Hybrid Striped Bass

Hybrid striped bass production is one of the fastest growing aquaculture enterprises in the United States.

Hybrid Striped BassThe hybrid striped bass, or “wiper,” is an artificial cross between a striped bass and a white bass. Hybridization of these two species does not occur naturally. Therefore, hybrid striped bass must be cultured in one of the AGFC fish hatchery situation. Like its parents, the hybrid frequents the open water portions of a lake, feeding almost exclusively on gizzard shad or other pelagic fishes.

Hybrid striped bass were first produced in South Carolina by crossing female striped bass with male white bass. Named palmetto bass.

 In 1971, Florida fisheries biologists, lead by Forrest Ware, Chuck Starling and Harrell Revels, conducted a fish-breeding experiment crossing a female white bass with a male striped bass , resulting in the name Sunshine Bass.

Striper Hybrids are more tolerant of warmer water and lower dissolved oxygen than True striped bass. For these reasons, they can be stocked into a wider variety of waters than striped bass. The Hybrid Striped Bass can withstand greater temperature extremes and lower dissolved oxygen than either of its parents making it easier to raise in some lakes, reservoirs and Farm Ponds.

The hybrid has horizontal stripes, often broken.
The first horizontal stripe below the lateral line is distinct and complete to the tail. It has a deep body .

The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission stocks hybrids in select Arkansas waters to provide anglers with trophy-sized gamefish and to introduce a predator that could feed on large gizzard shad and help control overpopulation of sunfish.

In Arkansas, Hybrid Striped Bass commonly reach 8 to 10 pounds. Fish of 15 or 16 pounds show up often. 20+ pound have been caught in Degray and Greers Ferry.

Hybrid striped bass have gained widespread acceptance as a sport fish, particularly in the large reservoirs of the southeast U.S., Striped bass and hybrid striped bass, in particular, are grown in the United States in fish ponds as food fish.

Hybrids are fertile and natural reproduction has been reported. However Hybrid striped bass experience great difficulty reproducing naturally. Eggs and sperm produced by hybrids are usually weak or improperly formed. The same is true of any fry that might be produced by chance fertilization. For this reason, hybrids are considered “functionally sterile,” and their populations are totally dependent on repeated stockings.

The Tongue Test
The back of the tongue of a Hybrid Striped Bass
has one distinct tooth patch
or two close patches very close together.

A white bass tongue
has a heart-shaped tooth patch.

The back of the tongue of a striped bass
has two distinct parallel tooth patches

Striped Bass Growers Association.

Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center.

Keo Fish Farm in Arkansas is the largest producer of hybrid striped bass fry and fingerlings in the world.

A White Paper on the status and needs of hybrid striped bass aquaculture in the North Central Region


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