Striped bass

Striped bass
Striped bass
Striped bass
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Moronidae
Genus: Morone
Species: M. saxatilis
Binomial name
Morone saxatilis
(Walbaum, 1792)

The striped bass (Morone saxatilis, also called Atlantic striped bass, stripers, linesiders, rock, pimpfish, or rockfish) is the state fish of Maryland, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and the state saltwater (marine) fish of New York, Virginia, and New Hampshire. They are also found in the Minas Basin and Gaspereau River in Nova Scotia Canada.


Morphology and lifespan

The striped bass is a typical member of the Moronidae family in shape, having a streamlined, silvery body marked with longitudinal dark stripes running from behind the gills to the base of the tail. Maximum size is 200 cm (6.6 ft) and maximum scientifically recorded weight 57 kg (125 US pounds). The average weight is 30 to 40 lbs. Striped bass are believed to live for up to 30 years. [1]


Natural distribution

Striped bass are native to the Atlantic coastline of North America from the St. Lawrence River into the Gulf of Mexico to approximately Louisiana. They are anadromous fish that migrate between fresh and salt water. Spawning takes place in fresh water.

Introductions outside their natural range

Striped bass have been introduced to the Pacific Coast of North America and into many of the large reservoir impoundments across the United States by state game and fish commissions for the purposes of recreational fishing and as a predator to control populations of gizzard shad.[2][3][4] These include: Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico; Lake Ouachita, Lake Norfork, Beaver Lake (Arkansas) and Lake Hamilton in Arkansas; Lake Powell, Lake Pleasant, and Lake Havasu in Arizona; Castaic Lake, Lake George in Florida, Pyramid Lake, Silverwood Lake, Diamond Valley Lake, East Fork State Park Lake near Cincinnati[1], Lake Cumberland, and Lake Murray in California; Lake Lanier in Georgia; Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee; and Lake Mead, Nevada; Lake Texoma, Lake Tawakoni, Lake Whitney, Possum Kingdom Lake, and Lake Buchanan in Texas; Raystown Lake in Pennsylvania; and in Virginia Smith Mountain Lake.[5]

Striped bass have also been introduced into waters in Ecuador, Iran, Latvia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey primarily for sport fishing and aquaculture.[1]

Environmental factors

The spawning success of striped bass has been studied in the San Francisco Bay-Delta water system, with a finding that high total dissolved solids (TDS) reduce spawning. At levels as low as 200 mg/L TDS there is an observable diminution of spawning productivity.[6] They can be found in lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands.

Former President of the United States George W. Bush, in Executive Order 13449 of October 20, 2007, designated the Striped Bass as a protected game fish. Further, he directed executive agencies to use existing legal authorities, to the extent possible, to prohibit the sale of Striped Bass caught in Federal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.[7]

Life cycle

Illustration of a group of striped bass

Striped bass spawn in freshwater and although they have been successfully adapted to freshwater habitat, they naturally spend their adult lives in saltwater (i.e., it is anadromous). Four important bodies of water with breeding stocks of striped bass are: Chesapeake Bay, Massachusetts Bay/Cape Cod, Hudson River and Delaware River. It is believed that many of the rivers and tributaries that emptied into the Atlantic, had at one time, breeding stock of striped bass. One of the largest breeding areas is the Chesapeake Bay, where populations from Chesapeake and Delaware bays have intermingled.[8] There are very few successful spawning populations of freshwater striped bass, including Lake Texoma, the Colorado River and its reservoirs downstream from and including Lake Powell, and the Arkansas River as well as Lake Marion (South Carolina) that retained a landlocked breeding population when the dam was built; other freshwater fisheries must be restocked with hatchery-produced fish annually. Stocking of striped bass was discontinued at Lake Mead in 1973 once natural reproduction was verified.[9]

Hybrids with other bass

Striped bass have also been hybridized with white bass to produce hybrid striped bass also known as wiper. These hybrids have been stocked in many freshwater areas across the U.S.[10][11]

Fishing for striped bass

Striped bass caught in the Atlantic Ocean off the New Jersey coast.

Striped bass are of significant value as sport fishing, and have been introduced to many waterways outside their natural range. A variety of angling methods are used, including trolling and surfcasting top water lures are a good pick for surf casting. Striped bass will take a number of live and fresh baits including bunker, clams, sandworms, herring, bloodworms, mackerel with shad being the best bait for freshwater striper fishing. The largest striped bass ever caught by angling was a 35.6 kg (78.5 lb) specimen taken in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 21, 1982.[12] The record-holder is Albert McReynolds, who fought the fish from the beach for an hour and twenty-minutes before landing it in the surf.[13]

Recreational limits vary by state.

