Step 2 – Eliminate areas outside preferred salinity range
Now take your chart and use the provided Chesapeake Bay salinity map and the salinity information found on the following links to begin shading out areas that are outside the preferred salinity range of your target fish using the information you gathered in Step 1.
- Salinity Pattern Stability - General salinity patterns will remain stable unless there are prolonged periods of substantial rain (decreases salinity) or dry weather (increases salinity).
- In general, salinity will increase the closer water is to the mouth of the Bay. In addition, because salty waters are denser than fresher waters, salinity will often increase with depth.
- Many types of Bay fish can handle a wider range of salinity conditions (for example:striped bass, white perch, etc). Changing salinity conditions impact these types of fish less than those fish types (eg. largemouth bass, etc) which can only survive in fresh, or very low, salinity conditions.
- Note: For your convenience, we have included some salinity preferences for some popular Bay gamefish.
- Chesapeake Bay Salinity map (Eyes on the Bay) – (view in Step 2 on main page)
This composite map includes recent salinity data over all Maryland Bay waters from surface to bottom and will provide a good overview of general salinity conditions.
- Current vs. historical salinity comparison map (Eyes on the Bay) –
This map will help you determine if the water is much saltier or fresher than normal in your general fishing area.
- Salinity monitoring stations (Eyes on the Bay)–
This page will help you determine the specific salinity 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 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 and light green circles) are generally located in shallow waters and show salinity conditions at real or near real time. Because these sites collect data every 15 minutes you are able to see salinity changes in response to local changes in rainfall amount/frequency. Salinity data can be plotted numerous ways.
- The Partners/Other Data Providers sites ( orange and 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 salinity changes in response to local changes in rainfall amount/frequency.
- Salinity monitoring buoys (Chesapeake Observing System [NOAA CBOS])–
This real-time site will help you verify your salinity conditions at several main bay/main river sites. Select the station nearest to your general fishing location, and select "Water Salinity." For convenience, you can plot out salinity information from 1 day to 30 day periods.
Now that you have eliminated areas outside your preferred salinity range on your chart, you are ready to move to: Step 3 – Eliminate poorly oxygenated areas