The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2011


Points of View & Thoughtful Discussion - Watermen


Watermen POV & TD Navigation

Wally the Waterman    Waterboyz    No fishys No fisherman!     Fisheries of VA

James Woody'n Fisher    Ching Chongs    Captain Xenna and the electric eels

Krusty Krabs    monster prawns    jerkin jellyfish    sandy crabs    The Gilligans

Shaky Shrimp    making a live on the water    We   

Navigation to other POV pages

Bay Ecosystem  ▪  Chesapeake Bay Program   •   Developer  •  Farmers  

Homeowner  •  Local Governments  ▪  Others   •  Recreation/Tourism  •  Watermen

Comments for All Watermen

Response        MMM Cheese Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS


              Dear everybody,   I have seen the errors of my ways. I have done some

              research and, I still believe that the bay doesn’t impact me. On the upper side, I

              will change my ways. “Nitrogen pollution is the most serious pollution problem for

              the Bay because it causes algae blooms that consume oxygen. The blooms lower

              dissolved oxygen levels so severely that fish and shellfish die.” I found that on

              the Chesapeake Bay Foundation website. I do not want to be the one responsible

              for killing all of the estuary animals. I will help all of you clean up the bay. I will

              start recycling, and buying reusable bags, and I will get a more environmentally

              helpful car to drive. i won’t even fertilize my lawn.  I hope that you all will accept

              my apology and forgive me. Sincerely, MMM Cheese Homeowners.





Wally the Waterman                                                                                  North Harford HS



I am Wally the waterman I have a wife and five kids not being able to fish as much  severely hurts my living. I propose that we set less strict limits on fish that I'm allowed to catch. This may lessen the population; however the species will survive due to the limitations. More fish means more profit for fishing and seafood business. Instead of not fishing for one fish, set small limits on all fish. It could be structured so that we could fish for all other fish and make more money while letting the fish stay alive because of limitations. If this failed businesses and the bay would both suffer immensely.



Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   The Ranger in Power - local_gov - LHS                                                   Ask


       Setting limitations on the amount of fish caught is a good idea, but how do you plan to

       enforce the limits?

    From:   crabby ecotours - recreation - NHHS                                                     Ask


       This doesn't make much sense. To start off with the first sentence is a run-on

       sentence. What exactly are you trying to get out of this? Explain what the fishing laws

        are and how this hurts your family. I feel like you're just rambling about fishing.

    From:   EPA Bay program - CBP_Fed - GCHS                                                      Ask


       This is somewhat confusing to read and the Bay wouldn't suffer immensely if there

       were limits put on the fish being harvested from it. How would these proposed limits be


    From:   WE R FARMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - farmer - PPS                                                 Ask


       As a fisherman my self my father and i love what we do. it also supports my family so i

        need to catch as much as i can.

    From:   Shaky Shrimp - Waterman - EHHS                                                         Ask


       I'm confused. You stated that you wanted to set LESS strict limits on the amount of

       fish you're allowed to catch. This means that you want to catch more fish than you

       already are allowed to catch. In the next sentence you state that this will lessen the

       population, but the species will survive do to limitations.  If you catch more fish than

       you are already allowed then obviously you are going to lessen the population. What

       confused me is the part where you say the fish will survive do to limitations.  Are you

       trying to say that there are already too many fish in the Bay and we need to catch

       more? Or, are you trying to say that setting limitations on the amount of fish you are

       allowed to catch will help them survive?  In your second sentence you stated that you

       wanted to catch more fish, so neither one makes sense. Please, explain.

    From:   The Gilligans - Waterman - EHHS                                                          Ask


       I think catching small limits is a good idea, but how are you going to fix the bay


    From:   Bay Bum - CB_Ecosystem - NHHS                                                           Ask


       I think that limits should be put on the fish and you would still make out ok. But if you

       continue with no limits there will end up being no fish left!!!

    From:   WE R FARMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - farmer - PPS                                                 Ask


       I think this is a really good topic to join.

    From:   We - Waterman - MslmnHS                                                                    Ask


       If this is passed what would the chances of it not going as planed?



