Abstract Suspended sediment did not significantly affect Eurytemora affinis, which is the numerically dominant, late winter, early spring mesozooplankton taxon in Chesapeake Bay. In preliminary analyses of survival, broods per female and nauplii development for suspended sediment concentrations from 0 to 350 mg l −1, few significant differences were observed between populations exposed to no suspended sediment, and those in 50, 100 and 350 mg l −1. However, in every case, highest suspended sediment levels reduced physiological or reproductive parameters in the copepod. These results suggest that current levels of suspended sediment in the Chesapeake Bay should not reduce population success of the copepod. However, copepod production could decline at slightly higher suspended sediment concentrations resulting from urban population growth and development in the watershed, as well as at levels which are typical of several European estuaries.