(PRWEB) April 27, 2005
On the East Coast of the United States the striped bass species (morone saxitalis) ranges from the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Nova Scotia south to the Florida / Georgia border. On the Gulf coast, it is distributed from the Suwanee River, Florida, to eastern Texas. Only two East Coast reservoirs have self-sustaining populations: the Kerr Reservoir in Virginia and North Carolina, and the Santee-Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina.
Striped bass spawn from mid-February in Florida to late June or July in Canada. The migratory behaviors of coastal stripers are more complex than those of most other anadromous fish, which spend most of their adult lives in the ocean but migrate up rivers and streams to spawn. Their seasonal movements depend upon age, sex, degree of maturity and the river in which they were born. The major spawning activity for the entire East coast striper fishery is the Chesapeake Bay, (where it as known as the rockfish), the Roanoke River - Albemarle Sound watershed and the Hudson River. To a lesser degree the Delaware river and possibly many other rivers along the coast line. In South Carolinas Striped bass are native to the ACE Basin. (Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto) They belong to the southern strain and behave quite differently from their northern relatives. Southern fish, unlike northern fish, never leave their riverine environments. Northern fish spend a considerable amount of time in near-shore waters and then ascend the rivers to spawn. Striped bass in the ACE Basin never enter the ocean, and it is strongly suspected that they never leave the river in which they are born. Striped bass are found in all the large rivers of the ACE Basin, and they over-winter in the estuarine areas of these systems near the saltwater-freshwater interface. Summers are spent in the cooler waters of the upper river, where springs and a dense canopy of trees keep water temperatures lower. They are often found in deep holes in the river or around structures such as old pilings.
Bass from North Carolina and the Chesapeake Bay are known to undertake coastwide migrations in addition to annual spawning migrations. They move north to New England and Canada during early spring and return between September and December. Bass inhabiting waters south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, typically do not take part in coastal migrations. Recent advances in molecular genetics have allowed researchers to investigate differences in populations of striped bass. Evidence strongly indicates that the rivers of the ACE Basin contain a population of striped bass that is unique to the basin.
A member of the perch family (Percichthyidae) the striped bass can be found on both the east and west coasts of the United States, although western stocks do not support a commercial fishery. The fish has been successfully introduced in numerous inland lakes, reservoirs and river systems across the U.S. and is now found also in Europe and Asia. The striped bass was first introduced to the West Coast in 1886, with fish from the Navesink River in New Jersey transported via rail to San Francisco Bay. The West Coast range of the species is from Los Angeles north to the Columbia River on the Oregon/Washington state border.
Striper fishing is now taking place from Ensenada, Mexico to British Columbia.
On the west coast most spawning occurs between 61 and 69 degrees and the spawning period usually extends from April to mid-June. Stripers spawn in open fresh water where the current is moderate to swift. The Delta, especially the San Joaquin River between the Antioch Bridge and the mouth of Middle River, and other channels in this area, is an important striper spawning ground. Another important spawning area is the Sacramento River between the city of Sacramento and Princeton. About one-half to two-thirds of the eggs are spawned in the Sacramento River and the remainder in the Delta.
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