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Step 3 – Eliminate poorly oxygenated areas

Now take your updated chart and use the Chesapeake Bay Dissolved Oxygen map provided and the oxygen information found on the following links to begin shading out areas that do not have adequate oxygen for your target fish using the information you gathered in Step 1.

Tips:

  • General oxygen patterns will remain stable unless there are prolonged periods of high winds (increases oxygen) or extreme heat (decreases oxygen), or large algal blooms (decrease oxygen at night or when they decompose).
  • Note: For your convenience, we have included oxygen preferences for some popular Chesapeake Bay gamefish.

Links:

  1. Chesapeake Bay Oxygen map(view in Step 3 on main page)
    This composite map includes oxygen data over all Maryland Chesapeake Bay waters from surface to bottom and will provide a good overview of general conditions.
       - IMPORTANT: Pay special attention to map areas that are yellow (~3 mg/L of oxygen.) Below this depth there won't be adequate oxygen for Chesapeake Bay fish. Eliminate these areas on your map. DO NOT FISH BELOW THIS DEPTH! If schooling fish are present in the general area, they will be at a shallower depth.

  2. Eyes on the Bay: Don't Fish Below This Depth
    This map identifies the depth at which oxygen levels are unsuitable for most Chesapeake Bay gamefish (~3 mg/L.) DO NOT FISH BELOW THIS DEPTH! The monitoring stations are displayed on a nautical chart to help you visualize the layers of poorly oxygenated waters in
    relation to the bottom contour.

  3. Eyes on the Bay: Oxygen monitoring stations
    This site will help you determine the specific oxygen at the stations nearest to your general fishing area.
       - Use the "Filter station" dropdown to select continuous monitoring, long-term monitoring and partners/other data providers.
       - The long-term monitoring sites (red square red squares) are generally located in deep water and can be selected and will show you how current year's results compare to the long-term average.
       - The continuous monitoring sites (orange circle orange and light green circle light green circles) are generally located in shallow waters and show oxygen conditions at real or near real time. Because these sites collect data every 15 minutes you are able to see the daily oxygen changes that occur in response to local submerged aquatic vegetation/algae production (day) and consumption (night) of oxygen. Oxygen data can be plotted numerous ways.
       - The Partners/Other Data Providers sites (orange cross orange and yellow crosses yellow crosses) are additional sites that show salinity conditions at real or near real time. Because these sites collect data every 15 minutes you are able to see the rapid oxygen changes that occur in response to local submerged aquatic vegetation/algae production (increases oxygen during day) and consumption (decreases oxygen during night) of oxygen and also wind mixing (increases oxygen).

  4. Chesapeake Observing System (NOAA CBOS) Oxygen monitoring stations
    This real-time site will help you verify your bottom oxygen conditions at the Gooses Reef (west of mouth of Little Choptank River). All other Maryland CBOS sites collect surface oxygen values which are almost always well over minimum oxygen requirements for Chesapeake Bay fish.
       - Select the station nearest to your general fishing location, and select "Dissolved Oxygen." For convenience, you can plot out oxygen information from 1 to 30 day periods.

Now that you have eliminated areas that don't have adequate oxygen on your chart, you are ready to move to: Step 4 – Eliminate areas outside preferred temperature range

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