Top of Page



Waterboyz                                                                                                Gonzaga College HS



We watermen are a vital part of the Chesapeake Bay environment. We are self-employed  harvesters of the spawn of the Bay, and must also contribute to the protection of certain species. Our tough, physically demanding job has been around for hundreds of years, yet we are still independently operated, with no backing from the government or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. Thus, the current state of the Chesapeake Bay poses many problems for myself and my fellow watermen. The excessive pollution of the Bay had decimated populations of many species of creatures, particularly the oyster beds. In addition, the prices for many of the Chesapeake's fish are too low for us watermen to break-even, and profits are out of the question. We have seen waterman after waterman shack up his boat and leave the water in search of a more stable occupation. Many of us watermen started as a mere waterboys, simply helping fathers and uncles out on their boat. For many of us, the Bay has been our entire life, and our livelihood and the livelihood of our sons are threatened by the pollution of the Chesapeake. We're beginning to wonder whether our own children should follow in our footsteps or go their own way in search of a better job. What hurts the most is that we can do little to help our current predicament. We watermen don't have the power to stop pollution of our beloved Chesapeake, we need the government to help us out with legislation lowering the amount of pollution allowed to flow into the Bay. Just imagine for a moment that there were no watermen in the Bay, think of the repercussions of such a tragic loss. We need your help nation, join our cause. Support the watermen!




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   The Gilligans - Waterman - EHHS                                                          Ask



       How will you manage if the government does not help?How will you recover if the

       Chesapeake bay is too polluted?

    From:   John Deere Green Farmers - farmer - EHHS                                         Ask


       Waterboyz do you have any facts about the decreasing oyster populations or the drop

       in income of fisherman? As farmers we know you need to have facts supporting your

       statements so you have backing. We need to work together to solve the issues of the




Top of Page



No fishys No fisherman!                                                                               James Wood HS


 We are the fishermen of the Chesapeake Bay, and we are here to say we need the crabs, POV:

oysters and the whole fishing industry back up to tip top shape! The fishermen of

Chesapeake Bay are very important to our community because they bring the seafood to

the area. It's been said by the people, whom our population of the fishing industry is

increasing drastically and we need to change that not only for food but also for our

watershed to maintain a healthy one. 

We recommend that the people of the Chesapeake Bay help bring the industry back up by

cleaning the bay out and watching for point and non-point pollutions. Also we need to start

fishing less, and begin having higher taxes on the industry. All of this would affect us

positively by having more fishys, crabs and oysters in the Bay so we would have more

catches equaling more jobs to more money in the industry.

In order for all of this to take place in the beginning, we need participation from the

community. We can do this by illegalizing the practices of oysters, crabs, and certain fishys

 that's been affected by the pollutants in the bay. Farmers are the main source of the non

point pollutions. Their fertilizers seep and flow into our watershed contaminating the water.

  The People of the community who fish also could have a limit to the ones they do keep so

it's not killing our fishys dramatically. If this happened to not work and the fishermen of

the community collapsed and failed we would turn to not fishing at all because their would

be no more fish to catch so all fishermen would loose their jobs equaling less income to

support their families to no more seafood for the community.

In conclusion, the statement, affect of the fishermen on the Chesapeake Bay has

drastically made the populations of the crabs, oysters and fishys decline in numbers.

Therefore we look for the help of local government and fishermen to help with the

taxation of the fish and they stay to a limit of catches. The pollution problem needs fixing

by the help of the community so were looking for the help of farmers and local businesses

to reduce the amount of fertilizers and pollutants in are watershed.




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   The Ranger in Power - local_gov - LHS                                                   Ask


       I agree there is a problem, but I don't think the pollution is mostly caused by farmers.

         Setting limits on the amount of fish caught is good in theory but needs to be

       enforced in order for it to work.



Top of Page



Fisheries of VA                                                                                             James Wood HS


Everyone needs to band together to make a consensus so we can take a civic responsibility POV:

to clean the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This shall be done by showing everyone scientific

models which will show what our watersheds currently look like, and how all the sediment is

 soaking into our bay and making it inhabitable for any species to live. Fisherman are losing

there jobs because they are catching limited to no fish in there nets, in return they are

losing money and in the end they lose there jobs. Everyone needs to realize what they are

doing to our watersheds. First we need to figure out whether its point source or non point

source pollution, then we will know how we can clean all this "mess" up. For all the point

source pollution we need to clean it up and help prevent it from happening such as make

factories aware of what they are doing to our future bays by dumping their "garbage" into

tributaries. For non point solution we need to put Riparian buffers all around the bay to

keep put leaves and cattle, place cover crops over plantations so the fertilizer doesn't seep

 into the bay and pollute it. Once the bay is finally all cleaned up we need to put up signs so

that people are aware that they shouldn't pollute the earth because, it's just harming our

ecosystems throughout the United States. Yes it will cost us to continue to make sure our

bay is cleaned but it is well worth it in the end because we will be making a bigger profit by

adding nutrients to the water as an end result fisherman will have more of a crop of fish.

We will come up with all the money for this project by asking people to donate money and

there time so it can get cleaned up efficiently and quickly. We will also send letters to the

government to see if they will give us a grant to work with, this way it will be easier to

clean up our bay.




