The History of the Striped Bass shows the fish is the aquatic equivalent of the American bald eagle. Striped Bass helped build this nation. They enabling the the Pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay Colony to survive their first winters and to grow their first crops by giving themselves up for food and fertilizer.
They astounded Captain John Smith, who wrote in his journal of the Atlantic coast in 1614.
1634 William Wood, in his New England's Prospect, called the Striped Bass.
The Pilgrims also caught them with hook and line...
" the fisherman taking a great cod line to which he fasteneth a peece of lobster and threwes it into the sea.
Striped Bass were the subject of our first conservation and fishery management laws.
Massachusetts in 1639, forbade the use of this delicate, fine, fish for fertilizer, and
in the sixties became the fulcrum behind the first environmental
impact statement and passage of the
National Environmental Policy Act.
Striped Bass were the subject of pioneering fish stocking efforts following settlers to the west coast In 1879 and again in 1881. Dr. Livingston Stone of the United States Fish Commission (a forerunner of U.S. Fish and Wildlife), at the urging of the California State Board of Fish Commissions, began transporting the bass from New Jersey to the San Francisco Bay. In milk cans and wooden barrels, first hand agitated and refreshed, later afforded a crude oxygenation system, the first stripers made their way to the west coast. The striper is now one of California's top ranking sport fish. Found in relative abundance in the early 1900s, the fish numbered approximately three million adults in the early 1960s by the early 1990s, the count was about 775 thousand, with 30% of those hatchery-reared. Still fished as far as the Columbia River in Washington State, the Sacramento Delta fishery, where the fish migrate bi-annually, remains troubled by Delta water diversions, pollution, illegal take, exotic aquatic organisms, and Bay-fill projects. Last-ditch efforts are being made to restore the western fisheries.
Striped bass were seined from the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers near Red Bank, New Jersey and transported by train in wooden barrels and milk cans across the continent to the San Francisco Bay. Still today this effort ranks as maybe the most successful Fish Stocking effort in the world.
Meet Dr. Livingston Stone
Pioneer in Striped Bass Stocking.
Striped Bass Articles and Reports