Land locked striped bass

Striped bass are an anadromous fish and their spawning ritual of traveling up rivers to spawn led some of them to become landlocked during lake dam constructions. It was once believed that the first area they became landlocked was in the Santee-Cooper river during the construction of the two dams that impounded Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion, and because of this belief the state game fish of South Carolina is the striped bass.[14]

Recently biologists believe that striped bass stayed in rivers for long periods of time, some not returning to sea unless temperature changes forced migration. Once fishermen and biologists caught on to rising striped bass populations, many state natural resources departments started stocking striped bass in local lakes. Striped bass still continue the natural spawn run in freshwater lakes, traveling up river and blocked at the next dam, which is why they are landlocked. Landlocked stripers have a hard time reproducing naturally, and one of the few and most successful rivers they have been documented reproducing successfully is the Coosa River in Alabama and Georgia.[15]


The Striped bass population declined to less than 5 million by 1982, but efforts by fishermen and management programs to rebuild the stock proved successful, and in 2007, there were nearly 56 million fish, including all ages. Recreational anglers and commercial fisherman caught an unprecedented 3.8 million fish in 2006. The management of the species includes size limits, commercial quotas, and biological reference points for the health of the species. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission states that Striped Bass are "Not overfished and overfishing is not occurring."[16]


  1. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2007). "Morone saxatilis" in FishBase. March 2007 version.
  2. ^ Striped Bass Management Plan retrieved on 10 June 2007.
  3. ^ Pennysylvania State Fish & Boat Commission, Gallery of Pennsylvania Fishes, Chapter 21. Retrieved 10 June 2007.
  4. ^ Indiana Fish and Wildlife, Evaluation of Striped Bass Stockings at Harden Reservoir. Retrieved 10 June 2007.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Kaiser Engineers, California, Final Report to the State of California, San Francisco Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Program, State of California, Sacramento, CA (1969)
  7. ^ "Executive Order 13449: Protection of Striped Bass and Red Drum Fish Populations". Office of the Federal Register. October 20, 2007. Retrieved October 24, 2007. 
  8. ^ Chesapeake Bay Program, Striped Bass
  9. ^ Wilde, G. R. and L.J. Paulson. 1989. Food habits of subadult striped bass in Lake Mead Arizona-Nevada. The Southwestern Naturalist 34(1) 118-123.
  10. ^ Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Status of the Striped Bass/Hybrid Bass Bass Fishery March 2006 retrieved 10 June 2007.
  11. ^ Pennysylvania State Fish & Boat Commission, Gallery of Pennsylvania Fishes, Chapter 21. Retrieved 10 June 2007.
  12. ^ New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife
  13. ^ David DiBendetto, On The Run, An Angler's Journey Down the Striper Coast, page 195
  14. ^ "History of Freshwater Striped Bass". Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  15. ^ "Striped Bass in River Systems". Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  16. ^ "Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission: Striped Bass". Retrieved 2009-07-02. 

External links

Striped bass at the Open Directory Project

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Striped bass — Striped Striped, a. Having stripes of different colors; streaked. [1913 Webster] {Striped bass}. (Zo[ o]l.) See under {Bass}. {Striped maple} (Bot.), a slender American tree ({Acer Pennsylvanicum}) with finely striped bark. Called also {striped… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • striped bass — ☆ striped bass [bas ] n. a silvery, dark striped, food and game bass (Morone saxatilis) of the same family (Percichthyidae) as white bass, found along the coasts of North America: it goes up rivers to spawn …   English World dictionary

  • striped bass — striped′ bass′ [[t]bæs[/t]] n. ich an important American game fish, Morone saxatilis, having blackish stripes along each side • Etymology: 1810–20, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • striped bass — noun 1. caught along the Atlantic coast of the United States • Syn: ↑striper • Hypernyms: ↑sea bass, ↑bass 2. marine food and game fish with dark longitudinal stripes; migrates upriver to spawn; sometimes placed in the genus Morone • Syn: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • striped bass — kaliforninė salema statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Xenistius californiensis angl. big eyed bass; California salema; striped bass rus. калифорнийская салема ryšiai: platesnis terminas – salemos …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • striped bass — paprastasis dryžasis ešerys statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Morone saxatilis angl. linesides; striped bass; striper rus. полосатый лаврак; полосатый окунь ryšiai: platesnis terminas – dryžieji ešeriai …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • striped bass — noun a large bass of North American coastal waters, with dark horizontal stripes along the upper sides. [Morone (or Roccus) saxatilis.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • striped bass — noun Date: 1818 a large anadromous silvery food and sport fish (Morone saxatilis of the family Percichthyidae) with black horizontal stripes on the sides that occurs along the Atlantic coast of the United States and has been introduced into… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • striped bass — /bas/ an important American game fish, Morone saxatilis, having blackish stripes along each side. Also called striper. [1810 20, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium

  • striped bass — edible North American fish which has dark stripes along its sides, rockfish, striper …   English contemporary dictionary