RJ

One man's opinion Striped Bass

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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.

 

One Man's Opinion

 

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 breading 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
 

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I'm not sure the Hudson batch will 'fill the void' if the Chessie system has a problem with spawn or recruitment .

are you citing research that proves this out?

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A delight, as always!!!

RJ, I have read lately that SB need to winterize in fresh water because they won’t be able to survive extreme low temperature in the SW, at least in the Gaspésie peninsula.  In you writing, you described that some population winterize in fresh water, other in SW.

 

Can you elaborate more on the why some population choose SW versus FW to winterize, if you have such information?  Is it true that at some level, the SB may have difficulty with low temperature in SW?

 

best regards,

 

dc

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Great read, thank you. 

I have a question about pollution in general. When the Hudson was heavily polluted ( not the PCB issue ) in the 50' through the 60's there seemed to be much more bait in the Hudson and Spuyten Duyvil water, same could be said of Jamaica Bay right into the 70's. That's my observation anyway. There were huge quantities of killies, spearing and lots of american eels. In your opinion does clean water aid the recruitment but not necessarily matter to young and older adult fish ? A second part to that question would be, is there a difference in the effects of Chesapeake pollution vs the Hudson, Delaware etc ?

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Bob,

 

Good stuff and we have had a lot of this conversation in the past.....and hopefully on into the future.

 

The "biologic strategy" of stripers is quite different from that of fish such as pacific salmon that obligatorily die after spawning.  And, for pacific steelhead, even though they are not programmed to die, on long rivers such as the Columbia, beyond a certain point (currently believed to be The Dalles Dam), the rigor of the migration, overwintering, and then spawning is lethal to effectively 100%.  For these fish , on say a 4 year cycle, a "bad" year means 25% loss of total population and a VERY long time loss of yearly migrating fish on that recurring 4th year cycle.  For fish with this strategy, it is critical that they successfully spawn every year. 

 

On the other hand, under ideal conditions, stripers are incredibly fecund in terms of the numbers of larvae produced.  But those touchy conditions do not align on even more than 50% of the years, and may be great in one river system while terrible in another.  And the next year that can be reversed.  In some cases good conditions may not occur for a decade or more.  This makes for a population prone to boom and bust cycles.  There have been 4-5 documented striper crashes going back into the 1800's when no one can point to ANY of the current "suspected environmental culprits".  But,  in one good year a small, remnant population can repopulate almost the whole coast......as happened around 1990 after the last crash.

 

The "problem" with this natural variation is that every time there is a crash, while there is a lot of finger pointing and blame distribution, everyone is really, consciously or not, holding their breath because no one really knows if/when those "perfect conditions" have become permanently eliminated or just part of random (or cyclical) weather/temperature conditions.  By some accounts there should not be any stripers at all considering the "degradation" of the east coast  river environments.  Yet.......here they are.  Thankfully, when looked at from the other direction, striped bass are one incredibly tolerant and adaptable fish!

 

So.......based on history and science......those who balk at protective, expensive ,and disruptive regulations of harvest and environment-wide pollution abatement can CORRECTLY point out that the population has always boomeranged, they have always recovered......and all our hand-wringing and fine-tuning of harvest and pollution control  (which hurts some people economically)....is just rearranging the deck chairs on an ocean liner that  continually sinks....and then pops back up.  On the other side are those, like most of us here, who point out that the fact that since their reproduction IS and always has been so touchy, means that we will never know when we reach the tipping point, environmentally, until decades of "no action" has passed and there is no "magic" resurgence.  Predictably, the interval between "good years"  will get longer and longer.

 

This is one reason there are two rather entrenched and even self righteous (and I include myself in that group) groups usually talking past each other and advocating rather starkly different approaches to "the solution".  On one side is what can be categorized as the "head in the sand.....it will correct itself"  approach versus the "maximizing the population and enviromental conditions can only ensure we never blindly creep past that "tipping point" group.  I see it as a somewhat middle of the road stalemate at this point....but that is arguable.

 

On the west coat, here in Oregon, (we are talking about an alien, invasive species on the pacific coast) we had one fabulous spawn year on the Umpqua River producing a world-class fishery (that only a handful of locals recognized and understood.....and got me to move to Oregon) in the late 1960's.......and NEVER SINCE!   

Edited by Peter Patricelli

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2 hours ago, dcote said:

A delight, as always!!!

