Spring Striped Bass Spawn in the Hudson River

Dated: 04/26/2013

Views: 3071

As the spring weather warms the waters of the mighty Hudson River, upwards of 10 million striped bass will migrate from the Chesapeake Bay past Nyack to spawn in the River’s upper reaches. They will then disperse to the ocean by June and travel as far north as Nova Scotia along the eastern seaboard. The striped bass (Morone saxatilis), also known as the striper or rockfish, is easily identified by the dark horizontal stripes across its silvery body. Striped bass can grow to more than 50 inches, weigh over 60 pounds, and live up to 30 years.

Striped bass are anadromous fish: they are spawned in freshwater rivers but live their adult lives in the ocean. The fertilized eggs float downstream until hatching a few days after spawning. The bass larvae continue to move downstream until they reach the estuaries, areas such as Haverstraw Bay to the Tappan Zee Bridge. These areas function as nursery areas for the larvae and juvenile fish during the summer. By late summer and into fall, these young-of-the-year fish move into the estuaries of New York Harbor and western Long Island bays, where they will live until they are large enough to join the adults off the coast.

The striped bass has always been an important recreational and commercial fish and has a long history of management along the eastern seaboard. It was the first fish to have harvest regulations put in place. During early colonial times striped bass were so numerous that they were used for fertilizing farm fields. Realizing the importance of these fish as food, Massachusetts banned the practice in the 1600's. Throughout the 20th century, there were many attempts at striped bass conservation and coast-wide management. These attempts, however, were unsuccessful and could not prevent a collapse of the population in the early 1980s. Strict management measures were passed to help the population recover. The striped bass is a true success story in fisheries management. By 1995 the population was rebuilt and today the Atlantic coast population is healthy and is no longer being overfished.

A much desired game fish, anglers admire stripers as much for their fight as their taste on the table. To catch a striped bass when I was a teenaged fisherman was a rare event indeed. I am overjoyed at the population explosion they have experienced in the past 20 years.

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Paul Bambara

My love of the real estate business began when I first started investing in residential and commercial properties in 1982. I found that my life-long residency of Rockland County, my eight years on the....

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