POPULATION DYNAMICS OF EASTERN OYSTERS (CRASSOSTREA VIRGINICA) IN THE CHOPTANK RIVER COMPLEX, MARYLAND, DURING 1989 - 2015
Wilberg, Michael J
MetadataShow full item record
The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) fishery in the Choptank River Complex (CRC) supports a large fraction of Maryland’s harvest. The CRC is also host to some of the largest oyster restoration projects in the world. Yet the relative effects of harvest and restoration on the population dynamics of oysters in the CRC have not been assessed. We developed stage-based population models for each region of the CRC in AD Model Builder using dredge survey and harvest data provided by Maryland Department of Natural Resources from 1989 to 2015. Natural mortality was low during 2004-2015 potentially due to increased resistance to the disease, Dermo. Recruitment was greatest in the late 1990s, 2010, and 2012, which caused an increase in abundance. These models will serve as the foundation of a simulation model that will be used to help fishery stakeholders evaluate management and restoration options in the CRC.