RJ, I have read lately that SB need to winterize in fresh water because they won’t be able to survive extreme low temperature in the SW, at least in the Gaspésie peninsula.  In you writing, you described that some population winterize in fresh water, other in SW.

 

Can you elaborate more on the why some population choose SW versus FW to winterize, if you have such information?  Is it true that at some level, the SB may have difficulty with low temperature in SW?

 

best regards,

 

dc

Hi dcote

 

That's a great question . I work with anadromous trout which overwinter in freshwater . Fish in their first winter post smolting do not generally spawn so why 'winterise' in freshwater. Maybe  a similar process occurs in anadromous striped bass. I've often puzzled about this .I have not as yet been given an answer.

 

Fish don't do things without a reason .Their behaviour is  often influenced by minimising energy costs . They do live on a tight energy budget. The cost of spending winter at sea must exceed those of  spending winter in freshwater. Without being able to speak striped bass we can only surmise what those costs are. .

 

The process of living in sea water does not come for free . Remember science class osmosis?  In salt water bass are 'more dilute' inside than the sea .Water will tend to move out of the fish via the semi permeable membrane of the skin to try and achieve equilibrium .To maintain its fluid levels and avoid dehydration the fish has evolved a process of drinking saltwater and excreting excess chloride ions from the salt via specialised cells on the gills .  This process has an energy cost ,it doesn't happen passively .In freshwater the fish can switch this process off  and doesn't have the expense of salt metabolism.  Additionally there are warm blooded predators at sea,  be they blubbery or feathery .  They can operate in wintery conditions independent of sea temperature .Perhaps it is cheaper energetically to become torpid in freshwater than undergo the physiological and ecological costs of sea water.

 

Mysteries Mysteries mysteries!

 

Jim

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20 hours ago, JohnP said:

I'm not sure the Hudson batch will 'fill the void' if the Chessie system has a problem with spawn or recruitment .

are you citing research that proves this out?

They are great for Spawn and recruitment.  There is a problem with being able to spend 3 years in the Chesapeake Bay and not be affected by a condition that is brought on by Stress caused by 90 to 95 degree water in July, August and September.  The Historical Deep Hole Cool water locations are full of dead algae that sucks every bit of oxygen from that particular environment.  This lack of refuge from hot water create severe stress to YOY Chesapeake Bay striped bass who enter the Salty Bay that is the Largest Estuary in the World.  They stay in the Bay for 3 years before moving out to the Atlantic Ocean and begin the cycle of Spring and Fall Migrations to and from the Gulf Of Maine

 

Let me gather the articles I've published on SOL and forwarded to MD,VA & DE on the cause and its affect to the C Striped Bass Tribe.   

 

The Hudson River is free flowing for 160 miles north of Manhattan. It's Watershed reaches back into the Great Lakes, and in NY it receives water from the Adirondak, Catskill Mountains and the Tataconic Hills and parts of the Western Berkshires where some of the NY streams moving west empty into the Hudson beslow Albany. It also receives water from the Green Mountains of VT's West Facing slopes from the Canadian Border down to the Battenkill River and other west facing streams thae empty into the Hudson River north of Albany. It even has a NJ North flowing River that sheds water in to it at Kingston, NY.  Its called the Wallkill River.  110 ten miles of the Hudson is fresh water Tidal with a tidal ranges of 5 to 6 feet, up and down twice a 24 hour cycle.  Striped Bass spawn inn the 110 mile Fresh Water Tidal and grow to 3.5 or 4 inches by September of their first year.  Read the paragraph on page 2 that starts with this quote

 

"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 majority of the HRSB Tribe move out of the main stem of the river and into  Raritan Bay and its Tributaries, The Rivers and bays of Long Islands orth and South Shores, Ditto the Rivers and bays of CT as well.  They spend about  3 years in the Salt that doesn't heat up  to 90 or 95 degrees.  The HBSN are the healthy and become strong predators who join the Spring and Fall Migration.  The Tribe tends to settle around Cape Cod for the Summer.

 

The Delaware River is the third migratory tribe that migrates.  DRSB has a on again off again spawning problem.

If the Winter Snow Pac is light or nonexistent  the Delawere River Female SB of 8+ years can not spawn.  Those are the years anglers catch striped bass females in June and early July with Green Eggs still in them.  When the DRSB ladies can not bring themselves to spawn because the water is salty in the main spawning ground of about 30 miles  of DE Shoreline they absorb their eggs as protein.  Some biologists attribute their ability to absorb the eggs to the process that every SB spawned will absorb the egg sac that they have attached to them for protein.

