November/December 2008

Even though water temperatures were well below 50° when scientists aboard the R/V Fish Hawk finished the last of their monthly surveys for 2008, Summer Flounder were still present with several large specimens measured from the lower York River and the Mainstem Bay (near Buoy 42A). Juvenile Speckled Trout were common in the James, York, and Rappahannock rivers in November but absent from samples collected in December. Juvenile Red Drum were absent from collections in November but fairly common in December.

Survey crews noted the presence of Bighead Searobins in several samples from both November and December. Bighead Searobins are closely related and look similar to the more common Northern and Striped searobins often encountered by recreational anglers.

Blue Catfish up to 26 inches were present in both the York and James Rivers with the largest fish measured near Swanns Point on the James River.

Tessellated Darters were noted in samples from the Rappahannock and James Rivers. Tessellated Darters, one of the most common darter species in Virginia, are a common inhabitant of the low salinity areas of all major Chesapeake Bay tributaries.