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Juvenile striped bass numbers down again

For the third consecutive year, the striped bass reproduction numbers in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay were below average.

The Young of the Year Survey is 5.6, below the long-term average of 11.6.

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Even though the number of fish was below average, it was above the threshold that would trigger intervention by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).

The annual survey showed an increase in the number of juvenile spot and white perch.

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Tom O'Connell, director of the state Fisheries Service, says his agency will continue to "carefully" monitor the population, but noted that Maryland is continuing to reach all ASMFC benchmarks.

Since 1954, biologists at the Department of Natural Resourceshave monitored the reproductive success of striped bass and other species at 22 sites in Maryland's portion of Chesapeake Bay. Biologists collect two fish samples at each site monthly from July through September, using a 100-foot beach seine.

The survey numbers can be affected by weather, snowfall and spring runoff and water temperature.

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