 

As to to the question of the HRSB being capable of replacing the CBSB.  Every striped bass living in the pacific Ocean came from 1300 HBSB transported to San Francisco in 2 batches of HBSB that were netted from the Navesink River, a tributary to Raritan Bay that they settled into the fall of their first year.  About 20 years after the second batch was released in the Sacremento River Delta, Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco recorded over 1,000,000 tons of Striped Bass in the harvest that year.  There are HRSB DNA specific Swimming in Canada and in Mexico.  They have pioneered the west coast and have two or three rivers on the west coast, not just CA but OR and WA do migrate hither and yon.

 

The CBSB are affected to the point that now, every YOY that spawns in Chesapeake Bay since 2010 will lose 70% or more of the great YOY years reported every Fall by VA and MD will die of mycobactiosis, The stress caused ulcers of form in the fish and eventually these ulcers will force  thru the outer skin as red pustules.  A very small percentage of those who are infected will surive.  The CBSB who are alive in their third year and have the infection will die before they reach their 5th year.    Three years short of the age they can reproduce a single baby striped bass.

 

If you follow the YOY counts CB produces 60 to 70 % of the striped biomass YOY. The HR produces 25 to 30% and the DR  in a good year might contribute 10% of the whole mass of the Migrating Tribes.

 

Jim from Scotland.  There are 3 non migrating SB tribes in CANADA.   They live in the Miramichi river and the Shubenacadie-Stewlake Estuary. I believe they winter over in Freshwater Estuaries.  Where every they stay in the winter it must be very deep to hold water a a warmer temperature than 32 degrees Fh.

 

 

Here is the reference produces by ASMFC in 2013

 

 

B5.4.8 Natural Mortality and Disease Pg. 518 

The epizootic of mycobactiosis was first detected in the Chesapeake Bay in 1997 (Heckert et al

2001; Rhodes et al. 2001). However, a retrospective examination of archived tissue samples by

Jacobs et al. (2009a) suggested that mycobacteriosis was apparent in Chesapeake Bay striped bass as

early as 1984.

 

A rise in Mycobacterium disease in Chesapeake Bay could be causing increases in

natural mortality (Pieper 2006; Ottinger and Jacobs 2006). Two primary hypotheses have emerged regarding the mechanism for increased natural mortality (Vogelbein et al. 2006).

 

One is that elevated nutrient inputs to the Bay, with associated eutrophication, results in loss of thermal refuges for striped bass, forcing them into suboptimal and stressful habitat during the summer.

 

Alage created by run off from Chicken and pig farms  who use Chicken Chit as free Fertilizer is the main source of pollution.   I love the "elavated nutrient inputs into the Bay" summary.  

 

Another source is from the Western Shore that has become a Megopolis between Philadelphia and Northern VA Water runoff from hundreds of miles of black top and poorly constructed storm sewers and traffic congestion.

 

A second is that alternations in trophic structure and starvation have resulted due to over-harvest of key prey species such as Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) and reductions in the forage base in Chesapeake  Bay.   BS - Striped bass that survive the 3 years of hell are perfectly capable of feeding themselves. With 

70% of the YOY populition counter balances any over-harvesting menhaden. 

 

They were caught in 2014 of flubbing the numbers and since then they have been closely supervised by VA, MD and several Environmetal orgs.

 

Prevalence of the disease ranges from ~50% as determined through standard histological methods (Overton et al. 2003), to up 75% with molecular techniques (Kaattari et al. 2005). Prevalence is dependent on the age class sampled with prevalence increasing with age to approximately age 5 and

then decreasing in older ages (Kaattari et al. 2005; Gauthier et al. 2008).

 

The decline in prevalence with older ages is likely due to increased mortality in fish which have contracted the disease and do not live to older ages as there appears to be limited ability of striped bass to resolve the disease once it is contracted (Matt Smith, unpublished data). End

 

I read a later report by ASMFC that timed the decline in prevalence with older Ages is do to increased mortality that most subjected to MYCO will die before the end of their 5th year.

 

Myco is NOT TRANSMITTED to other striped bass. It is due the the High Temperature stress the majority of the CBSB are forced to endure by their DNA time clocks.

 

Bob Creeden

Edited by RJ
Fixinga couple of mistakes and general housekeeping.

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12 hours ago, dcote said:

A delight, as always!!!

