Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

1-2020

Journal

ICES Journal of Marine Science

Volume

77

Issue

1

First Page

300

Last Page

314

Abstract

Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) are anadromous fish that support an important fishery along the east coast of North America. In Chesapeake Bay, strong juvenile recruitment of striped bass can occur when larvae overlap with high concentrations of their zooplankton prey, but the mechanisms fostering the temporal overlap are unknown. Here, the influence of winter temperature on the peak abundances of a key prey, Eurytemora carolleeae, was estimated with a temperature-dependent developmental model. The role of these peaks in regulating striped bass recruitment was explored in three nursery areas: upper Chesapeake Bay, Choptank River, and Patuxent River. Model results indicated that cold winters delay the timing and increase the size of peak E. carolleeae spring abundance. When the model output was used in regression relationships with striped bass juvenile recruitment and freshwater discharge, the regression models explained up to 78% of annual recruitment variability. Results suggests that cold, wet winters could increase the chance of a match between striped bass larvae and high concentrations of their prey. This mechanistic link between winter temperatures and striped bass production, acting through prey dynamics, could further understanding of fish recruitment variability and indicates that warmer winters could negatively affect some striped bass populations.

DOI

10.1093/icesjms/fsz203

Keywords

striped bass

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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