Observations On The Striped Bass, Morone Saxatills, In Keystone Reservoir, Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation initiated a program to establish striped bass in Keystone Reservoir in 1965. During the period 1965 to 1969, approximately 2.75 million striped bass ranging from fry to adults have been stocked. A program to determine if a spawning population of striped bass had developed was started in March 1969. The search for natural reproduction utilized egg sampling, meter netting, shoreline shocking, and shoreline seining methods. Natural reproduction was not found in 1969. A gill net survey of the striped bass population was conducted from October through December 1969. Thirty individuals ranging in size from 0.9 to 8.9 pounds were taken. Females accounted for 80 percent of the catch with the larger individuals carrying mature ovaries. Age and growth determinations were made on these fish plus 20 others. First year growth was calculated at 10.2 inches, second year at 17.9 inches, third year at 21.3 inches, and fourth year at 23.9 inches. Egg sampling survey was repeated in 1970. Striped bass eggs were not identified from those taken. However, on June 18, the first six striped bass identified as natural reproduction were taken by shoreline seining. Primary spawning activity appeared to have taken place in the Arkansas River. Early survey results were negative in the Cimarron River. Using data collected in 1969, from seining rates and known stocking rates as an extrapolation base, the 1970 fingerling survival was calculated at 1.45 million minimum from data taken June 20 to June 25. Early observations on distributional patterns and growth rates of the fingerling striped bass are presented.

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