Fisheries science and the striped bass
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Fisheries Science and the Striped Bass. A Classroom Lesson from the Mathematics & Science Center. Striped Bass: A Success Story!. Why? Because of …. Fisheries Science … and then… proper fish management!. Fisheries Science Involves:. Biology/Life Cycle Genetics Ecology

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Fisheries Science and the Striped Bass

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Fisheries Science and the Striped Bass


A Classroom Lesson from theMathematics & Science Center


Striped Bass: A Success Story!


Why? Because of ….

Fisheries Science …

and then…

proper fish management!


Fisheries Science Involves:

  • Biology/Life Cycle

  • Genetics

  • Ecology

  • Population Studies

  • Taxonomy

  • Fisheries Technology

  • Management ( & politics!)


In the Chesapeake Bay…

  • Salinity = 0.5 to 32 ppt

  • 50% depth < 20 ft.

  • Temp range = 1 – 30° C

  • Largest U.S. Estuary

  • Oxygen levels vary

  • (O to saturated)


…Fish Fauna Flourish!

Not many “residents” – most are visitors!

267 species in the bay

Only 32 species are year-round!


Fish & their Waters…

  • Freshwater (0 – 5 ppt)

  • Estuarine (0.5 to 32 ppt)

  • Marine (> 30 ppt)

  • Anadromous Species of fish–

    Lives in Salt water, spawns in Fresh


The Scientific Question:

How many fish do we have…

...and how many can we catch…

…without harming the fish stock?


A Stock Assessment

A special type of study of the carrying capacity of an area for a fish population that is “harvested” or managed

  • Fish Biology

  • Fishing Practices

  • Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE)


Methods of Fish Science


Otoliths – How Old is a Fish?


Otolith Rings = Fish Age


Graphs of Fish Populations


Fish Length Graph

Fish

Length

(avg.)

Year


Length = Age

Female Striped Bass…

…is able to reproduce…

… at 4 years old!


Tagging – Where they go!


Inserting the tag


A Tagged Fish


Dissections – What they eat


A Favorite treat!


Prey of the Striped Bass


DNA – Fish Genetics


Whose Eggs?


DNA Patterns of Chesapeake Bay Sportfish

2,036

1,636

1,018

517/506

396

344

298

220/201

154/134

Bluefish

Summer flounder

Southern kingfish

} Spanish mackerel

} Spotted sea trout

} Northern kingfish

} Atlantic croaker

} Cobia

} Black sea bass

Black drum

Silver perch

Striped bass

Red drum

Weakfish

Tautog

Spot


DNA Says ---

  • Bass Mitochondrial DNA

  • RFLP, Gel Electrophoresis

  • Pattern for each species


Fishing Practices

  • Who is doing the fishing…

  • Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE)


By-catch – A Critical Issue


Keep or Release?


Some Major Things We’ve Learned…

  • Reduced populations from overfishing INCREASES the effects of natural stresses

  • Acid rain and other chemicals (copper, aluminum) are toxic

  • Fluctuation of water temp. in spawning grounds is most significant natural stress


Maximum Sustainable Yield

  • The number of fish we can catch per year and not hurt the stock

  • Usually occurs at ½ of the carrying capacity

  • Not too many fish for competition, but enough for a good spawning stock


The Scientific End Result

We learn:

What age fish to catch…

How many we can catch and when…

and still not hurt the fish stock!


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