Indications of a Freshwater Population of Striped Bass, Roccus Saxatilis (Walbaum), in Santee-Cooper Reservoirs

Since February of 1954, as an integral part of an investigation of fish populations in the Santee-Cooper Reservoirs, special emphasis has been placed on a study of the striped bass to determine whether a resident or migratory population is present. Evidence collected during the past several months, based on spawning ground location, samples taken of fish movement through the navigation lock, and recent recoveries from a tagging study, emphasize the possibility that a resident population is established. Striped bass spawning, based on the collection of eggs and larvae, was found to occur in the Tailrace Canal and Cooper River, below the reservoirs; in the Diversion Canal, between the reservoirs; and in the Congaree and Wateree Rivers, tributary streams of the reservoirs. Periodic samples, collected through the use of a trammel net, does not reflect an extensive striped bass movement through the navigation lock, the only passage way available to fish in relation to the reservoir area. Recapture data from the tagging study does not indicate an extensive recruitment of striped bass from Cooper River to the reservoirs. The results of this work are still tenative and must be judged from a preliminary basis.

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