Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Large (>458 mm) striped bass (Morone saxatilis) are dominant predators in Chesapeake Bay. In recent years, the Chesapeake Bay stock of striped bass has increased dramatically, raising concerns about their predatory impact and their forage requirements. In response to these concerns and the need for more recent ecological studies, this investigation Was conducted to characterize feeding habits of large striped bass in Chesapeake Bay. Stomach contents from 1225 striped bass from 458 to 1151 mm TL were examined in the spring and fall of 1997 and 1998. Striped bass consumed 52 different species of vertebrates and invertebrates; however, only a few species of clupeoid and sciaenid fishes dominated diets across both the seasons and size ranges of striped bass examined. Of finfish species, menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) was the dominant prey in most areas and gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) replaced menhaden in importance in lower salinity waters. Spot (Leiostomus xanthurus) and other sciaenid fishes and anadromous herrings (Alosa spp.) also contibuted large percentages of striped bass diet. Although pelagic schooling fishes formed the majority of the diet, benthic fishes contributed a higher percentage to the diet than in previous studies of striped bass diet composition.
Stomach Contents; Estuary; Models; Areas; Ecosystems; Migration; Impacts; Growth; River
Walter, John F. and Austin, Hebert M., Diet Composition Of Large Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis) In Chesapeake Bay (2003). Fishery Bulletin, 101(2), 414-423.