What determines if a fish is a native species?
Striped bass are naturally spawning in the Arkansas River and Red River.
A native species is an organism that is living in an area for entirely natural reasons with no human intervention involved.
Fishes: A native fish is any species of fish that are found naturally among inland waterways.
The Arkansas River flowed unimpeded to the Mississippi river for thousands of years and the Mississippi has the Gulf Strain of Striped Bass. We also know the gulf was a natural environment for striped bass and that the University of Southern Mississippi has an ongoing Striped Bass Restoration Project.
The Welaka National Fish Hatchery Historical Range shows Striped Bass were once common in the rivers and estuarine environment of the Northern Gulf coast. They were found from Texas to the Suwannee river, Florida, and inland to St. Louis, Missouri on the Mississippi River. Historical reports indicate the fish were landed commercially from the late 1800's through the early 1960's.
Striped bass in Gulf drainages are considered a separate strain from populations along the Atlantic coast. Characteristics such as the number of lateral line scales and fin rays are used to distinguish Atlantic and Gulf striped bass populations. Striped bass are usually considered an anadromous cool water species, meaning that they migrate from saltwater to freshwater to spawn.
However, Gulf-strain striped bass are primarily
riverine and typically do not make extensive coastal migrations, which are
characteristic of striped bass populations along the Atlantic coast.
Although it has been hypothesized that Gulf-strain striped bass are more tolerant of higher temperatures than Atlantic striped bass, Gulf-strain striped bass tend to avoid temperatures higher than 77° F. Thus, striped bass within the southern extent of their range would be more likely to find suitable temperatures within large rivers rather than in the coastal and estaurine waters of the Gulf.
Is the Striped Bass a native fish of Arkansas?
The Striped Bass Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico, United
TEXOMA STRIPED BASS MANAGEMENT/RESEARCH