Bay Journal

Karl Blankenship

How big was last year’s dead zone? It depends on when you ask

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It was quite a surprise: Two reports on Chesapeake Bay dissolved oxygen levels in 2017 came to starkly different conclusions. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported improvements and a vastly reduced dead zone. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science found oxygen conditions at their worst since 2014.

Scientists at both organizations were caught off guard last fall...

PA fishing fee politics could close shad hatchery on the Juniata

Since it began rearing shad 41 years ago, Pennsylvania’s Van Dyke Research Station has released more than 227 million tiny fish into the Susquehanna River basin.

But this might be the last year that the hatchery — located along the Juniata River, one of the Susquehanna’s main tributaries — rears and releases the migratory fish. The operation may fall victim to a budget dispute...

Thanks to those who have our back, we can face the new year

Happy 2018! As we embark on a new year, I need first to thank the many, many Bay Journal readers who made contributions to support our work during 2017. We’re sending so many thank-you letters to donors that I can’t sign them all in one sitting without getting hand cramps — and that’s actually a good thing!

Bay water quality nears record high mark

Water quality in a little more than 39 percent of the Chesapeake was good enough during the last three years to support Bay creatures, from worms to crabs to fish, figures released Thursday show.

That was the second-best extent of good water quality seen in any three-year period since coordinated Chesapeake monitoring efforts began in 1985, according to the state-federal Bay...

Biologist fighting uphill battle to get eelways built on Potomac dams

Decades ago, as Ed Enamait and other biologists surveyed the Potomac River for walleye, smallmouth bass, muskie and other freshwater game fish, they discovered a disturbing trend.

Every year during the 1980s and ’90s, their electroshocking gear brought fewer stunned eels to the surface. “It was troubling,” said Enamait, then a fisheries biologist with the Maryland Department of...

Growth projections to be used to adjust 2025 Bay pollution goals

For state and local governments in the Bay watershed, 2025 may get here sooner than anyone thought.

In what may be a significant change for some areas, the state-federal Bay Program is looking to use projections of 2025 growth in human population, farm animal numbers and land use changes when it updates nutrient and sediment reduction goals next year.

Since the end of 2010, when...

Menhaden catch limit raised along Atlantic coast, slashed in Bay

East Coast fishery managers plan to increase the coastwide menhaden catch by 8 percent next year, while slashing the amount that can be harvested from the Chesapeake Bay.

But despite heavy pressure from environmental groups, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission balked at a proposal that would have required fishery managers to take into account the ecological role of...

Fishery managers reject - for now - bid to manage menhaden for their ecological value

East Coast fishery managers Monday rejected a proposal backed by conservation groups to start setting harvest limits for Atlantic menhaden based on their role as food for other fish and wildlife, not merely their commercial value.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission received nearly 160,000 public comments, more than 99 percent of which urged it to adopt the new...

Striped bass reproduction in Bay a bit above average, surveys show

Striped bass reproduction in the Chesapeake Bay slightly exceeded the long-term average this year, annual surveys show, offering hope that the population is rebounding from low levels that led to coastwide fishing restrictions three years ago.

In Maryland — where reproduction has historically been an accurate predictor of future coastwide populations — the annual juvenile index...

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About Karl Blankenship

Karl Blankenship's avatar

Karl Blankenship is editor of the Bay Journal and Executive Director of Chesapeake Media Service. He has served as editor of the Bay Journal since its inception in 1991, winning numerous awards and recognition for his work, including the 2001 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation; in 2006 he became the fourth person to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Before the Bay Journal, he was a reporter at the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News, and the Saginaw (MI) News. He is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in journalism.

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