Still, some find the name unhealthy.

Americans Don't Disagree On Politics As Much As You Might Think

Everyone knows that distrust of Washington at near-record levels and that Congress has grown more polarized. But what's going on with American voters is more complicated than you may realize.

Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

NASA is building a 2-pound helicopter drone that would help guide the vehicle on the Red Planet's surface. That way, the rover wouldn't need to wander as much to find its way around.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.