Supported By
Participating Institutions
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
The Chesapeake Bay Fishery-Independent Multispecies Survey (CHESFIMS) was a NOAA-funded research program conducted co-operatively by researchers from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboraotory, University of Maryland - College Park, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Research cruises were conducted from 2001-2005. In 2006, a reduced subset of the CHESFIMS program was implemented

CHESFIMS built on and expanded earlier research, the NSF-funded Trophic Interactions in Estuarine Systems (TIES) program, into biological production potential and its temporal and spatial variability in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem that had been conducted from 1995 – 2000. Thus TIES and CHESFIMS represent an 11-year survey of the abundances and key trophic interactions in the Chesapeake Bay fish community.

In 2004, Maryland Department of Natural Resources provided funds to expand the baywide sampling program into the Patuxent River, a principal westernshore tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. This sampling program (PAXFIMS) utilized the same midwater trawl in sampling the fish community, but complemented this with collections made with an otter trawl.

Overall, the programmes had three specific objectives:

  • Conduct a baywide survey of the bentho-pelagic fish community, focusing juvenile and young of year fishes in the mainstem of Chesapeake Bay.
  • Conduct pilot surveys of the pelagic fish community in key tributaries and in the mainstem to generate sampling statistics that will of use in subsequent design improvements.
  • Determine trophic interactions among key components of the pelagic fish community, and examine the implication of the relationships uncovered in empirical studies using bioenergetic modeling.
Last updated: 8/28/2006