Investigating Striped Bass Recruitment in the Neuse River, North Carolina

Investigating trends in striped bass (Morone saxatilis) juvenile abundance is important for determining which factors may affect recruitment. We evaluated the abundance and distribution of juvenile striped bass in the Neuse River from 2006-2007 using beach seines and electrofishing techniques. Overall, little evidence of recruitment was found. Juvenile striped bass were not documented in the system during summer 2006 and were collected in low densities from isolated areas (2 of 34 sample sites) during summer 2007. Because catch was low, we could not adequately describe nursery habitat. These fish collection techniques may not be appropriate for quantifying recruitment for populations with low juvenile production. We suggest that poor recruitment will be a major impediment to stock recovery and reasons for poor recruitment should be investigated.

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