Cooperative Tagging Program
Commercial and recreational anglers that target striped bass are encouraged to report all recovered tags to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Although the initial purpose of the coast-wide tagging study was to evaluate efforts to restore Atlantic striped bass stocks, tagging data are now being collected to monitor striped bass mortality rates in a recovered fishery. Each year since 1991, during the months of March, April and May, VIMS scientists obtained samples of mature striped bass on the spawning grounds of the Rappahannock River. Samples were taken twice-weekly from pound nets owned and operated by a cooperating commercial fisherman. The pound net is a fixed trap that is presumed to be non-size selective in its catch of striped bass, and has been historically used by commercial fishermen in the Rappahannock River.