Bay Journal

Topics: Fisheries

Freshwater bivalves flexing their muscles as water filterers

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Oysters are in many ways the restoration darlings of the Chesapeake Bay cleanup effort. Touted for multiple benefits — as edible, water-filtering moneymakers — oysters attract both enthusiasm and funding to promote their recovery.

But the popularity of oysters often overshadows the water-cleansing role of other filter feeders such as mussels. A growing group of mussel advocates think it’s high time that the bivalves share the spotlight as clean-water workhorses that can carry the message farther upstream.

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Bloede Dam removal blasts off

The demolition of Bloede Dam finally got under way Tuesday, as explosives blew a hole in the long-dormant hydroelectric facility blocking the Patapsco River west of Baltimore.  Kiewit, the Nebraska-based contractor handling the removal...

Patapsco River dam set for demolition

If it ever stops raining, one of the biggest remaining barriers to fish migration in the Chesapeake Bay watershed will finally come down. Bloede Dam, a long-dormant hydroelectric facility near Baltimore, is supposed to be breached with...

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About Fisheries

Acre for acre, the Chesapeake Bay is one of the most productive water bodies on the planet when it comes to fish. Populations of the native striped bass and nonnative blue catfish have risen dramatically in recent decades, while blue crabs appear to be on the road to recovery.

Recent interest in aquaculture has sharply increased commercial production of oysters from the Chesapeake. Nonetheless, problems such as historic overfishing, habitat loss and disease have reduced the abundance of some iconic species such as wild oyster populations, American shad and river herring, American eels and Atlantic sturgeon to near record-low levels. In the headwaters, brook trout have suffered major habitat losses.

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