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   We - Waterman - MslmnHS                                                                    Ask


       I agree with what you are saying but what if the bigger companies refuse to help clean

        up or stop causing pollution because of money loss??



Top of Page



James Woody'n Fisher                                                                                  James Wood HS


As fisherman our livelihood is at dire straits meaning were loosing many fish. While our veryPOV:

 own Chesapeake Bay watershed is what they say -going down the toilet- our community

needs to take civic responsibility for their actions. As fisherman we take stakeholder

position to bring our community together to start rebuilding our watershed.

Fishermen usually keep the waters in check by eliminating over-populated fish. However,

the bay problems that are occurring are killing our fish, and damaging our boats. By

bringing positive solutions to our bay it's affecting our jobs. We will have more food and

also cleaner water. Using the best management practice -a method used to prevent or

reduce the pollution resulting from some activity- will help prevent the fish and other

critters from catching things like diseases. A non point source meaning washed up form the

surface of the land can also be of some help depending on what the citizens in our

community do.

 As in keeping our bay form throwing trash in it and the beaches clean of Styrofoam,

plastic, glass, and others. We need to modify our sediment amounts and use riparian

buffers. We also need to use cover crops down where farmers place there crops. Using

the solutions fish could re-populate and critters can have their homes. Without using the

solutions we have given above we would loose our jobs and the nutrients that are in fish

could bring peoples health at risk. If we were so harmed by the process, we fisherman,

wouldn't be able to help our community by giving them food like fish, crabs, clams, etc.

Please take the time to think about the problems we are having, this could change ours and

our children's futures forever.




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion



Top of Page



Ching Chongs                                                                                                Rappahannock HS


Period: Nuclear Snail Fizzle

Group: Ching Chongs

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (Watermen)

"What is all the commotion about the Chesapeake Bay?" someone who is uninformed about

the bay may ask. The Chesapeake Bay's health affects almost every citizen of Virginia. The

 bay provides habitats for many plants and animals, and also jobs for citizens, like

watermen. Watermen's income comes directly from what they are able to get from the

bay. Sometimes, watermen can't pull up their crab pots, due to over grown aquatic

vegetation. When an aquatic grass absorbs too much nutrients, the plant grows up around

the crab pot, making it difficult for the watermen to pull the pot up. Losing a pot is a loss in

 profit, and as well all know economic times are tough enough already. By controlling the

excess nutrients by adding more aquatic vegetation to the bay, this problem could

eventually be resolved.

A watermen's job requires them to directly use the bay. They can fish, crab, oyster and

even shrimp. Watermen are vital to the bay, because they keep these from overpopulating.

When blue crabs are molting, they need a place to hide, away from predators. Submerged

aquatic vegetation provides shelter for them during this time. Without the vegetation the

waterman wouldn't have them as a profit. Also, the grasses filter the water for the bay

organisms. However, when the plants take in excess nutrients they overgrow and cover the

crab pots. This makes the watermen unable to pull up a pot, therefore they'll lose the

profit, and time spent preparing and dropping the pot off.

Excess nutrients causes big problems in our bay, such as runoff and untreated water going

 into the bay, that plants and bay animals intake. With too many nutrients, algae blooms can

 also form above the grasses, choking any nutrients from getting to them. With dying

aquatic grasses, the blue crabs don't have any place to hide during their molting phase. As

you can probably already guess, this is not good news for the watermen. Over the past 30

years, the submerged aquatic vegetation has declined. Although scientists are not sure of

the exact reason why this is, there are many contributing factors. Some would be

overgrazing by animals, warming trends of Bay waters, natural diseases, and natural

disasters such as Hurricane Agnes that had a significant effect on the Bay.

  Well, now that we know the problems, what can we do about it? Volunteers should offer

to grow submerged aquatic vegetation in their homes, schools, and even work places, to

eventually be placed back into the bay. With more plants in the bay, the excess nutrients

wouldn't be going into the same plants at all times. Therefore, they wouldn't overgrow. The

 more bay plants there are, the more hiding places the blue crabs will have while molting.

Which as you can guess, is great news for the watermen investing in crab pots. With more

thriving aquatic grasses, the bay would be flitered even more so. Bay animals would be living

 in a healthier quality water than before.

  Now, what have we learned? That while watermen do depend on the grasses to protect

their crabs from predators, overgrown grasses can cause problems. The excess nutrients makes the grasses grow too much, and allows algae to form over top the plants, which chokes off their nutrients. If volunteers worked together, to grow new plants that are planted back into the bay, this could solve the nutrient problem. Making for healthier plants, animals, and citizens that use the bay. 




