Striped Bass have played an important part in American history since Colonial times.
The largest striped bass ever recorded was a
125 pound female caught off Edenton North Carolina in April, 1891.
The Oldest Striped Bass ever recorded was 31 years of age.
A Striped bass tagged in the Chesapeake Bay was recaptured in Canadian waters, over 1,000 miles away.
A Striped Bass tagged and released in the Saint John River, New Brunswick Ca., was recaptured 36 days later in Rhode Island, 503 mi away!
The first free public school of the New World and pension funds for the widows and orphans of men formerly engaged in service to the Colony were also funded, in part, through moneys derived from the sale of striped bass.
In colonial times Striped bass were so plentiful that at one time they were used to fertilize fields which led to the first conservation law of the new world in 1639 forbidding the use of striped bass as fertilizer.
The first striped bass fishing clubs were organized just after the Civil War, and used carrier pigeons to correspond with one another.
Striped Bass are anadromous, which means they live their adult life in the ocean but travel up freshwater rivers and creeks to spawn.
No one paid any attention to Striped Bass in fresh water impoundments until the late 1940s when Santee Cooper Lake System was impounded in South Carolina. When that lake was impounded, it trapped some striped bass that had gone up river to spawn. These fish not only survived, but thrived on the large number of shad present in Santee Cooper Lake. This created a popular open-water trophy striper fishery for the lake.
Fisheries biologists in S. Carolina and other states took note of this development and began experimenting with stocking stripers in various lakes to increase fishing diversity. In some of the larger reservoirs with good forage usually shad the stockings were tremendously successful and created a fishing opportunity for open-water anglers.
The average 6-year-old female striped bass produces 500,000 eggs while a 15-year-old can produce over three million eggs.
In 1879 and again in 1881, 135 yearling striped bass (1 1/2 - 3 inches long) were seined from the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers near Red Bank, New Jersey by Dr. Livingston Stone, at the urging of S.R. Throckmorton of the California State Board of Fish Commissioners, and transported by train in wooden barrels and milk cans across the continent to San Francisco Bay. Still perhaps the most successful fish stocking effort in the history of the United States.
Female striped bass can mature as early as age 4; however, it takes several years (age 8 or older) for spawning females to reach full productivity. Once a mature female deposits her eggs, they are fertilized by milt ejected from a mature male (age 2 or 3). Spawning is triggered by an increase in water temperature and generally occurs in April, May and early June.
The fertilized eggs need to drift downstream with currents to hatch into larvae. A flow velocity in the river of approximately one-foot per second is required to keep the eggs afloat. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it's chances of hatching are reduced because the sediments reduce oxygen exchange between the egg and the surrounding water. This need for flowing water to hatch is the reason
Striped Bass don't naturally reproduce in fresh water Reservoirs and lakes across America and must be stocked by the Fisheries Department of each state where Striped Bass are located.
Eggs hatch 29 to 80 hours after fertilization, depending on the water temperature, The larvae's survival depends primarily upon events during the first three weeks of life. Eggs and newly hatched larvae require sufficient turbulence to remain suspended. The larvae begin feeding on microscopic animals during their downstream journey. The mouth forms in two to four days. The larvae are nourished by a large yoke mass. Eggs produced by females weighing 10lbs or more contain greater amounts of yolk and have a greater probability of hatching. Larvae begin feeding on their own about five days after hatching.
Striped bass larvae feed primarily on
zooplankton in both larval and mature stages, and
cladocerans (water fleas).
Adults are piscivorous, or fish eaters. soft ray fish like shad make up their primary diet. They do not like to eat spiny fish and therefore are not a threat to other species of fish like Black Bass, White bass or Crappie.
Shad being consumed by striped bass has also been shown NOT to adversely affect the population of competing fish in freshwater lakes and reservoirs.
The rumors that Stripers deplete the population of other fish is just a MYTH and has not been verified by any biological study or survey.
Stripers Have Four Nostrils