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.


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!


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

2015 ChesMMAP Water Quality

Full bottom water quality results from 2015:

Dissolved Oxygen




Water Temperature



ChesMMAP Water Quality, Spring 2015

We are now heading into the warm (hot) field season when the water temperature and dissolved oxygen in the Chesapeake Bay become critical to our relative catch size.  This spring, ChesMMAP experienced the coldest water temperatures on record during the March cruise.  But the May cruise heated up significantly, showing some small areas already becoming hypoxic.  Compare the March and May bottom water temperatures, and see where hypoxic zones are cropping up below.

May 2015 Bottom Water Temperature, ChesMMAP

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May 2015 Bottom Dissolved Oxygen, ChesMMAP

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March 2015 ChesMMAP Cruise – Updates from the Bay

Our crew departed early Thursday morning, 3/19, for the March ChesMMAP cruise. Historically, the March cruise yields low catches and 2015 is following suit.

*Take a look at this ArcGIS web map created by Debra Gauthier our Chief of GIS operations: This map displays Fishes sampled by Chesapeake Bay Multispecies Monitoring and Assessment Program, March 2013 cruise (Number of fish caught)

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Gregg Mears, our Chief of Diet Operations keeps us updated on land with texts and images from the cruise:

“Very few fish caught until the last couple of stations up near Annapolis, MD. We just got into the white perch and striped bass. The water is very cold with the bottom registering a balmy 36° F. The net has even frozen to the net reel”

Ben David & Dustin Gregg

Ben Davis & Dustin Gregg handling the ChesMMAP trawl gear


Emptying the codend

Emptying the codend



Sorting the catch


Large “cow” female Striped Bass


Fish (subsampled if needed) are taken downstairs to our wet-lab where they receive a full workup. Length, weight, sex, maturity stage, and stomach fullness are recorded. Stomachs and ageing hard parts are removed. The stomachs are preserved in normalin with a fish identification label for further processing back at our labs at VIMS. The fishes corresponding hard part,  otoliths or vertebrae, are removed and placed in a whirlpack bag with their identification label for further processing. Vertebrae are frozen. This image shows Dustin Gregg working up samples while Ben Davis is removing striped bass otoliths.

For more information:

ChesMMAP Survey

ChesMMAP Field Methods

Multispecies Research Group Laboratory Methods

Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen Maps for 2014, by ChesMMAP

Click View Larger Map to select a cruise and view dissolved oxygen measurements where ChesMMAP catches occurred.  See more MRG GIS maps.


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