Striped bass, or rockfish, is a key top predator, and uses the Bay as an important spawning and nursery area. Striped bass is Maryland’s state fish and a popular commercial and recreational fishery.
How is it measured?
A trawl survey is conducted annually since 2002 throughout Maryland and Virginia to estimate striped bass abundance index (Morone saxatilis). Adult striped bass of ages 1-3 are used in this analysis. Since striped bass are a long lived fish, a three year average of the numerical index is used to determine the score. Striped bass populations are naturally variable, and short-duration declines in the index are not generally a cause for concern.
For striped bass the number of adult fish is most important to evaluate the health of the population. There is no target level of striped bass that has been determined by state of federal agencies to maintain the striped bass population at a healthy rate. The long term average is compared to the three year average numerical index to calculate the score.