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Having volunteers grow aquatic grasses in their homes, schools, and businesses is an

       intriguing and new thinking outside the box idea to not only save the Bay but increase

       education of the issue as a whole.  How would you make it work logistically?  What

       equipment would homeowners need? What species of grasses? How would they

       transplant the grass from their homes to the Bay?


       What else needs to be done to reduce the algae to allow the grasses to grow once




Top of Page




Captain Xenna and the electric eels                                                            Rappahannock HS


Did you know the translation of the word Chesapeake from the Algonquian language is

"Great Shellfish Bay?" The Chesapeake Bay is justifiably famous for its oysters and believe

 it or not one hundred years ago some of the oyster reefs were so healthy that they were

considered to be navigational hazards. Sadly, today's depleted population of oysters is less

than 1 percent of what it used to be. Unfortunately, everyone has taken part in the decline

of oyster population. Watermen have a huge impact on the Bay and make their basic living

by catching and selling water creatures that society demands. The information we have

learned, the problems we have caused, and the solutions we have made are all important in

keeping a healthy and balanced Chesapeake Bay. There is still much to learn about this

magnificent, mysterious Bay.


  A few facts about oysters; oysters are filter feeders, which means that they are natural

water quality improvers. The native oyster population could filter the entire Bay in a week,

that's nineteen trillion gallons of water! But, sadly today's oyster population takes nearly a

year to filter the same amount of water. Nearly two billion pounds of oysters are eaten

every year. At one time oysters were so abundant in the Bay that their reefs define the

major river channels and their reefs extended to near the surface of the water. There are

 more than 8,000 species of oysters and hundreds of Bay creatures need hard surfaces

like those found on oyster reefs to survive. In the 1800's, since the rise of big cities such

as Norfolk, Richmond, and Washington D.C. people demanded for more seafood. During this

 time we harvested oysters for resale to restaurants and seafood wholesale companies. We

 were trying to earn a living and ended up succeeding at it. No problems arise if you can

replenish what you are taking but when you cannot, problems are made.


In the past century, certain problems have caused the decline in the oyster population.

Scientists have concluded that there are five main problems: overharvesting, habitat

destruction, disease, sedimentation, and poor water quality. Overharvesting in the main

problem watermen caused. Watermen had first started harvesting oysters around the late

1600's. Back then harvesting meant wading out into shallow water and picking oysters by

hand. Around 1700 tongs came into use to obtain oysters from deeper water and today's

technology is a process called dredging. By 1875 seventeen million bushels of oysters were

removed from the Bay and harvesting still continued. In the mid 1880's twenty million

bushels were being taken every year. During the twentieth century oysters were the most

harvested shellfish in the Bay. To add to that the oyster diseases, MSX and Dermo, had

struck. These diseases could kill more than ninety percent of exposed oysters within two to

 three years. Both diseases spread quickly in warm, high salinity waters. Finally, in the mid

1980's they oyster stocks crashed and very slowly the harvesting declined.


Solutions were quickly made in trying to restore the oyster population. By restoring oyster

reefs and protecting them from harvest, there is potential to increase populations. The

main strategy for regulating harvest is establishing sanctuaries and special management

areas throughout the Bay. Oyster sanctuaries are selected places where oysters are

planted that prohibit harvesting and are created to provide underwater reef structures

that provide habitat and environmental benefits. Scientists improve habitat in oyster

sanctuaries by cleaning sediment off the reefs and adding cultch, which is clean, empty

shells or other hard material. There is also talk about breeding strains of native oysters

with greater disease resistance. This will greatly reduce the chance of an oyster getting a

disease. The major challenge is to determine what level of exploitation is appropriate and

will not compromise restoration effects.


Today, unfortunately, virtually nothing is left of the once abundant oyster reefs. Although

many efforts are being made to restore the native oysters it is uncertain whether we will

meet success. It seems that the Chesapeake Bay oyster system is a classic example of a

reoccurring tendency in human history: use it until it's gone. Since we have learned from

our mistakes, we have realized we need to be more resourceful so that we can benefit far

more people over a longer period of time. The information we have learned, the problems

we have caused, and the solutions we have made are all important in keeping a healthy and

balanced Chesapeake Bay. We all know that we could be a bit more helpful in participating

in cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. It is always stated that if you take care of valuable

things they tend to last a lot longer. So what are you waiting for? Join a volunteer clean-up



Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       It is a shame that such a well written POV is so long that no one has yet commented on


       What Best management practices can be taken to help lower non-point source pollution

        and help save the oysters?



