Age, Growth, and Movement of 2 Morone Hybrids in the Apalachicola River System, Florida

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers were used to distinguish 2 Morone hybrid reciprocal crosses, palmetto bass (Morone saxatilis female x M. chrysops male) and sunshine bass (M. chrysops female x M. saxatilis male), in Lake Seminole and the Apalachicola River, Florida. Individual sunshine bass survived to age 6 and weighed up to 5.9 kg, representing the oldest and largest specimens of this hybrid cross collected from a wild natural system. Hybrids moved downstream >125 km, through 2 dams, to the Apalachicola River. Palmetto bass demonstrated a greater tendency than sunshine bass to emigrate from Lake Seminole to the Apalachicola River. Movement differences are discussed and related to inheritance of maternal spawning traits which may effect hybrid fisheries within or below reservoirs.

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