Development and Management of an Urban Fishery with Hybrid Striped Bass

Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) x white bass (M. chrysops) hybrids were introduced into Lake Osborne, Florida, annually from 1975 to 1983 as a shad control agent and sport fish for an urban fishery. Stocking rates ranged from 21 to 337 fish per hectare. Peak season creel surveys have documented a substantial hybrid fishery in terms of harvest and effort. Creel censuses indicated 21%, 8%, 2%, and 6% stocking rate returns, respectively, during 4 creel periods from 1980 to 1984 on young-of-year fish. The majority of the hybrids were harvested by bank fishermen using bait shrimp in constricted lake areas with increased water current. Clupeid fishes were the principal food item found in stomachs of hybrids. There was no apparent impact on shad populations from intensive hybrid stockings. Fingerlings averaging 40 mm total length stocked in April demonstrated better survival and growth than those stocked <40 mm. Fishermen harvest generally began in October when fish averaged 200 to 270 mm total length. The mean size of the hybrids at 1 year was 320 mm total length and weight 467 g.

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