Deadwood

Raritan river stripers

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The Raritan River definitely has a small spawn population. It has been for at least twenty years that I know of first hand. Removing dams will help improve it but it has always been there. I frequently catch small stripers in the fresh water sections of the river in the spring when fishing for white perch.

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RJ, a ferry ride to the passaic for thousands of bass sounds like a lot but if they had the ability and foresight to do it in 1870 they could and should do it now. Great idea! I was shocked when I read that they were transplanting fish that long ago.

At what point do they start looking in other rivers to see if stripers are spawning in them. Are scientific netting areas already set in these waters or do they wait until they receive reports from fishermen?

 

 

Deadood, all that research has been done. Years ago. the 20th Century establiahed all the known striped bass spawning rivers by checking and eleminating all the others state by state.

 

Now they are checking to see if there are any part time or some times spawning rivers for striped bass.

 

Check out these three studies.by Rutgers and The College of New England in Maine.

 

http://www.stripersonline.com/attachments/8672

http://www.stripersonline.com/attachments/8673

http://www.stripersonline.com/attachments/8674

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RJ, last summer I was fishing for 6 to 8 inch bass in a tiny little lit up area at night. This area is off of the Point Pleasant Canal between the barneget bay and the manasquan river. These fish could not have come from one of the major tribes. There must be some minor spawing going on in these smaller rivers but the strain would probably be from one of the majors?

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The Raritan River definitely has a small spawn population. It has been for at least twenty years that I know of first hand. Removing dams will help improve it but it has always been there. I frequently catch small stripers in the fresh water sections of the river in the spring when fishing for white perch.

 

Dan, those small striped bas are over flow from the nearby Hudson River. They are not spawned in the Raritan River but YOY HR SB using the River the two year nursery in salt water before they leave this area to begin thier migration cycle in the third spring of their lives. The Navesink and Shrewsbury have the same size fish and the Mansquan River aaaas well. The Passaic and Hackensack Rivers hold HR SB between the fall of their YOY birth and the third spring when they are 18 inches long. The lower Sawmill River in Westchester County and all the coastal rivers in CTprovide HR SB space to feed and grow.

 

Here is the latest research by Rutgers on viable striped bass spawning rivers.

 

http://www.stripersonline.com/attachments/8672

http://www.stripersonline.com/attachments/8673

http://www.stripersonline.com/attachments/8674

 

After Storm Sandy we had thousands of 5 inch striped bass along the beaches of Monmouth County feeding in the suds line on a hugs crop of mole crabs. they were flushed out by Sandy's Surge that push up the Hudson river for 150 miles and took YOY Striped Bass from the lower all the way up the Hudson and a portion of YOY 2010, 2011 and 2012 remained up river when Sandy came roaring back down the river and flushed striped bass for those same 3 YOY years out of the Hudson and onto the beaches of Monmouth County last October.

 

It wasn't until fishermen in the upper Hudson this april started catching 6 inch, 12 inch and 18 inch fish a 110 to 150 miles up the Hudson River from NY City that it was realized the the Surge carried YOY 2010, 2011 and 2012 fish north with the surge.

 

I fished the Hudson River all my life and never saw or heard about striped bass under 20 inches being caught north of Newburgh, NY about 5 miles north of NY City.

 

The guys I fish with in the Catskill, Athens, Coxsackie and Ravena river towns were flabbergasted to see such small fish when they were expecting to find mature 32 in and larger striped bass this April.

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I read most of that first study. It seems impossible to me that those 4 to 6 inch fish made it from the chessy or hudson into the barneget or manasquan. I get the navisink, shrewsbury, and raritan as they don't have to go out into open ocean to get there. I think there is a small spawn going on in the toms, manasquan, metedeconk, bass, and a few others down there. I am not here to argue I just want to believe. And if those 4 to 6 inch bass i was catching last summer came from one of the big tribes, then kudos to them!

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sardean,

 

Dreaming is what most of us do. Remember there are only 9 distinct DNA Striped Bass Races of record. So even if there were spawning striped bass in those rivers, they would be connected to one or the other of the known Tribes.

 

The Chesapeake Tribe is the most prolific and it spawns in hundreds of rivers and streams that meet the requirements to support an annual striped bass spawning event. the rivers north of the Chesapeake Bay are more picky. The Delaware River needs a strong snow pac runoff to create the freshwater lake between Chester Pa and The C&D Canal at St. George's, DE. IT failed to produce for the YOY 2012 Class year, and the 2013 is in doubt as well with the minimal snow pac melting before it was needed to flow into a 58 degree water temperature pattern.

