RJ

Paying attention to Striped Bass

Rate this topic

31 posts in this topic

To supply a source for Striped Bass Anglers to Ponder the future Striped Bass.

 

Coming into the winter this might help get you thru the Chilly nights and help you plan for the Spring.

 

Hudson River Striped Bass Migration and Spawning Activity

 

Bob Creeden, Atlantic Highlands, NJ     aka RJ

                         

The Chesapeake Bay, the Hudson River and The Delaware River striped bass populate the northeast between spring and the coming of winter. These 3 Sources supply the Spring and Fall Migrations. There are 7 more Striped bass Tribes from Eastern Canada to the St. John's River in Florida are Home bodies. Seldom venturing fare from their breeding grounds.

Chesapeake Bay has more than 100 spawning Rivers and streams that meet all of the little things that striped bass need to complete a freshwater spawning cycle. It is also so polluted that 65% to 70% of the YOY produced in the Chesapeake Bay will die before they can reproduce.

The Hudson River is the largest single river system to support spawning of striped bass. It is a Non-Barrier river for 160 miles from the tip of Manhattan to the Federal Dam near Troy, NY. Spawning in the Hudson occurs over a 100 to 120 mile stretch of river between the Bear Mountain Bridge and the Federal Dam near Troy. Most spawning in the Hudson occurs on the flats near the main stem of the Hudson River Channel.

Very few of the tributaries that flow into the Hudson are capable of carrying a spawning population every year. The Croton River 15 miles south of Bear Mountain has a on and off spawning event, depending on the spring runoff coming out of the Croton Lakes Reservoir System. Only 2 years out of every 10 might support a spawn in the Croton River at Croton Point. The spring runoff keeps to Croton River and the flats on the south side of the Point fully fresh water for the striped bass to achieve the combination of water temperature (58 Degrees) and above long enough for the spawning process to be achieved.

The Delaware River is totally dependent on the spring snow pac run off to keep their spawning area full of freshwater during the 58 degree water temperature or higher time frame to allow the spawning process to occur. The 72 hours after the eggs are released, mixed with the male striped bass sperm and to hatch a fully functional tiny striped bass must be in freshwater and warmer than 58 degrees. The spawning area for the Delaware River Tribe is only 40 miles long. It runs from the Commodore Barry Bridge south of Philadelphia at Chester, Pa to the C&D Canal just south of New Castle Delaware. The spring of 2012 (after the winter that wasn't) failed to provide enough freshwater to allow a spawning effort by the Delaware River Tribe. Spring 2013 wasn't much better. A total loss of production in 2012 and a very small effort in 2013 doesn't give us a reliable source of reproduction of the migrating tribes found on the east coast...

Let me describe the activity that occurs when all the elements are in line for a striped bass spawning event. I'm most familiar with the Hudson River Spawning sequence and I'm told it is the same for most of the other tribes.

Mature SB females (age 8+) and SB males (age 6+) begin stirring in the deep trench of the lower Hudson River where they wintered over below the Bear Mountain Bridge. The depth of the trench is over 290 feet on average and it was cut by the run off that created the Hudson River Canyon by the melting of a Glacier as the ice cap retreated hundreds of thousands of years ago. A large population of different size schools of striped bass winter in its depths. They can achieve a statis where they barely breathe and hardly move for 6 to 8 weeks if necessary. Other portions of the Hudson River Tribe biomass winter in deep holes off the coasts of Long Island and NJ and as far south as the Virginal Capes.

As winter retreat's, and the day light grows longer many species begin to stir. Bait like crabs and small killefish start to move out of the mud. Other small fish begin moving more quickly in the warming waters near black mud flats. Immature striped bass shake off the winter and begin moving down the salt water rivers and creeks they wintered in. The bays of NJ, NY, Long Island and Connecticut send striped bass to spread out and begin their exit into the deeper waters of LI Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. This waking up and shaking off winter can be seen in the back bays, where striped bass begin to feed on the early baits available. The 18 inch immature and larger 4 to 7 year old striped bass start to leave the inshore bays and rivers to migrate in March and April... As mature bass begin to enter the Hudson River, the immature begin to leave.

