Striped Bass

Morone saxatilis

Image of a striped bass held in a person's hand.
Image by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Southwest Region on Flickr, public domain

Physical: Striped Bass vary in color from light or olive green, to blue, silver, or brown.Their metallic bodies have black stripes that run along horizontally. They have a forked tail fin and their dorsal fin has spines. At maturity, individuals average 2 to 3 feet in length and weigh 10 to 30 pounds, although they can measure up to 6 feet and weigh up to 125 pounds.

Habitat: M. saxatilis range from the St. Lawrence Seaway to Florida, and west to Louisiana. They are also prevalent in the open ocean zone of the Atlantic. Individuals also range in coastal waters where they prefer estuaries.

Feeding: Juveniles feed primarily on small crustaceans and cladocerans. Adults are piscivorous, and eat any smaller fish than themselves.

Breeding: In late winter and spring, mature Striped Bass move inshore from the ocean to spawn. Spawning is triggered by increased water temperature, and occurs from April to June. Year classes of females may not mature for 8 years, while males mature at 2 or 3 years. Striped bass live for 10 to 30 years.

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