Top of Page



Krusty Krabs                                                                                                 Rappahannock HS


Have you ever wondered why people make such a big deal about the Chesapeake Bay and

the Chesapeake Bay watershed? Well maybe because, the Chesapeake Bay watershed

stretches across six states and affects everyone that lives or works around it. The

watermen of the watershed have experienced many job cuts, because of the decline in fish

 and other species populations. There are many problems that cause the decline of these

species, but can all be resolved through restoration programs and the reducing of pollution

from the watershed.


  The Chesapeake Bay watershed has more than 100,000 streams and rivers called

tributaries that stretch 200 miles long. There is more than 15 trillion gallons of water that

provide about 500 million pounds of seafood each year. The waterman of the Chesapeake

Bay work to capture over 350 species of fish, crabs, shellfish, mollusks, and arthropods.

All of these species can be found living on the watershed's waters, wetlands, and

shorelines. The Chesapeake Bay watershed is mostly known for its famous rockfish, a

regional name for striped bass, and its oyster farming industry. The Chesapeake Bay

watershed is a major seafood resource, but is becoming less productive because of

pollution, overharvesting, and many other disastrous effects of man-mad products.


Today, the Chesapeake Bay watershed's productivity has greatly decreased because of

runoff from urban cities, overharvesting, and the invasions from foreign species. Also, the

watershed's dead zones are suggested to kill 75,000 tons of bottom-dwelling clams and

worms which diminish food from another watershed species. The runoff and pollution

prevents sunlight from reaching the watershed, resulting in the death of grasses for

species to eat and reduces grasses that filter the bay and watershed. There has also been

a depletion of oysters due to the fact of overharvesting and damaged habitation. Oysters

serve as natural water filters, but their decline has reduced the water quality in the bay.

Twenty years ago, the bay and watershed supported over 6,000 oystermen, but today

there are fewer than 500 oystermen jobs. All of these problems in the bay lead to

solutions that help bring the bay back to its natural and true state.


  There are many ways to avoid pollution and the decline of the species from the watershed

 and bay. Throwing trash in proper places, reducing, reusing, and recycling things around

your house and environment provide a safer place for all species living around the

Chesapeake Bay's watershed. Runoff can be prevented by not pouring oils down the storm

drains, which can kill the watershed's oxygen and population. By cutting the plastic ties off

of soda cans and disposing of them properly, animals won't choke or get tangled in these

objects. The decline of the fish population can be reduced by making laws that reduce the

amount of fish caught by a waterman. Cleaning up the bay and watershed should be an

important topic to all, because it will give a healthier environment to animals and humans.

Cleaning up the environment will also reduce the declining seafood population, and increase

jobs for waterman.


The Chesapeake Bay and its watershed have greatly decreased the number of jobs for

waterman, because of the decline in the fish and oyster populations. The decline of these

species has been caused by pollution, over-harvesting, invasion from foreign species, and

runoff from urban cities. There are many ways to prevent these problems from affecting the bay including disposing of trash properly, making laws to prevent over-harvesting, and restoration programs. There are many ways for everyone to protect the watershed and stop the decline of the species inside it. Renewing the watershed will create more jobs for watermen and created a safer environment for everyone living and working around it. 




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   Ching Chongs - Waterman - RHS                                                             Ask


        I must say i was impressed whn I read this. This makes sense I agree that these

       changes are ones that pay off in the long run.



Top of Page



monster prawns                                                                                             Rappahannock HS


Monster Prawns

Declining Oyster Harvest - Watermen


Ever wonder what it's like to be a waterman? Well being a watermen isn't easy. They deal

with many issues such as declining oyster harvest.  This essay will explain what a waterman

is and what they do, what type of problems they deal with, and how to solve these



A waterman is a very skilled boatman. They make their living working on the bay. It is a

tough and physical way of life. Most watermen work year-round to modify their equipment

to follow the seasons. Watermen harvest many of things such as oyster. Oyster harvesting

is one of the main causes of the decline in oyster population.


Oyster farming is an aquaculture practice in which oysters are raised for human

consumption. Due to over harvesting, many of the natural populations in the Chesapeake Bay

 are depleting.  This causes a lack of resources, for oysters are a main source of the

economy in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  They also are a source of food for many

animals in the watershed, and harvesting them takes away the food of those animals.


There are many things we can do to solve this problem.  We can lower the number of

oyster farms in the watershed.  We can also decide to harvest some other type of animal

plant for food and trade, therefore solving the economy aspect of the problem.  I believe

that ecoscientists should think about how we can prevent the extinction of oysters.


So to sum it all up, oyster harvesting is declining the oyster population. They are a source

of food for many animals in the watershed, but we still have to lower the amount of

oysters harvested in. We can try to harvest other animals besides oysters to help. So to all

you waterman, try to do the best you can at harvesting too many oysters.