Starting in March, mature striped bass stir from their wintering grounds begin to move up or towards the river of their birth. The Hudson River, is home to Striped Bass, American Shad and two species of River Herring (Bluebacks and Alewife) All species that need pure freshwater to spawn in. Andromonus is the type of fish they are. As river herring start to move out of their winter grounds, striped bass begin to stalk them as they both move towards their home grounds up the Hudson River. All four species need pure freshwater to spawn successfully. The four species, 3 of the Herring clan and 1 of the Bass clan. (Striped Bass are related to Large and Smallmouth Bass) begin the trek to the Hudson Spawning Grounds.

Striped Bass are predators and the three herring clans are prey. Mature American Shad are too big to be a fulltime food source, for most striped bass. 40 pound + striped bass will attack mature American Shad, but the major source of food for Hudson River striped bass as they move toward the spawning grounds are river herring. The picture you see on my avatar is of a 41.75 inch male striped bass caught in the Hudson River while drifting a live alewife herring on a fish finder rig along the channel edges between Coxsackie and Athens, NY in early May, 1997. He painted me and my 14 foot Duranautic with sperm when I boated him. When last seen, his replica was hanging on the wall of a 3 star eatery in Athens NY. He scaled exactly 30 pounds at the River Basin Bait Shop in Catskill, NY. A Hudson River Fisheries Biologist declared him one of the largest male striped bass he had measure in 20 years.

The stage is set. Schools of shad and river herring, shadowed by hungry striped bass begin moving up into the freshwater tidal area of the Hudson River. This 5 to 6 foot fresh water tidal area is well over 100 miles long. The largest fish caught in the freshwater tidal portion of the Hudson stands at 55 inches long and weighed 56.6 pounds. It was caught on a trolled plug near Kingston, NY, about 10 years ago.

Water temperatures in April begin at the high 40's level and move into the low 50 degree levels. Late spring snow storms sometimes cool the river down quickly. Water from as far away as Lake Ontario to the North West and Lake Champlain to the North, as well as western flowing, snow melt driven water from the Green Mountains of VT and the Berkshires of MA add to the freshwater flow from 25,000 square miles of watershed. Eastern flow towards the Hudson comes from the south flowing streams of the Adirondack Mountains and the Eastern flanks of the Catskill Mountains. The north flowing Wallkill River rises in the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey and flows north into the Hudson River near Kingston, NY. The Hudson is a big and stable river. For the past decade it has been a Class A swimming river. The pollution of the Industrial Era has been eradicated. PCB's and Mercury levels are way down. Every town and city filters it grey water and storm water before letting it flow into the Hudson. This clean water project is over 40 years old. Rockefeller started it with his Clean Water Act that used Federal and State grants to build a water filtration plant between the towns and cities. Gov. Pataki followed up on that start by getting the people of NY to vote for a 5 billion dollar bond issue to clean up the Hudson River Valley. Those efforts paid off.

Historically, Hudson River Striped Bass spawn in the middle of May. I have watched three spawning events that occurred in low light early morning conditions between Albany and Catskill, NY, in my time on the River. All three times happened on a windless, calm, low cloud cover, almost drizzle mornings about 7am. Water temperatures were slightly over 59 degrees, rain showers were in the offering and the river was quiet and glass like. Not a ripple could be seen. Most striped bass spawning events occur at night. Bright sunlight keeps the female deep in the channels. They are very light sensitive during spawning season. The 3 early morning light rain events I witnessed were scattered over 15 years.

Suddenly, a swirl, a push and a hump in the flat water shows a female striped bass moved up, thru the water column, from the bottom where she had spent weeks testing the waters. As she moved up, thru the water column, broadcasting pheromones to the males in the area, she was joined by several mature male striped bass. They surrounded her. Escorts on the edge of passion. The water was a warm 60 degrees; the surface was dimpled with fins of large bass. She began to push eggs out into the upper 3 feet of the River. The males became excited and started to poke her belly to help push the eggs out. She didn't like the attention and began to roll, over and over. The rolling excited the males and they became frantic to help her and every time their snouts hit her flanks, the male emitted a cloud of sperm. Things got frantic! The spawning effort drew other female bass, full of eggs up thru the water column and more male striped bass joined the rising females and a single washtub roll by the first cow became an acre of boiling and roiling bass. It grew exponentially, to a point that acres of the Hudson River were rocking and rolling with striped bass.

