Myths About Striped Bass
The definition of controversies is "an earnest debate," and there has certainly been earnest debate over the stocking of Striped Bass in Arkansas and other states. Its a controversy that has been going on since Striped Bass were first stocked in Arkansas in 1956.
Striped bass grow to large sizes. The Arkansas state record stands at 64.8 pounds, while the world rod and reel record is 81 pounds.
Striped bass can feed on large gizzard shad, which few other
predators utilize efficiently.
States such as South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Virginia and Oklahoma have conducted studies with similar results and concluded that black bass and crappie are not a primary food item of striped bass. and can actually be of benefit to the growth of other sport fish. The division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries from all the scientific studies indicates stripers feed almost exclusively on shad and live primarily in open waters.
So why all the controversy?
Some of the statements about Striped Bass heard currently and through the years include:
Stripers prefer soft fined fish like the shad and will rarely eat game-fish
such as Bass and crappie.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Fisheries Biologist conducted numerous Studies on the feeding habits and preferences of striped bass in fresh water reservoirs. As the Biologists' knew, study after study after study done by a variety of State Fish and Game agencies and universities indicated striped bass greatly preferred the forage species such as shad or alewife and rarely ate other fish.
Results indicated stripers preferred to eat fish that had no spines, Not the sharp spine species like on the backs of Bass and Crappie. Armed with information from these studies, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission felt confident that, as long as there were good numbers of shad in the Arkansas Lakes where Stripers are stocked, it was safe to continue stocking Striped bass.
A striped bass can eat its weight in fish each day."
Have you ever read about any biological creature that could eat its weight in food a day?
Striped bass are spawning in Arkansas Lakes.
Stripers require many miles of river current to reproduce successfully.
Stripers and black bass are not compatible.
The only body of water in Arkansas where stripers reproduce is the Arkansas River.
Striped bass eat all the bait fish in reservoirs.
Studies indicate little or no competition in lakes with
large numbers of shad. Studies show there is some competition with the shad
forage. The level of competition, however, is low, particularly with bass, crappie,
bluegill and other sunfish species. The conclusion of this study estimated that if striped bass
were removed, the total remaining fish population could increase by a maximum of 5
to 10 percent. That may sound like a substantial increase, but keep in mind that is an
increase for the combined total of all other fish.
Striped Bass Eat Continually. Real eating machines.
Striped Bass have feeding cycles just like any other fish.
And I'll leave you to decide this one.
Striped Bass are not good to eat.
Well some folks don't eat fish, and some don't eat meat.
We hope this information helps to dispel rumors about striped bass.
But there will
probably always be a controversy about stocking them and everyone is certainly entitled to
heir own opinions.
Only Five lakes in Arkansas have become acclaimed Striped bass lakes.
So what does all this mean? It means that rumors about striped bass have little to no truth to them.
By Ben Sanders Striped Bass Guide.