Hybrid Striped Bass Movements and Habitat in Ross Barnett Reservoir, Mississippi

Fourteen radio-tagged adult hybrid striped bass (female Morone saxatilis x male M. chrysops) were tracked from February to November 1987 in Ross Barnett Reservoir, Mississippi. Radio-tagged hybrids moved into the Pearl River in early March and remained upstream until water temperatures exceeded 27° C and dissolved oxygen decreased below 4 mg/liter at which time all except 2 fish returned to the main lake. These 2 fish, remaining in a well-aerated refuge at a lowhead dam, died in July when water temperatures exceeded 30° C. The fish which returned to the main lake showed decreased movements and remained near mid-lake in 4 small areas in and adjacent to submerged oxbows and/or the Pearl River channel. Mean monthly dissolved oxygen was significantly higher in mid-lake than elsewhere. Adult hybrids avoided depths of 0-2 m. Concurrent radio telemetry studies of 5 largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) showed little overlap of habitat.

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