Striped Bass – Profile | Habit | Range | Lifespan | Size | Diet

Striped Bass
(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

Striped Bass, scientific name Morone saxatilis is a wonderful sportfish that attains massive sizes, the striped bass is a member of the temperate bass family, typically erroneously positioned with the ocean bass family. It has been thought-about probably the most priceless and standard fish in North America for the reason that early 1600s, initially for its industrial significance and culinary high quality and in more current instances for its leisure significance.

Striped Bass Natural distribution

Striped bass is native to the Atlantic shoreline of North America from the St. Lawrence River into the Gulf of Mexico to roughly Louisiana. They are anadromous fish that migrate between contemporary and saltwater. Spawning takes place in contemporary water.

Natural range

Striped bass has been launched to the Pacific Coast of North America and into most of the massive reservoir impoundments throughout the United States by state recreation and fish commissions for the needs of leisure fishing and as a predator to control populations of gizzard shad. These embody Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico; Lake Ouachita, Lake Norman in North Carolina; Lake Norfork, Beaver Lake and Lake Hamilton in Arkansas; Lake Thunderbird in Illinois; Lake Pleasant, and Lake Havasu in Arizona; Lake Powell alongside the Arizona/Utah border; Castaic Lake, Pyramid Lake, Silverwood Lake, Diamond Valley Lake, and San Francisco Bay-Delta in California; Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama; Lake Cumberland in Kentucky; Lake George in Florida; Lake Murray in South Carolina; Lake Lanier in Georgia; Watts Bar Lake, in Tennessee; Lake Mead, Nevada; Lake Texoma in Oklahoma, Lake Tawakoni, Lake Whitney, Possum Kingdom Lake, and Lake Buchanan in Texas; Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania; Lake Wallenpaupack in Northeastern Pennsylvania; Umpqua River in Oregon and in Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake and Leesville Reservoir.

Striped bass has additionally been launched into waters in Ecuador, Iran, Latvia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey, primarily for sport fishing and aquaculture.

Striped Bass Identification

A big fish with a big mouth, the striped bass is more streamlined than its shut relative to the white bass. It has a long body and a long head, a considerably laterally compressed body kind, and a protruding decrease jaw.

Of the 2 noticeably separate dorsal fins, the first one has 7 to 12 stiff spines, often 9, which make this fin fairly a bit increased than the second; the second dorsal fin has one sharp backbone and eight to 14, ordinarily 12, mushy rays. The striped bass additionally has a forked tail and small eyes.

These fish are principally bluish-black or darkish inexperienced above, fading into silver on the edges and white on the bellies. On all sides of a striped bass’s body, there are seven or eight prominent black horizontal stripes that run alongside the size rows, that are its distinctive markings; one of many stripes runs alongside the lateral line, and the remaining are equally divided above and under it. The stripe highest up on the facet is often essentially the most noticeable, though, on some fish, one or more of the stripes are interrupted.

In freshwater, the striped bass has been crossed with the white bass to create a hybrid referred to as the Whiterock bass or the sunshine bass. Striped bass differs from hybrids within the regularity of their stripes, whereas the hybrid often has interrupted stripes. The slender body of the striped bass additionally distinguishes it from the white bass.

Striped Bass Size/Age

Growing quickly in adolescence, striped bass common 5 to 10 pounds, though they typically attain weights within the 30- to 50-pound vary. The most measurement {that a} freshwater striped bass can obtain is unknown, though the most important sport-caught freshwater striper weighed 67 pounds, 1 ounce.

The all-tackle report for the species—78 pounds, 8 ounces—belongs to a saltwater fish, however, bigger ones have been reportedly taken commercially. Striped bass usually stays 10 to 12 years; nonetheless, most fish more than 11 years old and more than 39 inches long are feminine.

Striped Bass Morphology and lifespan

The striped bass is a typical member of the household Moronidae in form, having a streamlined, silvery body marked with longitudinal darkish stripes operating from behind the gills to the bottom of the tail.

Common mature measurement is 20 to 40 pounds (9–18 kg). The largest specimen recorded was 124 pounds (56 kg), netted in 1896. Striped bass is believed to stay for as much as 30 years. The common measurement in size is 20 to 35 inches (50–90 cm) and roughly 5 to 20 pounds (2–9 kg).

Striped Bass

Striped Bass Lifecycle

Striped bass spawns in contemporary water, and though they’ve been efficiently tailored to freshwater habitat, they naturally spend their grownup lives in saltwater (i.e., they’re anadromous).

Four necessary bodies of water with breeding shares of striped bass are the Chesapeake Bay, Massachusetts Bay/Cape Cod, Hudson River, and Delaware River. Many of the rivers and tributaries that emptied into the Atlantic, had at one time, bred inventory of striped bass.

This occurred till the 1860s. One of the most important breeding areas is the Chesapeake Bay, the place populations from Chesapeake and Delaware bays have intermingled.

