Completed Actions

  • In 2015, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources published draft benchmarks of striped bass nutrition and forage availability in an effort to develop indicators to asses forage status and striped bass well-being in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland has also begun to evaluate and quantify consumption indices for striped bass.
  • In 2016, the Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team shared the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee report on forage species with stakeholders through the Management Board. This report identified critical forage species and offered actionable recommendations for their management.
  • In 2016, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science published its research to develop a suite of forage indicators and consumption profiles for representative predators in the Chesapeake Bay and to investigate environmental drivers of forage population trends. This work was supported by Chesapeake Bay Program funds administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
  • In 2017, the Forage Action Team worked with the Communications Team to develop Bay 101: Fish Food. This instructional video describes critical forage species and how these species are studied in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • In 2017, four watershed organizations participated in a pilot project to monitor the presence and abundance of forage fish and invertebrates in four nearshore habitats. The Forage Action Team will evaluate this work and determine whether to pursue additional citizen monitoring programs.

Watershed-Wide Actions


  • Working with the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Climate Resiliency Workgroup to determine how the distribution of fish populations may be incorporated into an indicator of climate change.
  • Working with the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Fish Habitat Action Team to complete and share the results of our work to understand the impacts hardened shorelines have on forage abundance, diversity and health and to determine the threshold beyond which proposed shoreline hardening should not be approved.
  • Sharing the results of recent and ongoing forage research with the scientific and broader Chesapeake Bay communities.


  • Reviewed this outcome’s management strategy and determine whether changes would better reflect the Chesapeake Bay Program’s goals.
  • Selected one or more environmental indicators to track and assess the status of the Chesapeake Bay’s forage base.


  • Worked with the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Scientific, Technical Assessment and Reporting team to evaluate options to improve shallow-water estuarine monitoring efforts.