 

I just got off the phone to a friend on the Hudson River Fisheries Unit and asked him to alert the crews that are netting river herring this time of year to gauge their productivity to look for 2010, 2011 and 2012 YOY striped bass in the upper reaches of the freshwater Tidal area from Black Creek just south of Kingston on up to Albany, NY. They began netting on the Herring, Shad and Striped Bass spawning grounds the first of May. The shad and herring surveys determining how strong the spawn will be based upon the numbers of fish recorded every year. The Striped Bass survey is is to count the number of age 8" female striped bass in the river. They net, corral, weigh, measure and tag those female bass as a measure of how healthy the Hudson River Striped Bass stock is. The HR SB Female count has been holding strong for the past 20 years. In the fall before the herring shad and striped bass decend the river, they net to determine the YOY counts for Alewife and Blueback herring, American Shad and Striped Bass.

 

I ran the CB SB YOY Rescue Theory past him and he said it was possible. He said the toughest hurdle would be to be able to net enough YOY CB SB while in their freshwater stage. He told me the toughest fish to net in his experience were yoy striped bass in their first six months. It would have to be done at night at the mouth of bays and tidal inlets.

 

 

The political hurdles and money hurdles would be the next level of difficulty and getting the receiving states to agree to allow a large infusion of predatory striped bass into their river systems might be tough as well. He is going to float the idea to his contacts in the MD DNR to see if they would be receptive and suggested i contact the Civilian Committee at the ASMFC to see what they think of the possibility. He like the idea of getting corporations to provide the transportation and I told him that the Chicken meat industry produces about 2 billion pounds of chicken every year in MD and VA and a 2 cent a pound "Saver the Striper Conservation Act" would provide more than enough money to pay for the entire collection, delivery and monitoring effort. That fee should come from the chicken producers.

 

He is getting ready to retire and maybe move to NJ to fish our beaches in the next year or two. He save my life one cold spring day during a "Circle Hook Study" in the Hudson River.

 

I was demonstrating how I took a triple on mallards the previous fall with our boats tied together in the middle of the Ship Channel near the Kingston-Rhine Cliff Bridge. I showed him and the other biologist how I took the first mallard just before his feet touched the water near my decoys, then the second mallard as it flared up and to the right about ten feet off the water and 20 yards to my right and when my hunting partner declared his gun was jammed, I took the third mallard towering above the blind , and heading over the back of the blind. As i swung into the third shot movement, I fell out of my 16 foot Duranautic and into a very cold river. They jumped from their boat to my boat and when i came up next to the boat they grabbed my silly ass and pulled me back in to the Duranatic. I always buy the first beer when I run into those two guys. :D

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I won't argue all that but I still believe there's a small spawning population in the Raritan. How else do you explain the run of large stripers caught in the Raritan River every year in mid April?

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I won't argue all that but I still believe there's a small spawning population in the Raritan. How else do you explain the run of large stripers caught in the Raritan River every year in mid April?

 

They are Hudson River Striped Bass females feeding on herring before they commit to the 100+ miles trip up the Hudson River to the HR SB spawning grounds, between Newburgh NY and the Federal Dam above Troy NY. Striped bass begin filtering into the Hudson RR in march, all thu April and the first two weeks of May. They feed in the back back bays of the NJ rivers targeting alewife and blueback herring. When the water temperature begins to rise the upper Hudson area receives an influx of larger than usual striped bass in the first two weeks of May.

 

The Raritan river flows past Rutgers University. That school has one of the finest Fisheries biology degrees in the country. They can not find spawning striped bass in the river. If you can find young striped bass in July or august that are 2 to 3 inches long in the Raritan River, scoop them up and carry them to Rutgers and tell them where you found them.

 

Large striped bass in April are pre-spawn HR SB fish who are feeding on herring where ever they can find them to build up a protein store to help them thru the stress of the spawning cycle.

 

There are 5 to 7 million mature striped bass that spawn in the Hudson River every spring. Can you imagine how much protein that many class one predators consume in the six or seven weeks prior to the short 6 or 7 day spawning effort in late may in 120 miles of freshwater tidal spawning grounds the Hudson River provides that DNA specific Race of Striped Bass.

 

The Delaware and Chesapeake Bay Tribes spawn in April. Late April or early May, so you are not seeking spawned out striped bass on migration in the Raritan River. You are seeing pre spawn female HR SB feeding on a food sorce that provides sustenence to a portion of the millions of striped bass who are going to spawn in the Hudson river.

 

That is how I see it. You are welcome to you opinion. The scientific records and the timing indicate that what you are encountering are mature female striped bass and possibly their male counter parts that stage in the Raritan for herring every year. and that patten may go back hundreds of years.

 

This isn't a I win/you lose situation.

