May 2018 ChesMMAP Catch Maps

CaptureThe first catch maps of the 2018 MRG field season are here! ChesMMAP encountered a good diversity of species last month at our 80 stratified random stations including 32 finfish species, 5 elasmobranch species, 10 invertebrate species, and 5 species categorized as habitat.

Kingfish, weakfish, and harvestfish were caught at 20 to 30 percent of the stations; northern puffer, striped burrfish, Atlantic menhaden, bluefish, Atlantic croaker, and spotted hake were caught at 10 to 20 percent of the stations.

Use the link to the map to explore locations where each species was caught.

Scientists on board were: J. Eckert (Cheif), J. Gartland, J. Gregg, and L. Jenner. The R/V Bay Eagle was operated by: J. Olney Jr (Captain) and K. Mayer (Mate).

MRG Map Wrap Up 2017

The ChesMMAP and NEAMAP trawl surveys and Longline surveys field crews are hanging up their boots for 2017.  Thanks to the hard work of the MRG crew, another year of fish monitoring is over, complete with 114 total days and 561 total person-days in the field.  Check out the map links below for the year-end wrap-up of survey results.

ChesMMAP Catches

ChesMMAP Water Quality

NEAMAP Catches

NEAMAP Water Temperature

ChesMMAP Catch By Cruise and Year

NEAMAP Catch By Cruise and Year

Longline Catches

2017 Scientific Crew:  J. Gartland, J. Gregg, D. Gregg (field-ops chief), G. Mears, J. Eckert, C. Ward, R. Hailey, T. Moore, A. Johnson

R/V Bay Eagle Vessel Crew:  J. Olney Jr. (Captain), K. Mayer (Mate)

R/V Tidewater Vessel Crew:  V. Hogge (Captain)

R/V Mya Vessel Crew:  S. Fate (Captain)

F/V Darana R Vessel Crew:  J. Ruhle (Captain), R. Ruhle (Mate)

July 2017 ChesMMAP Water Quality Maps

See the side by side comparisons of the Chesapeake Bay bottom dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and salinity.  During the July cruise, Chief Scientist Dustin Gregg noted higher catch productivity for a number of species along the Virginia Eastern Shore of the Bay.  Check out the dissolved oxygen map to see why this was likely the case.  An area of higher oxygen where the higher catches were noted.


July 2017 ChesMMAP Catch Maps

Here is your 2017 ChesMMAP field season update! The July cruise is complete with a lot to report, including unusually high catch numbers and diversity for Chesapeake Bay mid-summer. We’ve seen catch numbers for our Sciaenids gradually increasing recently, and Atlantic croaker, spot, kingfish, and weakfish catches continue to show improvement. Also in abundance were harvestfish, Northern searobins, and a high diversity of stingrays. Some juvenile sandbar sharks even made an appearance. According to Chief Scientist, Dustin Gregg, higher catches and diversity were seen particularly along the Virginia Eastern Shore side of the Bay (spadefish, Northern puffer, striped burrfish, bluntnose stingray).

Herrings and menhaden displayed typical low summer catches, but white perch catches were also limited to just a couple of stations as well.

Habitat such as dead man’s fingers (a bryozoan), hydroids, redbeard sponge, and sea squirts were widespread in lower bay catches.

Stay tuned for July ChesMMAP water quality updates and results of the truncated spring NEAMAP cruise.

Scientific Crew: J. Eckert, D. Gregg (Chief), R. Hailey, Alex Johnson, Gregg Mears, Taylor Moore, Cameron Ward.

Vessel Crew: J. Olney Jr. (Captain), K. Mayer (Mate)


May 2017 ChesMMAP Water Quality Maps

More new web map features for 2017! The ChesMMAP water quality maps are now compiled in a streamlined map gallery. In addition to the link below, the GIS Maps page on our website has a link to the water quality map gallery where you can view bottom dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and salinity maps for each cruise side-by-side in a single view. Feel free to comment with any questions or how the gallery could be improved!


May 2017 ChesMMAP Interactive Catch Maps

Now reporting the most recent ChesMMAP catch map. Our interactive map is now more comprehensive, including incidental catches of invertebrates and habitat encountered. The crew noted higher than usual catches of white and channel catfish in the upper reaches of the Bay. In addition, spot catches were higher than in recent years, and kingfish continue to rally.



May 2017 ChesMMAP Catch Map

Scientific Crew: D. Gregg (Chief), J. Eckert, A. Johnson, R. Hailey, G. Mears, T. Moore

R/V Bay Eagle Crew: J. Olney Jr. (Captain), K. Mayer (Mate)

Welcome to the 2017 MRG field season

The first survey of 2017 returned with a slightly higher catch diversity for typical March ChesMMAP cruises. The usual high numbers of Atlantic menhaden, blue crabs, and striped bass were reported; however, we also saw catches of Atlantic croaker, a species that has been in decline in our catches overall, and totally absent from recent March surveys. We even caught some winter skate and spiny dogfish that managed to make their way into the mouth of the Bay. Check out the link for the full catch map, plus water quality maps below:

Catch Map


Bottom Water Temperature


Bottom Dissolved Oxygen


Bottom Salinity


Vessel Crew:  J. Olney Jr. (Captain), K. Mayer (Mate)

Scientists:  D. Gregg (Chief), J. Eckert, R. Hailey, G. Mears, T. Moore, C. Ward

New Web Map Apps

New for 2017, our catch maps in web app format!



We will continue to provide cruise catch maps and water quality maps after each cruise, but now our catch data for selected species are summarized by cruise and by year.  The ChesMMAP data are pooled across all years and reported by cruise: March, May, July, September, and November as well as pooled across all cruises and reported by year, from 2002 to 2016.  The NEAMAP data are likewise reported by year, for both Spring and Fall from 2007 to 2016.  For the NEAMAP catch summaries by cruise, the apps incorporate a swipe tool to quickly compare Fall and Spring in the same map.


ChesMMAP web app summarizing yearly catch data



NEAMAP web app summarizing yearly catch data



NEAMAP catch web app with swipe tool comparing Spring and Fall


2015 ChesMMAP Water Quality

Full bottom water quality results from 2015:

Dissolved Oxygen




Water Temperature



End-of-Year ChesMMAP catch: November 2015 cruise

It seems 2015 went out with a bang for ChesMMAP catches.  The November cruise resulted in increases in typical catch for many species compared to recent previous years.  Among the winners were blue crabs, bluefish, northern puffer, weakfish, and summer flounder.  Striped bass catches were higher than usual as well, but a typical November cruise usually produces high striped bass catch compared to other months.  On the negative side were Atlantic croaker and spot, catches of which took a nose dive since September and were even lower than previous November cruises.  Click on the Larger Map link below the map to explore and interact with the current and previous ChesMMAP catch maps.
Up next, water quality results.  Atypical temperatures may explain some of the atypical catch results.  Happy New Year!