DarterFan

Do striped bass stop spawning at a certain age?

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I don't think they go through menopause if that's what your getting at but egg production probably hits a peak and slowly dwindles. Interesting question hope fish biologist checks in 

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40 mins ago, DarterFan said:

Do striped bass stop spawning at a certain age?

I have read that at a certain age they will skip years and not spawn a year and then spawn the following year but I don't know if they would skip several years like two or three I don't know.

I also read in the same article about them that egg production does become less as far as numbers of eggs produced.

 

HH

Edited by Heavy Hooksetter

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Not fully sure of the correct answer - however, they are regulated in a manner that seems to regard larger fish as 'breeders'...so while there is probably a point in their life span where reproduction functions slow down, it doesn't seem to be until some point way down the line...

Edited by albacized

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Good Article from 2018 on the subject.  Of course, Fisheries Managers did not "pay attention" to it (in a half-A** manner) until, I believe, 2020 (slot fish 28-36 inches, 28-38 inches NJ). I still think Striped Bass management should emulate the success of the Redfish slot fish in restoring the Redfish when they were at the brink - 1 fish per day 24.5 to 27.5 inches.  But then again, why emulate SE Atlantic/Gulf Coast sucess in the NE?

 

Spawning Striped Bass: Oldies but Goodies – Fissues.org

 

Edited by FlatWing

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There is no evidence of senesence in striped bass.  Larger bass produce not only more eggs, but more eggs per pound of body weight, as well as larger eggs that produce larger larvae that are more likely to survive.  However, as noted above, the fish do tend to skip spawning years as they grow larger.

 

One thing to note is that when we talk about "older" and "larger" fish these days, we're talking about fish that are in the 50 or 60 pound range, and maybe 20 or so yerars old.  But striped bass in an unfished state might survive for as many as 35 years, and reach a size of 125 pounds or so.  Thus, today's "big" bass aren't really close to the species' age potential, and from a reproductive perspectivem aren't really all that old.

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4 hours ago, CWitek said:

There is no evidence of senesence in striped bass.  Larger bass produce not only more eggs, but more eggs per pound of body weight, as well as larger eggs that produce larger larvae that are more likely to survive.  However, as noted above, the fish do tend to skip spawning years as they grow larger.

 

One thing to note is that when we talk about "older" and "larger" fish these days, we're talking about fish that are in the 50 or 60 pound range, and maybe 20 or so yerars old.  But striped bass in an unfished state might survive for as many as 35 years, and reach a size of 125 pounds or so.  Thus, today's "big" bass aren't really close to the species' age potential, and from a reproductive perspectivem aren't really all that old.

I agree with your end statement much,bass are maturing younger and that's a natural attempt to keep the species alive.

Doing so makes for smaller fish spawning sooner and it should be in greater numbers due to there being more smaller fish than bigger fish.

What ya think,?

 

HH

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11 mins ago, Heavy Hooksetter said:

I agree with your end statement much,bass are maturing younger and that's a natural attempt to keep the species alive.

Doing so makes for smaller fish spawning sooner and it should be in greater numbers due to there being more smaller fish than bigger fish.

What ya think,?

 

HH

We saw them spawning younger during the last collapse.  I'm not sure that I've seen too much evidence of them doing the same thing now, although I do recall research 20 years ago that indicated there wasn't 100% female maturity until 36 inches, while the last stock assessment had 100% maturity a little smaller, I think 34.

 

But a lot of smaller fish don't necessarily produce more spawn than a smaller number of larger fish, because the bigger fish are far more fecund.

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4 hours ago, CWitek said:

We saw them spawning younger during the last collapse.  I'm not sure that I've seen too much evidence of them doing the same thing now, although I do recall research 20 years ago that indicated there wasn't 100% female maturity until 36 inches, while the last stock assessment had 100% maturity a little smaller, I think 34.

 

But a lot of smaller fish don't necessarily produce more spawn than a smaller number of larger fish, because the bigger fish are far more fecund.

I see, I sure hope that many smaller fish would at least approach the same number of young as a large would,,wishful thinking of course.