The only a few profitable spawning populations of freshwater striped bass include Lake Texoma, Lake Weiss (Coosa River), the Colorado River and its reservoirs downstream from and together with Lake Powell, and the Arkansas River, in addition to Lake Marion (South Carolina) that retained landlocked breeding inhabitants when the dam was constructed; different freshwater fisheries should be restocked with hatchery-produced fish yearly. Stocking of striped bass was discontinued at Lake Mead in 1973 as soon as natural reproduction was verified.

Striped Bass Life history/Behavior

Striped bass males are sexually mature by their second or third year, whereas females are sexually mature someday between their eighth and ninth years; males measuring a minimum of 7 inches and females as small as 34 inches are recognized to spawn.

Spawning happens in contemporary or barely brackish waters from mid-February in Florida to late June or July in Canada, and from mid-March to late July in California, when the water temperature is between 50° and 73°F; peak spawning exercise is noticed between 54° and 68°F. They choose the mouths of freshwater tributary streams, the place the present is powerful sufficient to maintain the eggs suspended.

When mating, every feminine is accompanied by a number of smaller males. The spawning fish swim close to the floor of the water, turning on their sides and rolling and splashing; this display is typically referred to as a “rock fight.” The semibuoyant eggs are launched and drift with the present till they hatch 2 to three days later, relying on the water temperature.

Striped Bass Food and feeding habits

A voracious, carnivorous, and opportunistic predator, the striped bass feeds closely on small fish, together with massive portions of herring, menhaden, flounder, alewives, silversides, eels, and smelt, in addition to invertebrates corresponding to worms, squid, and crabs.

Freshwater striped bass chooses shad, herring, minnows, amphipods, and mayflies. There has been controversy over the impact of freshwater stripers on different gamefish—most notably, on largemouth bass—however, bass and different standard sportfish don’t seem like necessary parts within the weight loss program of freshwater stripers.

Other Names

striper, rock, rockfish, striped sea bass, striper bass, linesider, squid hound, and greenhead; French: bar rayé; Spanish: lubina estriada.

Striped Bass Distribution

On the Atlantic coast of the United States, the striped bass generally happens from the St. Lawrence River south to the St. Johns River in northern Florida. It has additionally ranged alongside the coasts of Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi within the Gulf of Mexico.

Some fish migrate north from North Carolina, Virginia, or Maryland in the course of the summer and return in the course of the fall. Others dwelling in estuarine river programs, such because St. Lawrence, the Santee Cooper, or the Savannah, are nonmigratory.

Striped bass has been launched to San Francisco Bay in 1879 and 1882; right this moment, alongside the Pacific coast, they’re plentiful within the bay space and prolong from Washington to California; some California fish migrate north to Oregon and are often discovered off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Striped Bass Habitat

Striped bass inhabits saltwater, freshwater, and brackish water, though they’re most plentiful in saltwater. They are anadromous and migrate in saltwater alongside coastal inshore environs and tidal tributaries. They have sometimes discovered around piers, jetties, surf troughs, rips, flats, and rocks.

A typical regional name for stripers is “rockfish,” and certainly their scientific name, saxatilis, means “rock dweller,” though they don’t essentially spend most of their lives in affiliation with rocks. They run far upstream throughout spawning runs and are additionally present in channels of medium to massive rivers at the moment.

The striped bass is solely a coastal species, off the coast of the Carolinas and southward, by no means ranging more than a few miles offshore; alongside all the Atlantic coast, it’s not often caught more than a brief distance from shore besides throughout migration.

Striped bass has been launched into freshwater lakes and impoundments with profitable outcomes. In some freshwater populations, the striped bass wasn’t launched however has been landlocked, because of man-made obstacles that blocked their return to the ocean.

In freshwater, stripers are generally present in open-water environs or within the tailrace under dams. They are seldom discovered close to shore or docks or piers, besides when chasing colleges of baitfish.

Striped Bass Reproduction

Morone saxatilis is polyandrous. A gaggle of seven to eight males encompass a single bigger feminine, and as soon as surrounded, males bump the feminine to the floor of the water. This act is sometimes called “rock fights,” because of the splashing that happens on the floor of the water.

Once on the floor, males proceed to bump the feminine till she releases her eggs into the water. Once the eggs are discharged into the water, males launch their sperm.

Striped bass starts spawning when temperatures heat to about 18 levels C. They are likely to spawn in rivers and in brackish estuaries. Major spawning places include the Hudson River, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Roanoke River-Albermarle Sound watershed. Once fertilized, embryos drift within the present for 1.5 to 3 days.

Females can launch between 500,000 and three million eggs throughout a single spawning occasion; nonetheless, less than one % of embryos survive for more than a few months after hatching. Male striped bass usually attains sexual maturity at 2 to three years of age, and females attain sexual maturity at 5 to six years of age.

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