Some Early Life History Of Florida's Inland Striped Bass, Morone Saxatilis

Striped bass, Morone saxatilis, were successfully established ih Florida's fresh water lakes during the summer of 1968. Populations are presently known in at least six separate bodies of water. Lake stocking rates have ranged from 43 fish per acre to 5 fish per acre. All stocks were obtained from Moncks Corner Striped Bass Hatchery, South Carolina, as one to four day old fry and reared to approximately 2 inches (TL) at State hatcheries prior to stocking. Growth has been rapid but variable between populations. The average first year of growth was 11.1 inches (TL). Maximum growth for age I fish was 13.6 inches (TL). Age II striped bass averaged 18.1 inches (TL), weighing 2.35 pounds. Measurements of physical condition, K-factor (Hile), varied between 1.31 and 2.79. Values of K below 1.80 were indicative of poor condition and mortalities were associated with K-factor values below 1.70. Stomach analyses revealed a preponderance of threadfin and gizzard shad, Dorosoma petenense and D. cepedianum, in the diet, although other fishes were frequently utilized. Striped bass smaller than 6 inches (TL) fed predominately on mosquitofish, molly, and freshwater shrimp. Parasite caused mortalities occured in two striped bass populations. The causal organism was a marine nematode of the genus Goezia.

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