RJ, I have read lately that SB need to winterize in fresh water because they won’t be able to survive extreme low temperature in the SW, at least in the Gaspésie peninsula.  In you writing, you described that some population winterize in fresh water, other in SW.

 

Can you elaborate more on the why some population choose SW versus FW to winterize, if you have such information?  Is it true that at some level, the SB may have difficulty with low temperature in SW?

 

best regards,

 

dc

I believe Canada's Striped Bass can survive in Salt Water if the Salt Water is deep enough to create a layer between the warmer deep water.  I have a hunch that there are very deep pockets or Glacier Trenches that are 3 to 500 feet deep in the Freshwater Estuary and the Miramichi River.  The Hudson River has a Trench that is 9 miles long in Havastraw Bay that houses a huge mass of Striped bass through our winters.  It is just shy of 300 feet and there is a layer of warmer water the Striped Bass stay in.

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65 to 70 percent of the YOY not surviving, that's crazy. Compound that with the massacre at the canal with all the big fish this year, breeders gone, poaching up the ying yang, hell, I might as well take up Knitting, very sad...

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I was thinking of putting something in the Main Forum along these lines, so I'm glad RJ wrote his piece  (he's a much better writer than I am)

 

I get more frustrated every year when another season goes by and the fishing gets a little worse-  and nothing gets done.  the committee that regulates the harvest of stripers continues is meeting TODAY to discuss menhaden (and hence, will affect the forage base for bass) and there is a very real possiblity that commercial interest (greed) will win out over the benefit of the fish and the environment.   the same holds true for striped bass themselves-  the winter meetings will revisit (AGAIN) calls from mid-atlantic states to increases the harvest before theres been enough time for any kind of recovery from the overfishing thats been occuring for the last several years....  spawning success is certainly a factor in bringing the bass fishing back to its former terrific state.  but so is sound management

 

every year it gets a little worse-  will this be the year that ASMFC actually has the balls to do the right thing?

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, JoeGBreezy said:

Great read, thank you. 

I have a question about pollution in general. When the Hudson was heavily polluted ( not the PCB issue ) in the 50' through the 60's there seemed to be much more bait in the Hudson and Spuyten Duyvil water, same could be said of Jamaica Bay right into the 70's. That's my observation anyway. There were huge quantities of killies, spearing and lots of american eels. In your opinion does clean water aid the recruitment but not necessarily matter to young and older adult fish ? A second part to that question would be, is there a difference in the effects of Chesapeake pollution vs the Hudson, Delaware etc ?

JoeEBreezy, 

 

I was born in Washington Heights at the top of Manhattan in 1939.  When I was 12 my folks moved up the Hudson River to Ossining, NY in 1951.  I lived 1/8 of a mile from the Hudson River and our new Neighbor was a commercial Shad Fisherman and my father arranged me going fishing with him so I could learn about the fish in the Tappan Zee portion of the Hudson. I boated my first striped bass at the mouth of the Croton River just below Harmon RailRoad Yards. I've been in love with that species every since.

 

As you said the River was loaded with all sorts of Bait and fish that  enjoyed feeding on them. In the summer I swam in the Hudson at several small sandy spots along the NY Central Tracks to the City. It was a dirty and funky River. I never caught a cold or got sick from living on the river.  Every village ad town's sewage was dumped into the via sewers.We used to kid around about being inoculated by the Mighty Hudson. 

 

The water temperature was such that it was cool even in the summers. Ocean Fish thrived in coming up the River in search of Bunker, and anything else that was available. Striped Bass, Big Bluefish and sometimes weakfish moved in with the Stripers.  

 

There were no limits of how may you could take and that killing of fish wasn't considered until the late 1970's

 

The Striped Bass biomass on the east coast Crashedin the mid 1980's.  Fishing was stopped for a couple of years

The ASMFC was created to bring striped bass back from the Brink of going the way of the DoDo Bird.  They kept a tight rein of limits ad the size of the fish we caught.  In 11 years they grew a decimated population of fish in Chesapeke, Bay and the Hudson River made a comeback. Gov. Rockerfeller passed the Clean Waters act for NY and that caused every village, town and City to construct Water Flitration Plants ad connect bother the Storm Sewer, toilets and the Greywater caused by washing clothes and Pots ad Pans. i the mid 1960's.  In 2,000 the Hudson River was declared to be a Class A Swimming water from Albany to Manhattan. I sat on the Hudson River Estuary Managment Advisory Comittee for 13 years.  I was the HREMAC Public Access Co Chairman and GPS desigated every location you could gain access to the Hudson River From Troy, NY to Yonkers.  It took me 3 month to get it done.  That was 2002.  The Committee met once a month in the NYF&G Building in New Paltz.  We were Volunteer. The state Paid for our milege  and that was that.

