Tag-based estimates of annual survival and fishing mortality rates supplement annual stock assessments of migratory striped bass Morone saxatilis in the interjurisdictional fishery along the Atlantic coast. We estimated a 17-year time series of annual survival and fishing mortality (F) rates for striped bass (>711 mm) tagged during winter trawl studies (1988-2004) off the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia. The geographic and temporal distributions of tag recoveries were consistent with published patterns of striped bass migration and indicated that this southern overwintering aggregate of striped bass is composed of mixed stocks. Incremental increases in bias-adjusted annual fishing mortality rates (from 0.00-0.26) and decreases in the proportion of fish released alive (from 0.762-0.198) coincided with periods of regulatory change during the 17-year time frame. Our estimates of F fall below the current management triggers and should be considered along with other estimates of F within the striped bass management process.
Additional publication details
Tag-based estimates of annual fishing mortality of a mixed atlantic coastal stock of striped bass