Survival, Growth, and Food Habits of Striped Bass in Small Impoundments

Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) were introduced into 2 East Tennessee lakes to evaluate their survival, growth, and food habits in small impoundments of < 5 ha. Small fingerling striped bass (33-96 mm) introduced late in the growing season exhibited poor survival. Good survival was depedent upon early introduction and larger size at stocking. The preferred habitat of striped bass in small impoundments does not support a sufficient forage base to sustain good growth. Food habit analyses revealed that approximately 85% of all food items consumed by yearling striped bass were fish. Sunfish (Lepomis sp.) comprised 62% of the total fish consumed while 29% were largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and 9% were unidentified fish remains. Striped bass began utilizing fish as a primary food source at approximately 170 mm total length.

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