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   The Ranger in Power - local_gov - LHS                                                   Ask


       During this past holiday season, oysters were as high as $80 per gallon.  As long as

       people are willing to pay this amount, I don't see how telling watermen to reduce their

       catch will work.  What other type of sea creature is available in the Bay for watermen

       to catch that will be profitable?

    From:   We - Waterman - MslmnHS                                                                    Ask


       Ok so what would you suggest we start using in stead of oysters?



Top of Page




jerkin jellyfish                                                                                             Rappahannock HS


Have you ever been the little guy that is all ways getting picked on by the bigger, meaner

kids?  Well menhaden are those people, except they are fish, and they don't get picked on

they are caught and killed.  Menhaden are a key food supply for numerous predator fish,

but the menhaden population is declining.  A way to fix this problem would be to have only a

 certain amount of menhaden that can be caught in the Bay.

Menhaden are forage fish that are filter feeders, and they are bony and oily. They are

inedible to humans.   They eat algae and plank tonic, organisms. Menhaden are used for

poultry and livestock feed.  Printing ink, plastics, and buildings are some of the things that

menhaden are made into.  These are the second most important species in the United

States.   In the winter the menhaden leave for warmer ocean waters.  Menhaden can be

caught (found) from spring to autumn.  Watermen catch menhaden by a purse seine net. 

They swim near the surface of the water in schools the size of a football field.  Nicknames

 for menhaden are bunker, bug eye, and pogie.

Scientists are concerned about the menhaden population.  Causes of the menhaden declining

 are heavy fishing on adult menhaden and the changing environment conditions. The main

conditions changing are the climate change and poor water quality.  By having a decline in

menhaden, it affects other fish like the striped bass.  Menhaden affect the striped bass'

ability to grow, its health, and their migration.  For the past sixty years more pounds of

menhaden have been caught more than any other fish.

To prevent the menhaden population from declining even more there has been a cap placed

on amount of the menhaden that can be caught from the bay. The Atlantic States Marine

Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) keeps track of how many menhaden are caught each year. 

Another way scientists are trying to keep track of the menhaden population is to study the

effects of menhaden fishing.

Menhaden are a very important fish for their predators.  Menhaden are one of the

keystone species in the Chesapeake Bay.   This keystone species abundance is declining, and

there is only a certain amount that you can catch to help keep this species alive.  Menhaden

are those little guys that are picked on by bigger, meaner kids.



Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS                                                               Ask


       We fail to see your POV as the smaller guy that always gets picked on.  … I kissed a

       menhaden once, they are nice people...Even if it was already flash frozen.  They are

       overfished and the population decrease is a problem.  Menhaden are our main source

       of sustenance.  Sticter limits should be set on these fish.  Other species could also be

       used for oil and feed.  The nets used to catch menhaden also produced a lot of

       bycatch that is just left to die.  Large factory ships should be outlawed. Small family

       owned boats are less economical and less deadly to the fish. 




       Menhaden are great fish that everyone should read about, love and cherish.  Without

       them we would all be SOL.  We have a bumpersticker on our van that says I <3 Men

       haden.  A simple donation of ten dollars could help save this beloved fish.   

                                                           TD edited by Moderator.

    From:   We - Waterman - MslmnHS                                                                    Ask


       So are there any other ways to help keep the Menhanden alive, or help reduce the

       captured amount of them caught?



Top of Page



sandy crabs                                                                                                  Rappahannock HS


  Oysters used to be the main industry along the Chesapeake Bay but over time the oyster

population has decreased to about 1% of what it used to be. This was caused by

overfishing, diseases, and pollution. While the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and many other

organizations are doing their best to restore the population, although there are still things

that need to be taken care of.


  Overfishing seriously decreased the number of oysters in the bay. Dredging is a key

factor in the decrease in the population, because you rip out the reef and have nothing for

the spat to latch on to. They also use tonguing which just removes quite a few oysters at

one time. As well as taking oysters away it also is very time consuming.


   Diseases are another of the main cause of the decline of the oyster population in the

Chesapeake Bay. There are several diseases such as MXS and Dermo.  They have weakened

 the population so much so that the filtration which could be done in 3 days is now done in

one year. Many of the organizations are trying to wipe out the diseases entirely but they

unfortunately have not succeeded.


  Pollution comes from anything that lives on earth, although the main source of pollution is

human related. Fertilizer run off is a big pollution cause from all throughout the

watershed, the effect it has it that it causes the seaweed to flourish and no sunlight can

get to anything on the bottom including oysters. Pollution comes from roads and parking

lots and the roads from the gas and oil from the many cars that travel them.