The rolling and thrashing, created a huge mix master of water and all of the eggs and all of the sperm became one. Millions of eggs were exposed to the sperm of hundreds of male striped bass, frantic to make sure the females were covered... Striped bass in their dance of life were totally fixated on the act of procreation. The River shook with the power of their mating. Acres of fish, totally committed to each other. They were so focused that they would not get out of the way of the few boats that were in their area. I yelled to the other boats to stop, and shut off their engines. They did! We, a half a dozen striped bass anglers, stood and watched in awe at the power and the passion of the pounding water that was all around us.

Striped bass eggs are neutral buoyant. They float below the surface with the tidal action. If they were exposed to milt from the thousands of male striped bass in the spawning event, they will develop over the next 72 hours from eggs to tiny, perfect striped bass.(A temperature drop in that 72 hour period would kill the majority of the eggs fertilized in that spawning event.) Tiny striped bass emerge from their eggs and remain attached to the residue of the egg sac. Over a period of hours they absorb the protein the egg sac was made of. Once the sac has been absorbed, each, small striped bass begins to feed on microscopic animals in the water around them. As they grow, they begin to attack larger food sources. From mid-May the new Class Year grows to be 3 to 4 inches long by September. Then they begin to school up and move out of the freshwater back bays and tributaries. They begin to move south, down the river towards salt water in large schools. Along with them are the YOY river herring and American shad moving south as well. Large Striped bass (mostly males) that have stayed up river for the summer months feed on the river herring, shad and young striped bass as they head to the salt as well...

The thousands and thousands of 3 to 4 inch striped bass hit the salt water of the lower Hudson River and begin to fill into all of the salt water areas where they will spend the next three years growing in size and perfecting their ability as predators. The shad and river herring move thru NY Harbor and enter the Atlantic Ocean. Striped bass do not move out into the ocean. They filter into the Passaic and Hackensack River systems. They spread along the Staten Island shorelines and around the Raritan Bay and head to the Raritan River and all of the bays and saltwater creeks flowing into Raritan Bay. These new to the salt water striped bass occupy the Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers and on down the Jersey coast to the Shark River. Other siblings, move into the East River between Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island spread out thru Flushing Bay to the bays and rivers that feed Long Island Sound. They invest Connecticut Rivers and bays from Greenwich, Housatonic River up along the shore to the Connecticut River and the Thames River. Some years when the Class year is very large, they will filter into Little Narraganset Bay and the Westerly River. The annual YOY Classes of the Hudson River also spreads out from Flushing Bay to all the rivers, bays and creeks that flow from Long Island into Long Island Sound. And another component of the Hudson River Tribe swims out into the Atlantic Ocean and begins to move up the south shore of Brooklyn and Long Island. Jamaica Bay, Oyster Bay, Great South Bay, Moriches Bay, Mecox Bay all the way to Peconic Bay around the tip of Montauk Point.

They will spend the next two years growing to reach a length of 18 inches. At that point, in the third spring of their lives, most of them will begin migrating up and down the Atlantic Coast from Cape Cod to Cape May. They will spend the next 4 years growing in the Atlantic Ocean. By their 7th year, most of the males will have dropped out of the migration game and settled into bays and rivers to wait for the ladies to appear in spring and move up the Hudson River to spawn. When the polluted Chesapeake Bay Environment causes the Chesapeake Bay Tribe to crash, it will be the Hudson River Tribe that will fill the void. Just my humble opinion based on 60 plus years catching and studying striped bass.

 

RJ
 

Edited by RJ
Mispelled breeding

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a serious question about the growth of baby stripers.