 

HH

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It's a good question. Fecundity is largely just a function of body size., i.e. egg mass, being a volume (3D), obviously increases exponentially with length (2D). That said, size and age do not necessarily correlate in fish, especially as they get bigger. i.e. a 12" fish is probably a year old or so, but a 45"er could be anywhere from 15 to 50 because they don't necessarily grow much over time as they reach their max potential. While I've heard that some long-lived fish do lose fecundity with old age, it doesn't appear that stripers do (graph from Using Lifetime Fecundity to Compare Management Strategies, '87). And, as pointed out above, few if any bass (or anything else) reach maximum size anymore - who knows how old a 100 pounder might have been.

 

Fishing pressure has changed fish populations, though. Even though there are much fewer large fish in a population (other graph) due to attrition, natural and/or fishing, they have a lot more eggs to pass on those big-fish genes, and it's important to preserve them if you want those genes to remain in circulation . Heavy fishing pressure/harvest can lead to a bias toward smaller fish, some of which might strategically spawn earlier in life rather than growing - who then pass on those little-fish genes. It's probably therefore good to release the big fish (that also proved that they can survive) or impose an upper slot limit, if you want a population of game fish around for the future. [there's probably a newer study on this, but trends will likely be the same]

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1 hour ago, Heavy Hooksetter said:

I see, I sure hope that many smaller fish would at least approach the same number of young as a large would,,wishful thinking of course.

 

HH

I suppose if there were enough of the small fish, things could balance out--but what we're seeing now isn't really a lot of small fish.

 

The Maryland juvenile abundance index for 2015 was 24.20.  That's well above average, but well below the 59.39 in 1996, the 50.75 in 2001, the 39.76 in 1993, 34.58 in 2011, etc.  it's not much more than twice the long-term average of 11.6, and isn't very comforting given that the last three years were 3.37, 2.48, and 3.20.

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2 mins ago, Poisson Idea said:

Heavy fishing pressure/harvest can lead to a bias toward smaller fish, some of which might strategically spawn earlier in life rather than growing - who then pass on those little-fish genes. 

I recall an experiment done at Stony Brook University a number of years ago, using silversides because of their short generation period.  It didn't take many generations of harvesting the larger individuals before the average size of the adults showed significant decline.

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24 mins ago, CWitek said:

I suppose if there were enough of the small fish, things could balance out--but what we're seeing now isn't really a lot of small fish.

 

The Maryland juvenile abundance index for 2015 was 24.20.  That's well above average, but well below the 59.39 in 1996, the 50.75 in 2001, the 39.76 in 1993, 34.58 in 2011, etc.  it's not much more than twice the long-term average of 11.6, and isn't very comforting given that the last three years were 3.37, 2.48, and 3.20.

Wow,that is def bad.

Can can remember 1978 when I started saltwater fishing, I did not see a striped bass in real life until 1984.

I did see on three occasions three very large fish on those three occasion one on each time but I had no idea what it was and they were way bigger than a blue fish and blue for some big back then, but I became an adult I realized what they were and let me tell you what I saw and I remember vividly was their tails were the size of a broom.

I never forgot that.

The average gator back then in my parts was 15 16 lb was a 20 lb and not being uncommon.

Bunker for from shore to shore right across the Little harbor and there were so many that they were dying because they used up all the oxygen.

Nowadays we'll see lots of Bunker it's not like the historical amounts but there would be bunker everywhere and not a thing bothering them.

Even the birds would come out of the water and sit on shore because they were tired of eating and they couldn't fly anyway.

These days I don't bother for some with small stuff looking for a little fish but I am seeing them but not in historical numbers where the bashing on the surface is almost Non-Stop.

At any rate it's always good when you see a lot of little ones.

 

HH

 

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I remember some nights I get down to the water and as I always do I just stand there and listen and I can hear the chatter practically non-stop chatter and it was not people chatter it was a small fish feeding that small bait chatter and not five seconds would go by of silence.

That was a good sign, it meant that the adults were doing their duty and the babies were surviving, now a lot of times I get to the water stand there and listen there's a lot of silence in between long amounts of silence.

HH

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