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Thread subject: Low chick survival rates in VA this year
Name Date Message
Melanie 10/28/11 02:19 pm The survival rate for osprey chicks on the Chesapeake—at least in Virginia—has been anything but good this year. A biologist at the College of William & Mary reported in October that the although nine of every ten osprey eggs hatched, only four of every ten chicks survived to fledge. “Chicks were hatching, but they were starving in the nest,” Bryan D. Watts, director of the college’s Center for Conservation Biology wrote in a Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed piece. Virginia biologists have connected the poor survival rate with the decline in the Bay’s menhaden populations, which make up a large portion of the young osprey’s diet.

My note: Ospreys up here in the Middle to Upper Bay have had a fairly good year because they are not to dependent on menhaden. The Lower bay, not so much and the chick survival rates down there have always been lower than up here because of menhaden issues. See LINK for further information. Virginia has historically had more lax environmental restrictions that always seem to have detrimental effects for us in Maryland. When you sit at the mouth of the bay and can literally vacuum up resources who cares about what effect you have upstream? There literally have been "wars" between Maryland and Virginia watermen on the Bay over this kind of thing in the past - oysters, crabs and now menhaden. Virginia still continues to harvest she-crabs for the roe, something MD is not allowed to do. Jimmies (m) only, please, and toss back the sooks (f) because of the declining crab numbers. The company who is sitting at the mouth of the Bay scooping everything up is Omega Proteins of Houston Texas? They also maintain in spite of all the mountains of evidence to the contrary that they are having no effect on the menhaden population or the other creatures who depend on menhaden. Anyone seen the air/water quality in Houston? Why should I be surprised?

Can you tell I feel very strongly about this?
Trishrg 10/28/11 10:33 pm Yes, I can tell you feel strongly Melanie.
This is a shame. And as the articles show, not just the osprey are being affected.
Here in So Cal. they have been enacting regulations regarding over fishing. Everything has a domino effect.
When you tug a single thing in nature.......
cathy 10/28/11 11:53 pm Sorry to hear that. Menhaden are important for many species. I remember seeing schools of them off Cape Cod in the 70's.

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