About ten years ago a friend gave us a 210 gallon aquarium and we set it up here in our shop with saltwater. From then on we stocked it with small fish caught right off our dock either with very small hooks or with an umbrella style drop net. Back then the striper population was off the charts here in our back waters. I believe it was the beginning of may when I pulled the drop net and it was loaded with clumps of dead straw grass. As I cleaned it out I found six very tiny fish less than an inch long. The only way I even spotted them was their black ring around their eye and the sun reflecting off the silver part of their belly. The rest of the body was transparent to give you an idea of how small they were. We also had a 55 gallon aquarium where we placed fish that were just too small to go in the big tank. These baby fish we fed saltwater flake fish food from the pet shop. All but one survived and they grew. At first we thought they were baby croakers but as time passed the stripes began to show and we had five small striped bass. couldn't imagine these little things being spawned up in the Delaware Bay or river and thought they may have come from one of our narrow tidal creeks that reach up into some of the freshwater lakes. 

I want to make this statement very clear right now. We finally put them in the big tank and it was by no means an ideal environment that promoted quick growth. It was overcrowded with weakies, blues, flounder, tog, seabass, searobins and anything else that came close to our dock. They only ate when I fed them and during the hot days the water would reach into the 90's and I had to put bags of ice in to cool it down. They ate only what I put in for them including grass shrimp, shiners. (spearing) minnows and some clam pieces. The PH levels would go south about every ten days and then I would siphon most of the water out then use a sump pump to fill it again. We had three filters going 24/7. One was a UV filter to keep the water clear. So I hope you can see that this was by no means a setup to grow fish fast. 

We would shut the aquariums down around the end of October and release the fish. The five stripers made it through the entire summer but were fourteen to fifteen inches long. The only advantag that we gave them as far as I could see was that we eliminated any predators but other than that is was no different environment than what they had in the wild. Same food but out there they could eat whenever they wanted. In our tank it was only when I fed them and then it was a free for all. Some days when big storms hit I couldn't catch any food and would use chopped up frozen clams and never very much because it would foul the tank quickly. Spoke with marine biologist about this growth rate but have never been able to get an answer. They would always go to "an ideal environment" And it wasn't. In fact the Camden Aquarium would dome down to pick up fish from us because we had such a great collection and to mention a few more we had baby or small porgy's, baby drum, northern sennets, blowfish, mullet, oyster crackers, perch and lookdowns and I'm forgetting a few. And all these in a tank six feet long, two feet wide and two and a half foot high. When the Camden people showed up they were amazed that we could keep, feed and maintain that high level of occupants. Keeping the tank was almost another full time job for me. So when I read that first year fish grow to 3 to 4 inches by September I wonder where that info comes from. We had the same results with our summer flounder. Catch them in the drop net in May about an inch long and when released they were 14 to 15 inches. Had a guy come down and tag them for the Littoral Society and that winter I got a letter from the head of the organization saying what a great job we did in raising them that should have obly grown a few inches at most. that letter pissed me off because thats the kind of poor info that screws up the numbers for us. The Littoral get info from tags. They catch and tag a thirteen inch flounder and someone catches and returns the tag the next year. Flounder grew an inch or whatever and they think they grow that way their entire life. because they aren't getting any data from baby flounder caught in a drop net. They get their info from hooked, tagged, released, and tag returned. Look at any animal out there and when born they are small and defenseless but they have to grow quickly to move with the herd or they won't survive. Your neighbor moves away with two small kids and you don't see then for a year or to then bump into them. The adults look the same but the kids grew a foot. Same thing in the animal world. Grow fast or you die. 

sorry this is long winded but I get tired of the info out there that sometimes is made on assumption because no one seems to be interested in the fish and how fast they grow after hatching. I grew up wanting to be a biologist but after meeting many I'm glad I didn't. Way too many recite right from the book and don't seem to open their eyes to whats actually happening around them. Amen        

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

Great stuff . AN EDUCATED ANGLER IS ALWAYS A BETTER ANGLER!