  To solve this problem we can try not to use as much fertilizer at one time, and plant new

trees and do not take out as many trees right on the shore to stop erosion. Keep invasive

species under control such as cow nose rays that prey on oysters. Attempt to filter the

water as much as you can from where ever you can.


  The fight to end oyster depletion is going to be a long hard struggle, and is going to take

every ones effort. We are going to have to seriously think about how we can stop

overfishing, decrease diseases in the water, and stop pollution. It is going to take  everyone

thinking about everything they do before they do it to start replenishing the oyster 





Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       It is a very good point that the fight to end oyster depletion is going to be a long hard

       struggle and is going to take every one's effort.   It is very true that it is going to take

        everyone to solve this problem.


       For 26 years people have talked about and thought about how to stop pollution but the

        Bay is still not clean yet.  What can we do to change this trend and drastically improve

        the health of the Chesapeake bay? 


       And finally, how specifically do you propose we “filter the water?”  Please elaborate.



Top of Page



The Gilligans                                                                                                     East Hardy HS


We fisherwomen and fishermen are a major source of seafood supply for the entire POV:

nation. The demand of seafood is increasing and the Chesapeake bay produces about 500

million pounds of seafood per year.

We are also important because we regulate fish population. The chesapeake bay problems

are detrimental to us because they make us lose our source of income. The sediments fill

up our bay's fishes habitats and they're forced to move out to find a new shelter, leaving

us fisherwomen and fishermen without any fish. Sediment ponds would help drastically to

maintain a healthier bay by accumulating sediments over time, preventing them to run off in

 the bay's waters. Another solution would be to establish rules for harvest, like it has been

done before with the striped bass, a fish whcih was once a troubled specie in the

Chesapeake bay. This fish, also known as rockfish or stripers, is now supporting one of the

bay's most popular commercial and recreational fisheries. We would adapt to any available

solution, because we know that the Chesapeake bay's problems are important. As

fisherwomen and fishermen, we would prefer the solution of creating new sediment ponds,

because it should not interfere too much with our business, however, we are aware of the

cost of the construction of new sediment ponds and we therefore think that establishing

new rules would be a more attractive solution. Yet, those new rules should not be created

only for fishermen, but also for all the other building trades that have an impact on the

quality of the bay's water. As we all know, everything we do on the land affects our

streams, rivers, and the bay. This means that to protect our bay's water, everyone should

change their way of life, and nw regulations should be set for all of us. Please, help us

fishermen and fisherwomen.




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   Daring Developer - developer - NHHS                                                     Ask


       We need to think in the long run too- possibly putting a moritorium on some species

       could help out the fishermen and fisherwomen in the long run so they will have more

       fish to fish for!



Top of Page



Shaky Shrimp                                                                                                   East Hardy HS


We the fishermen, of the grand Chesapeake Bay, play a very important role in our POV:

community, country, and world. The Bay is the largest of 130 estuaries in the United

States, being 200 miles long and holding more than 15 trillion gallons of water. A large

number of individuals rely on us fishermen for seafood year round. The Chesapeake Bay

alone produces about 500 million pounds of seafood per year.

The water problems of the Chesapeake Bay, negatively affect not only us Shaky Shrimp

fishermen, but all of the other watermen and stakeholders of the Chesapeake Bay area as

well. The Bay supports more than 3,600 different species of plants, fish, and animals.

Therefore, 3,600 different species are at risk, because of both the point source and non-

point source pollution of the Bay. The point and non-point pollution depreciates the 3,600

different species' essential nutrients, altering their familiar ecosystem. The depreciation of

 nutrients in the ecosystem causes species to compete for survival, perhaps, depleting

certain species. The Bay's water pollution issues affect the health of the catch, therefore

decreases the number of healthy catch, which diminishes our stock number and our pay.

BMPs, best management practices, have been created in attempt to protect the Bay. Best

management practices, methods used to prevent or reduce the pollution resulting from

some acitivies, include: Cover cropping, riparian buffers, and infiltration practices. Our

occupation progression or regression are virtually in the hands of the best management

practices. The cover cropping method is carried out by planting grass to keep rain from

washing soil, nutrients, and other pollution into streams, this method is often used on farms

 and construction sites where top soil is exposed. Riparian buffers are areas along rivers

and streams planted with tall grass and/or trees to help filter nutrients, sediments, and

other pollutants from runoff as well as remove pollutants from groundwater. Infiltration

practices are used to capture and temporarily store the water quality volume before

allowing it to infiltrate into the soil, promoting pollutant treatment and groundwater

recharge. If these BMP methods acquire positive outcomes, we Shaky Shrimp, along with all

 of the Chespeake Bay watermen will have hope for future business. If these  BMPs do not

restore water quality, our watermen days will be shortly numbered.

