The Striped Bass Of The Santee-Cooper Reservoir

The continued spawning success of striped bass, Roccus saxatilis, within the reservoir during the past three years, in spite of greatly reduced lock operations, is evidence which heavily supports the resident hypothesis. Striped bass feed heavily upon mayfly nymphs during the spring months, but take clupeoid fish almost entirely for the remainder of the year. The results of a three-year creel census ending August 31, 1957, shows that the number of striped bass caught and the percent of the total catch which striped bass represents has approximately doubled for the past two years. The average catch per trip has increased from 1.7 fish to 3.0 fish since 1955. Other data demonstrate a decided change in preference to striped bass fishing from other species by fishermen. An intensive gill net effort between June 5, 1956 and August 6, 1957 took 5,730.4 pounds of fish. Of this total, 60.1 percent was striped bass. The efficiency of the nets in taking striped bass indicates a very large population of this species within the reservoir. Age and growth were calculated for 322 striped bass. The calculated average total lengths at the end of tpe first seven years are as follows: 1-8.5, I1-15.7, III-19.8, IV-22.9, V-25.8, VI-28.5, and V.II-30.2. The average first year growth is approximately double that reported from New England and the Chesapeake Bay. Striped bass from the reservoir and tributary streams have been introduced in six impoundments in three states. Adult fish were used in two instances but no reproduction has been found.

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