 

Door gunner Just a note on tagging .Tagging can tell us a lot ; movements ,growth rates, behaviour survival rates, predation  info from presence of tags in scat or nests etc. As a fisheries biologist I tag hundreds of trout and salmon  a year .Data from the tags I use gives me information on variations in survival ,individual growth rates & run timing .  The bulk of fisheries growth data, however, does not come from tag data. . It is possible to age fish from their scales and otoliths ( ear bones) .The scales  and earbones of fish grow with the fish and the patterns of are growth are reflected in bands of slow (winter) and fast (summer) growth, and the measured differences in the bands  are directly proportional to a fishes length. It is then possible for, each fish, to use the scale  and otolith banding to back-calculate a growth history from their length at capture.  Thus it is possible , with multiple captured individuals ,say from a commercial catch, for each population to generate length at age data. With salmon and trout  it is also possible to pinpoint spawning marks on the scale patterns, bass being multiple spawners over their life may have similar data encoded in their scales and otoliths. RJ can you enlighten me if this is so. Changes in life history can also be encoded- For example in Scotland we have a strain of brown trout called the ferox. These have evolved alongside  arctic charr in glacial lakes as the  main fish predator . When you plot out back calculated growths for ferox you see a point where growth increases due to a change of diet from a mixed invertebrate/small fish diet to a virtually wholly  fish diet.   Different components of fishery can be identified by their scales . In Scotland we have genetically distinct spring salmon and summer salmon. Spring salmon tend to be older multi sea winter fish and summer salmon single  sea winter fish . Scale samples  allow us to age fish in a  sample and assign to a particular component . Increasingly genetic techniques are developing which can be applied to historic scale samples  and potentially our scale records will become  even more important.

 

Scales are fascinating . By preserving the otoith and scales samples you have a crucial historical record with which to interpret changes in the fishery ( my Department holds salmon scale records  back to back to the late 1800s). Another thing I use them for is identifying fish farm escapees- their growth patterns tend to be different and like your captive bass , younger fish are often significant  larger .For example  Atlantic salmon smolts typically migrate to sea at 2 or 3 year old at a length of around 130mm. I have trapped cultured escapees at less than 1 year old and of a length 160mm or more. In a previous career as a salmon hatchery manager, with quality diets and optimised environments  I could get fish to grow to smolt in 6 months!

 

Door gunner- your fish were probably bigger because they had unlimited feed and reduced or modified  life stresses. They did not have to migrate long distances , have to forage or avoid predators . A little bit of resources saved each day, being converted to protein for growth  rather than energy for simple living costs, goes a long way .Your culture skills show exactly what these little fish are capable of - exactly what aqua-culturists hope to achieve. Little fish often have a higher capacity for growth - from a sheer survival point of view ,the quicker the fish can grow the better the probability  I can avoid predators and hopefully contribute one day to the population.  One of the reasons bass are cultured is the potential  efficiency of feed conversion . A fish may have a marketability but a slow growth rate would exclude a species from culture . That is why only certain species are farmed.

 

In the UK we have a minimum size for landing bass commercially .I think this extends to the recreational fishery . There isn't an upper limit but anglers organisations recommend larger fish should be released to contribute to spawning , any fish taken should be from the smaller sizes, which are more numerous. Most useful bit of kit an angler can carry after his tackle is a camera. Take a photo rather than a fish!!

 

Cheers

 

JIm

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great read.  Thanks for the info.

 

So with all this intelligence we have why do we allow so many 30 plus pounders to be taken.   Are there more larger fish swimming  than smaller fish that we have a two fish limit at a size when they are ready to produce the most offspring?  That 40 pounder kept just reduced the population by thousands versus taking one smaller that still has years to mature.   If the thinking is let the smaller fish mature then harvest them in the ripe of their sexual prime no wonder our stock is depleting.    

Thinking also of all the smaller fish returned damaged to die anyway or killed during the retrieve. Why cant they just balance it out with one lower size limit and one upper limit but within a 2 inch range.   I would rather eat a 20 inch bass over a  big slob anyway.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Highlandsaltyfly said:

Hi

 

Great stuff . AN EDUCATED ANGLER IS ALWAYS A BETTER ANGLER!