 

The difference between Chesapeake bays Pollution was the different toxin's involved.  The billion Chickens that are raised on the Eastern Shore of MD and VA crapped a lot of Chicken offal in the 6 months they were raised from eggs to 3 to 3.5 pound chickens that Americans loved to Roast, Fry, Boil and Grill. 
 

Chickens that were fed hormones to get them to grow fast and grain for get them fat. Crap a lot.  The Roaster Chicken bosses were having problems getting rid of the offal. aka CS. So they brilliantly  decided to give it to the farmers for free to use to grow food for the billion chickens a year. Yea afer year is saturated the ground. The the ground couldn't take any more and every time it rained in the Chesapeake Bar region the sulfites and the CS  hormones was flushed into the Bay.  It created Huge Red and Green tides of alage.  When the alage's life cycle ended if dropped to the bottom of the  bay.  You can go on line and look for the Hot Spots that filled in with dead depths of alage. 

 

Save the Bay is an excellect Ecological Group and do wonderful things to help clean up the Bay. the Dead Alage has also reduced the harvest of Oysters and Crabs  in the late 90' and thru the last 17 years.   Three years ago the lack of home grown crabs reached the price of $210.00 a bushel.   i tried to get them to focus on the cold water refuges so the stress would be lifted from the Future YOY Striped Bass.  I also approached Stripers Forever and CCA in 2004 thru 2007.  Striper's Forever was and is focused on a single goal.  Kill Commercial Striped Bass Fishing. A guy in LI said they sent $10,000 to a private research lab in VA. Ad that's all they could do.

 

About that time I was trying States and the Feds to understand that if we can clean up the depth's full of deal alage

future YOY striped bass will be able to  start  filling up the Bio Mass's loss of Female 8+ numbers. The StB folks were reseeding oyster beds, planting berms of plants that will leach out the sulfites and other not so good stuff from running into the Bay.  They were focused on the big and slow growing problem cause by pollution from both Shores.

 

Here is what I hoped would happen.

 

2014  Questions and answers

 

So out of all of this, what is it that I should have come away with knowing?      


That there is no "Quick Fix" when working with a biomass of several different major contingents, whose needs and environments are significantly different.

The most optimum environment is the Hudson River Estuary with its 150+ miles of barrier free tidal environment. an environment that is between 110 and 120 miles of freshwater tidal water with significant tributaries and back bays. Ten years ago the Hudson River was declared a Class A Swimming water and the 150 miles below the federal Dam at Watervilet is cleaner than the environments of the Chesapeake Bay and the portion of the Delaware River below the Commander Barry Bridge and the northern shore line of the State of Delaware from the PA State line to the C& D Canal south of New Castle Delaware. The DR SB Tribe's annual spawning event is subject to a good spring snow pac run off in the Pocono and Catskill Mountains. 2012 was virtually non-existent and 2013 was only fair. We should see a good effort this spring.


You should also know that there is a chance that if the major concerns get behind a "Restore the Striped Bass Refuge's" in the Chesapeake Bay, It is time for members of the CCA and Stripers Forever to start asking for some action getting the ball rolling. That could create an environment that will directly address the plight of Chesapeake Bay born striped bass and turn the tide on the skin and internal tumors disease that is killing up to 75% of all striped bass born in the Chesapeake. The Commercial fishing organizations that are representing the commercial industry should be yelling their heads off to get something going for Chesapeake Bay Stripers as well.

It would be a great thing if CCA and Stripers Forever used their influence and motivated their memberships to bring pressure to bear on the authorities to consider the benefits of cleaning the cold water refuges within Chesapeake Bay. And to start a movement to get the manufactures of fishing gear, and clothing to start putting money up to create a fund to pay for the cleanup. And for all of us to put some pressure on our federal representatives to set some of the Excise Tax's paid for saltwater fishing equipment and other items to a project to Clean the Striped Bass Refuges in CB. and The federal Government applies a tax on the Chicken industry to fund a project for Restoring the Cool Water Refuges their greed has created."

 

i hope that this answers you questions.   I'm going to bed.  Who won the Football Game?

Bob aka Rj
 

 

 

 

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