Comparisons of Growth for Hybrid Striped Bass in North America
Randall D. Schultz, Andy L. Fowler, Jason M. Goeckler, and Michael C. Quist
Abstract.—Growth of hybrid striped bass (white bass Morone chrysops × striped bass M. saxatilis) throughout North America was summarized to evaluate latitudinal differences in growth. Age was estimated from scales and otoliths (nondifferentiated) collected from 29 populations in 12 states. Hybrid striped bass populations were delineated by midwestern, southeastern, and southwestern regions. Growth among regions was compared by fitting a von Bertalanffy growth model to each population and by comparing mean length at capture (fall-sampled fish) for ages 1 and 3 and maximum ages. Midwestern populations exemplified the highest theoretical maximum length (L∞), followed by southeastern populations, although differences were not significant among regions. Likewise, growth coefficients (K) and maximum ages did not differ among regions. Southeastern populations had greater length at age than midwestern populations but were similar to southwestern values. These results provide a framework for comparing North American hybrid striped bass populations and for managing this important sport fish in reservoir systems.