 

Door gunner Just a note on tagging .Tagging can tell us a lot ; movements ,growth rates, behaviour survival rates, predation  info from presence of tags in scat or nests etc. As a fisheries biologist I tag hundreds of trout and salmon  a year .Data from the tags I use gives me information on variations in survival ,individual growth rates & run timing .  The bulk of fisheries growth data, however, does not come from tag data. . It is possible to age fish from their scales and otoliths ( ear bones) .The scales  and earbones of fish grow with the fish and the patterns of are growth are reflected in bands of slow (winter) and fast (summer) growth, and the measured differences in the bands  are directly proportional to a fishes length. It is then possible for, each fish, to use the scale  and otolith banding to back-calculate a growth history from their length at capture.  Thus it is possible , with multiple captured individuals ,say from a commercial catch, for each population to generate length at age data. With salmon and trout  it is also possible to pinpoint spawning marks on the scale patterns, bass being multiple spawners over their life may have similar data encoded in their scales and otoliths. RJ can you enlighten me if this is so. Changes in life history can also be encoded- For example in Scotland we have a strain of brown trout called the ferox. These have evolved alongside  arctic charr in glacial lakes as the  main fish predator . When you plot out back calculated growths for ferox you see a point where growth increases due to a change of diet from a mixed invertebrate/small fish diet to a virtually wholly  fish diet.   Different components of fishery can be identified by their scales . In Scotland we have genetically distinct spring salmon and summer salmon. Spring salmon tend to be older multi sea winter fish and summer salmon single  sea winter fish . Scale samples  allow us to age fish in a  sample and assign to a particular component . Increasingly genetic techniques are developing which can be applied to historic scale samples  and potentially our scale records will become  even more important.

 

Scales are fascinating . By preserving the otoith and scales samples you have a crucial historical record with which to interpret changes in the fishery ( my Department holds salmon scale records  back to back to the late 1800s). Another thing I use them for is identifying fish farm escapees- their growth patterns tend to be different and like your captive bass , younger fish are often significant  larger .For example  Atlantic salmon smolts typically migrate to sea at 2 or 3 year old at a length of around 130mm. I have trapped cultured escapees at less than 1 year old and of a length 160mm or more. In a previous career as a salmon hatchery manager, with quality diets and optimised environments  I could get fish to grow to smolt in 6 months!

 

Door gunner- your fish were probably bigger because they had unlimited feed and reduced or modified  life stresses. They did not have to migrate long distances , have to forage or avoid predators . A little bit of resources saved each day, being converted to protein for growth  rather than energy for simple living costs, goes a long way .Your culture skills show exactly what these little fish are capable of - exactly what aqua-culturists hope to achieve. Little fish often have a higher capacity for growth - from a sheer survival point of view ,the quicker the fish can grow the better the probability  I can avoid predators and hopefully contribute one day to the population.  One of the reasons bass are cultured is the potential  efficiency of feed conversion . A fish may have a marketability but a slow growth rate would exclude a species from culture . That is why only certain species are farmed.

 

In the UK we have a minimum size for landing bass commercially .I think this extends to the recreational fishery . There isn't an upper limit but anglers organisations recommend larger fish should be released to contribute to spawning , any fish taken should be from the smaller sizes, which are more numerous. Most useful bit of kit an angler can carry after his tackle is a camera. Take a photo rather than a fish!!

 

Cheers

 

JIm

 

Still doesn't work for me. I listed the fish we held in the aquarium and multiples of each species and the aquarium was only six feet long. Had constant water quality issues because of the number of fish. They only ate when I fed them and it wasn't like a buffet for them and sometimes they had very small amounts of food. Yes a lack of predators but a predator can eliminate another fish but it can't make them stay small. Perfect example were the flounder. When I caught them in the drop net they were an inch to an inch and a half long. Had to put them in the small aquarium and fed them the flake fish food. When they were tagged at the end of the summer they were up to fifteen inches long. 

 

All during the season I kept catching fish off the dock because we never knew what we would come up with. Can't tell you how many small flounder we caught this way. The flounder we caught in the net all through May, June, July and August kept the same growth rate as the flounder in the aquarium. Those fish in the wild were growing at the same rate as the ones in our aquarium. 

 

Look at crabs. When first born they can shed every few days as they grow fast. By the end of the season we are catching keepers that were born that spring. Fall has always been the best crabbing time for that reason. 

