May 2007

During May, the VIMS Juvenile Fish Survey again observed large Atlantic Croaker throughout the James, York, and Rappahannock rivers as well as in the main stem Bay.  The largest croakers (about 16”) came from the Rappahannock River near McKans Bay, the York River near Bells Rock, and the James River near the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. The Survey recorded several large flounder (approaching 27”) from the area near Hampton Bar and the channel southwest of Newport News Shipyard in the James River, as well as in the deep water southwest of Allens Island near the red “22” buoy in the York River. The Survey documented its first Spiny Dogfish since 2002 and its first Roughtail Stingray since 1993. The latter can attain widths of 10 feet making them one of the largest fish in the Bay.  Additionally, the survey encountered its first Striped Burrfish of the year. Striped Burrfish, a porcupinefish, aren’t targeted by anglers but are regular and intriguing visitors to Chesapeake Bay.