As the Shaky Shrimp fishermen of the Chesapeake Bay, we prefer solutions such as the

BMPs listed above as well as heavy community involvement. We the citizens of the

Chesapeake Bay area, as well as the people of the surrounding tributaries, have a civic

responsibility to practice eco-friendly actions to decrease the point and non-point source

pollution of the Bay. As the residents of the Bay and the tributary areas, we should be

compelled to reach a community wide consesus in addition to the tributary strategy,

defined as river specific cleanup plans in the Chesapeake Bay watershed area, to protect

our grand Chesapeake Bay and all of its components. Get informed, get involved, for the

sake of our Chesapeake Bay and all of its components.  Our Chesapeake Bay deserves

exceptional stewards to protect it and nothing less! 




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Great outline and identification of background information and several BMPs.  How do

       propose to implement them?  Will they be voluntary or mandatory? Who will be

       expected to execute them and monitor their success?

        Response        Shaky Shrimp - Waterman - EHHS

                             To:  MODERATOR - other - PHWS


              Our BMP ideas are voluntary. We feel the people of the Bay area should be

              compelled to improve the Chesapeake Bay for the good of the community. As we

              mentioned above we feel the people of the area should take charge with a

              community-wide group to carry out our BMP ideas. As for implementing our BMPs,

               the outcome of improving the Bay should be the only implement needed. 



Top of Page



making a live on the water                                                                                      Paw Paw S


Watermen make their living harvesting the Bay's finfish, shellfish, eels and crabs. POV:

Independent and self-employed, they own their boats and choose their catch. It's a tough,

physically demanding way of life, and it's been going on for hundreds of years. Their

profession is as diverse as the Bay's species. There are pound netters, crabbers over

generations they have developed boat designs, gear and fishing methods unique to the

Chesapeake.  The watermen are concerned about the fish. 

Many start working as youngsters helping their fathers or uncles. Most find they can't

bear to leave the freedom of the water for anything else. But that's changing. What once

was a relatively open fishery is now tightly regulated by Virginia, Maryland and in some

cases the federal government. Disease and overharvesting have devastated the oyster

beds. Prices for some fish are too low to make fishing a break-even proposition, let alone a

profitable one. Many watermen are leaving the water, finding part-time jobs on land to

supplement their income, or trying new ways like aquaculture.




Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   The Gilligans - Waterman - EHHS                                                          Ask


       what exactly is causing  harm to you as fisherman?

        Response        making a live on the water - Waterman - PPS

                             To:  The Gilligans - Waterman - EHHS


              ALl the pollution thats happening in the chesapeak bay. Like all the medication

              going into the water for example.

    From:   We - Waterman - MslmnHS                                                                    Ask


       it must be hard living the sailor life for so long than havin to leave becuase it doesnt

       pay to risk your life geting sea food..



Top of Page



We                                                                                                                     Musselman HS


     We feel that controlling and regulating the amount of pollution that enters the POV:

Chesapeake Bay is a vital asset to the fishing industry's survival in the area. The amount of

pollution that goes into the bay is directly proportionate to the amount of fish that live in

the Chesapeake. If pollution would be reduced then that would allow the water to become

more inhabitable for the fish and or aquatic wildlife. I also believe that it will allow the

aquatic life to thrive and to increase the business of fisherman and other purveyors of

aquatic life.

In order to accomplish this task we need to get support for our efforts from the local

community and government. With their help it will be much easier to reduce the amount of

pollution and/or regulate it to the extent that we wish it to be.  In order to acquire the

government's help we could start up a petition that would lean toward the reduction of

pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. We believe that voluntary work on this project will be

essential to the success of this clean up project. The alternatives to voluntary work would

have to be hiring workers in order to get all of the work that we need to get done on the

Chesapeake. The ways that we could raise money for the project is with fundraisers

and/or business endorsements that could result in the generating of a steady cash flow

that could then be directed to the things that we need in order to clean up the bay.  We

might be able get point source polluters to pay for some of the non-point source pollution if

 we could trace some of the non-point source pollution back to the point source polluters.

These are just a few of the things that we believe apply to the cleanup of the Chesapeake





Join the Thoughtful Discussion

Thoughtful Discussion

    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Interesting proposition.  What would your petition to the government say and what

       other stake holder groups do you think you could get to sign it?

       Finding and exposing polluters is also an interesting idea that River Keeper

       organizations have been attempting lately.  How are you looking to make them pay?

       Through legal action (suing) Tax increases? Fees?



Top of Page