 

I agree with the tagging statement and the info that it returns but not much attention is paid to fish when they are too small to tag. I see it every day here at the dock. There isn't one day from the beginning of April till the end of October where my drop net and minnow traps aren't pulled at least ten times a day. I have the largest lab in the state and I see things most people don't. Growth rates for new born fish just don't match up with what I read about.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

Recommendations to keep smaller fish simply come from the fact there are more .  Due to predation  the numbers of each years class or cohort  reduce .The YOY are most abundant and to predation each subsequent year class reduces in numbers . The relative strength of each year class will vary from year to year due to variations in spawning success/ post spawning survival and perhaps unique events that only impinge on that year single class eg disease/ pollution events. Thus due to natural processes the big cows are rare , but their value to the population is immense due to the sheer volume of eggs they can produce.  Eventually senescence kicks in and egg yield reduces. The fish however usually are long dead before they get the chance to become senescent.

 

At the end of the day its up to an anglers conscience whether to keep that second fish above 42 inches. Might make you look like  the cock of the walk returning to your car but as you say Baccigalup ,they wont be the best eating . Trophy value and nothing more . In my opinion you are better to  take a photo and release it and feel good about doing that.

 

Has any work been done on post capture survival on bass? I would expect that survival of bigger fish could be less than say for a 10 or a 5 pound fish simply due to the time the fish will be on the line  and how exhausted they would be.

 

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DoorGunner said:

 

Still doesn't work for me. I listed the fish we held in the aquarium and multiples of each species and the aquarium was only six feet long. Had constant water quality issues because of the number of fish. They only ate when I fed them and it wasn't like a buffet for them and sometimes they had very small amounts of food. Yes a lack of predators but a predator can eliminate another fish but it can't make them stay small. Perfect example were the flounder. When I caught them in the drop net they were an inch to an inch and a half long. Had to put them in the small aquarium and fed them the flake fish food. When they were tagged at the end of the summer they were up to fifteen inches long. 

 

All during the season I kept catching fish off the dock because we never knew what we would come up with. Can't tell you how many small flounder we caught this way. The flounder we caught in the net all through May, June, July and August kept the same growth rate as the flounder in the aquarium. Those fish in the wild were growing at the same rate as the ones in our aquarium. 

 

Look at crabs. When first born they can shed every few days as they grow fast. By the end of the season we are catching keepers that were born that spring. Fall has always been the best crabbing time for that reason. 

 

I agree with the tagging statement and the info that it returns but not much attention is paid to fish when they are too small to tag. I see it every day here at the dock. There isn't one day from the beginning of April till the end of October where my drop net and minnow traps aren't pulled at least ten times a day. I have the largest lab in the state and I see things most people don't. Growth rates for new born fish just don't match up with what I read about.    

Hi

 

Tried to reply but My reply disappeared into cyberspace.

 

Fish nutrition and feeding behaviour are complex subjects not one I profess to know much about . The fact your fish outstripped or matched their counterparts out in the wild must have mean something was right for them! The feed regime you used might have had a lot to do with your success . In aquaculture , the most efficient feed regimes often mimic what goes on in the wild .  I spent many years in the aquaculture industry and over that time theory regarding optimal feed regime changed enormously . For example  with young salmon in freshwater did best on regular  feeds mimicking  the drift feeding behaviour of salmon parr in the rivers .However once salmon migrated to sea and had to become  active hunters their feeding behaviour changed accordingly .The optimal feed marine regime in captivity is now a few big feeds -think lions on the savannah . I guess that bass may feed similarly to adult salmon and meal feeding you adopted in the aquaria was more optimal for the fish. If only fish could tell us  what's best!  Growth rate data comparing wild ( and captive) fish juveniles will always be off skew due to completely different environments and feed qualities. Grow rates for bass fry in one area will possibly be very different for others.

 

I relate to the problems you mentioned regarding managing water quality in your aquaria .I spent a lot of my aquaculture career managing large scale commercial marine and freshwater recirculation units growing salmon ,turbot , European sea bass and bream. Also ran a  trial aquaria. The marine species were largely meal fed and this created spikes in water quality parameters that had to be managed by adjusting ozone flows ,oxygen levels etc etc I don't miss that at all.

 

What type of lab do you run .  I agree whole heartedly that we get to see things other folk just never see. I spend a lot of time plankton sampling in the near shore environment and surveying fish stocks and I just love the seasonality and variety of things I see.

 

Regards

 

JIm

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.