z-man

Where do Striped Bass Spawn?

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This is a side topic that started in the Easter Cow thread.
Where are Striped Bass currently known to spawn? We know that the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware River and Hudson River are their primary spawning areas. The Kennebec River in Maine also supposedly has a spawn. In Canada there are a couple rivers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that have spawning fish. There are also a few fresh water lakes/rivers out west that stocked stripers now reproduce in. Where else do you think they spawn? Biologists say that there is very specific criteria needed for successful spawning, water temp, salinity and the eggs must remain floating in current for 30-70 hours. Is that really happening in these diverse areas that bass are successfully spawning? 

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I’m surprised they aren’t recognized as spawning in the CT river. That fishery is basically year-round, I find it hard to believe that they would run all the way up to Holyoke in the Spring (as they’ve been observed doing) just for the heck of it.

 

To help answer your question, I bet at one point in time Bass spawned up and down the mid Atlantic coast in major river systems before US industrialization occurred. Now so few of them have the right water conditions that the local spawning population either moved to a better area or died off completely. What we see know for spawning rivers just happens to be all that’s left.

 

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Reproduction and Life Cycle

The striped bass is considered to be semi-anadromous fish; most do not travel all the way from the ocean to their spawning grounds in freshwater rivers. Spawning occurs from April to early June in the Chesapeake Bay's tidal tributaries. During spawning season, several males court a single female, who lays her eggs in fresh or brackish water near the shore. After spawning, adults swim downstream to the Bay, and some continue on to the ocean. Eggs hatch in two to three days, after which larvae move slowly downstream. Juveniles live in the shallows of tidal rivers throughout the summer. Most spend their first two years of life in the river in which they were born. Striped bass live 10 to 30 years. 

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7 mins ago, Pickerel92 said:

I’m surprised they aren’t recognized as spawning in the CT river. That fishery is basically year-round, I find it hard to believe that they would run all the way up to Holyoke in the Spring (as they’ve been observed doing) just for the heck of it.

 

To help answer your question, I bet at one point in time Bass spawned up and down the mid Atlantic coast in major river systems before US industrialization occurred. Now so few of them have the right water conditions that the local spawning population either moved to a better area or died off completely. What we see know for spawning rivers just happens to be all that’s left.

 

I would think that if stripers spawned in the CT River that at least some of the eggs would survive and hatch. It’s around 70 miles from the Holyoke Dam to Long Island Sound with a bunch of coves and tributaries along the way that the eggs could get caught up in and delay their journey. 

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Taunton river is pretty long. I think if they removed all the dams we might see bass spawn in Mass. They do spawn north of us, so maybe? 

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3 hours ago, z-man said:

I would think that if stripers spawned in the CT River that at least some of the eggs would survive and hatch. It’s around 70 miles from the Holyoke Dam to Long Island Sound with a bunch of coves and tributaries along the way that the eggs could get caught up in and delay their journey. 

When I was a kid, I saw a guy pull a 40 incher out of the CT River.  This was downstream from the dam on the Enfield/Suffield line.

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1 hour ago, Skunkoff said:

When I was a kid, I saw a guy pull a 40 incher out of the CT River.  This was downstream from the dam on the Enfield/Suffield line.

There have been many 40 pounders and probably some 50s caught there, back in the day.

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I didn’t see any replies mention striper populations in the rivers of the Florida panhandle and some of the Gulf states. These fish spend their entire lives in fresh water, never leaving the rivers. They’re remnants of a population that once stretched continuously along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, but were separated when Florida became dry land and prevented the fish from going around it, since the water in south Florida is way too warm for them.

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Add the Mullica River to the list of spawning areas.  I catch 7"-9" Stripers off my dock in August, in the lagoon system off Great Bay.  No way those little fish are spawning in the Chesapeake or Delaware Bay and then making it all the way up to me that quick.  They gotta be spawning local.

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1 hour ago, JoeyZac said:

Add the Mullica River to the list of spawning areas.  I catch 7"-9" Stripers off my dock in August, in the lagoon system off Great Bay.  No way those little fish are spawning in the Chesapeake or Delaware Bay and then making it all the way up to me that quick.  They gotta be spawning local.

I think those fish are probably 1 year old but some info says that bass don’t migrate until they are 2 years old. Who knows, there’s so much conflicting info out there. 

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3 mins ago, z-man said:

I think those fish are probably 1 year old but some info says that bass don’t migrate until they are 2 years old. Who knows, there’s so much conflicting info out there. 

 

Every chart I've ever seen has them about 12" at 1 year old.  I'm catching Stripers in August that are 7"-9".  

 

We also have quite a few preggo cow Bass caught far up in the Mullica every Spring.  I don't think they're up there just to hang out.

 

 

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33 mins ago, JoeyZac said:

 

Every chart I've ever seen has them about 12" at 1 year old.  I'm catching Stripers in August that are 7"-9".  

 

We also have quite a few preggo cow Bass caught far up in the Mullica every Spring.  I don't think they're up there just to hang out.

 

 

I’ve seen the same that a 1 year old is around 12-13”. I can’t find any charts that show how fast they grow in the first few months though. Those fish would only be around 4 months old. 

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