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Every year in the late fall, migratory striped bass (Morone saxatilis)—rockfish—make a trip into the Chesapeake Bay on the way from their summer home off New England to their winter grounds off the capes of Virginia and North Carolina.

Through a unique partnership with the Virginia Commonwealth University, real-time data from a new buoy in the James River is now available via the Chesapeake Bay Interpretive Buoy System.

In partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office’s CBIBS team today completed a full-buoy replacement of the CBIBS First Landing buoy.

First Landing buoy with Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in the background

Ten years have passed since Hurricane Isabel tracked through the Chesapeake region with high winds and high water levels. Isabel made landfall near Drum Inlet, North Carolina, around 1 p.m. Thursday, September 18, as a category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds.

CBIBS buoys track dissolved oxygen—“DO”—levels. Having adequate DO is essential for all species that live in the Bay; like humans, the Bay’s living resources—like fish and crabs—need oxygen. Different species can tolerate different levels of oxygen, but scientists generally agree that the Bay’s aquatic species can survive with at least 5 milligrams of oxygen per liter. 

Additional data from the Gooses Reef CBIBS buoy location is once again available, thanks to deployment of a new acoustic modem that relays water-quality information from the bottom of the Bay to the main buoy.

Parameters tracked there—roughly 37.5 feet below the surface—are:

In addition to providing real-time data on current conditions out on the Chesapeake, through this website, you can also make graphs to help you track trends in any of the parameters observed by CBIBS buoys. This can be done using the quick graph feature on any of the individual buoys' pages or the Data Snapshot page, or by creating a custom graph using the Data Graphing Tool.

Saturday, April 20, 5:01 a.m.: It’s a date and time many Chesapeake-area anglers have had written in pen on their calendars for a long time.

Early spring is a time of big changes on the Chesapeake Bay. One of the key indicators of the transition from winter to spring is water temperatures, which can warm rapidly, thanks in part to the sun’s higher angle.

In recent weeks, the Annapolis CBIBS buoy has occasionally reported wind readings that do not appear to be reliable. For the most part, data from the buoy on wind speed and wind gusts are on target, but in high-wind scenarios, errant “spikes” have been observed. For example, a few readings from the winter storm that moved through the Chesapeake area on March 6 do not appear to be accurate.