 

If and when the Hudson River Tribe begins expanding their numbers to fill a void in a future environment, they very will may pioneer into the now opened Raritan River as optional spawning site for the Hudson River Tribe. The HR SB Race quickly spread up and down the West Coast in 20 years to a point where they were producing a million pounds of striped bass for the fish market in San Francisco. They invested all the rivers that flow into SF Bay. The Sacramento River is a huge river that flows from the Serria Nevada Mountains. It is only one of 4 major rivers that flow into SF Bay, The HR SB Race on the west coast is spawning in rivers from LA to British Columbia in Canada now, 130 or 140 years since 307 of them were plucked from the Navesink River and hauled west in milk cans to the SF Bay..

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This isn't a I win/you lose situation.

 

Didn't view it as such. Just a discussion. It just seems to me that the Raritan is a long way for 6+ inch stripers to migrate to in the spring and summer. They have to go thru a lot of salt water to get there.

The herring part I can't take exception to. I've known for a long time that they are there in the spring. Even watch cormorants diving for them.

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I won't argue all that but I still believe there's a small spawning population in the Raritan.

 

 

 

I agree with you. :th:

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Didn't view it as such. Just a discussion. It just seems to me that the Raritan is a long way for 6+ inch stripers to migrate to in the spring and summer. They have to go thru a lot of salt water to get there. The herring part I can't take exception to. I've known for a long time that they are there in the spring. Even watch cormorants diving for them.

in the fall

 

Dan the YOY fish don't reach 6 inches until November, after they migrate from their natal nursery portion to the Hudson to the saltwater in Sept or Oct, depending on the water temperatures up river. The 6 inch fish we were catching along the Monmouth County Beaches in November, 2012 after Storm Sandy flushed them out because of the Surge, were born up the Hudson in May 2012.

 

Once the YOY reach salt water they spread out and expand there range. Especially if they are part of a large YOY Class. That is how they make their way to the LI Sound Rivers.

 

If the Hudson River below the salt line if too crowed with YOY striped bass, they will automatically begin seeking places where the competition is less. Jamacia Bay, Raritan River, and if the pressure is still too high they move on seeking a level of comfort with plenty of food and less competition. Nature's way. They are perfectly capable of traversing large expanse of saltwater as soon as they reach it. Most YOY striped bass swim down 100 miles of freshwater just to get to the Salt line that hangs near the Bear Mountain Bridge.

 

At 5 inches, they are Class one predators who are capable of seeking out prey that fits their small size and they operate in large schools when moving thru salt or fresh water. The river herring and American Shad move down the freshwater to the Ocean and beyond immediately in the fall after they were born. Only striped bass spend 18 to 20 months growing to 18 inches in sheltered salt water nurseries, before they enter into the migration cycle of spring and summer. Usually the 18 inch, third Spring begin leaving the Hudson River in April because of the feeding pressure put on the lower Hudson by mature cows and their escorts moving in to the Hudson and attaching themselves to the Herring schools that move up the river the samy time as striped bass and American Shad. The Home salt nursery waters can include the other rivers of NJ, LI and CT depending on the availability of food necessary to maintain a healthy population.

 

The 18 month or so saltwater environment in most of the Chesapeake is what is killing the majority of the successful YOY striped bass before they can enter the Atlantic Ocean and remain free of the Chesapeake Bay pollution for up to 6 years before they return to spawn regularly a Age 8+. And then they are not exposed to the hot water temperatures that create stress for YOY Class year striped bass, because they leave the Chesapeake immediately after they spawn in their natal rivers and streams. Arrive in March and leave by the end of April in water temperatures below 65 Degrees.

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The 6" or so fish I refer to are generally caught in the spring like right around now and into June. I'm usually in the river fishing for white perch. It's common to find small stripers mixed in the schools of white perch. They're part of the same family if I'm not mistaken. I have caught stripers in the 5 lb. range in the fresh water sections at that same time. It doesn't happen often but it does happen. Other guys have told me of the same thing with some fish being much larger. Later in the summer they seem to be separated from the perch and hang near fast water like smallmouth bass. Now that I think about it I really don't know how big or where they are later in the fall. I'm usually further down river into the tidal sections looking for larger stripers. Obviously I can't dispute the information you've presented here. The sources are far too good and influential. It's just that my opinion is formed from first hand experience and observation and that opinion is just that, only an opinion. That doesn't necessarily make it right or wrong.

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How could one know for sure? Electroshock, or net small fish right after a anticipated spawn. By small I would mean fingerlings/newborns not YOY. 1 to 2 inches I would assume.

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RJ, I live on the Hackensack river, far up enough to catch freshwater bass in tidal portions and also walk across it at low tide. I start seeing 5" stripers in late summer, are these HR yoy from the previous year?

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