Evaluation of Phase I and Phase II Hybrid Striped Bass in the Escambia River, Florida

Relative survival rates for phase II (150- to 250-mm total length) striped bass hybrids (Morone saxatilis x M. chrysops) were 23, 200 and 137 times greater than phase 1 (30- to 45-mm total length) fish for the 1983, 1984 and 1985 year classes, respectively. Mean condition factors of phase I fish collected in the field were significantly higher than phase II fish for all 3 year classes. Mean total lengths of phase I fish were significantly greater than phase II fish for the 1983 year class and for the 1984 fish collected in the spring of 1986. However, 1985 phase II fish collected during the summer of 1986 were significantly larger than 1985 phase I fish. Phase II fish made up 35% and 48% of the estimated striped bass hybrid harvest during the 1984-85 and 1985-86 creel periods, respectively. Stocking of tagged phase II fish was a useful technique in evaluating fingerling survival.

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