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Striped Bass

Morone saxatilis

Striped Bass Physical Characters : The body of the striped bass is elongate and slightly compressed. The head is a narrow, cone-shape, and the mouth is large. The color is greenish above, silvery on the sides, and white below. There are six to nine horizontal blackish stripes on the side. In southern California, the much smaller salema occasionally is mistaken for young striped bass; the salema, however, has orange-brown stripes and larger eyes than those of striped bass.

Range : They found from northern Baja California to Barkley Sound, British Columbia. In California, they most commonly are found in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, San Francisco Bay and adjacent ocean areas.

Natural History : Examination of stomach contents show that shrimp and anchovies are most important during the summer and fall while a variety of small fishes are eaten during the winter. Females usually mature at 5 years of age when about 24 inches long and many males mature at age 2 when about 11 inches long. A 5 pound fish may spawn as many as 25,000 eggs in one season; while a 12 pounder will spawn 1,250,000 eggs. A 75 pound striper produces as many as 10,000,000 eggs. Striped bass are believed to spawn only in fresh water in which there is an appreciable current. In California, they spawn from March to July with a peak in April and May.

Distribution : By far the largest part of the striped bass catch is made in San Francisco Bay and the Delta. Good fishing occurs during late summer, but is best in the fall. Stripers occur along the coast only during late spring and summer at which time surf fishermen get a chance at them. A variety of artificial lures and chunks or strips of standard bait fish will attract stripers. The beaches immediately adjacent to the Golden Gate are generally the best coastal spots, but occasional good runs are encountered as far south as Monterey and as far north as Bodega Bay. In San Francisco Bay, trolling with live bait is popular, with common catches under 10 pounds. Juvenile striped bass have been planted in San Diego, Mission, Newport and Anaheim Bays since 1974 to provide sportfishing.

Habitat : They normally live in bay environment.