Hybrid Striped Bass
A hybrid striped bass,
also known as a wiper or whiterock bass, is a hybrid between the striped bass
(Morone saxatilis) and the white bass (M. chrysops). It can be distinguished
from the striped bass by broken rather than solid horizontal stripes on the body.
Hybrid striped bass are considered better suited for culture in ponds than
either parent species because they are more resilient to extremes of
temperature and to low dissolved oxygen. After the wild striped bass stocks
nearly collapsed, the aquaculture industry responded by engineering this
hybrid. The new species was established in 1967 by crossing the anadromous wild
striper (Morone saxatilus) with white bass (M. chrysops), a fish that lives in
both estuarine and fresh water. Hybridization of these two species does not
occur naturally. Therefore, hybrid striped bass must be cultured in a fish
hatchery situation. The result combines the attractive appearance and edibility
of the wild striped bass with the hardier, faster-growing characteristic of the
white bass. The hybrid also offers a greater yield than its wild parents.
Farmed striped bass reach 5 pounds but are usually marketed at 1 to 3 pounds.
striped bass are produced in various systems including ponds, raceways, and
tanks, but they are most suited to pond culture. Fingerlings can be stocked in
grow-out ponds at 3,000 to 5,000 per acre. They can be kept in the ponds for
approximately 15 to 18 months when they reach market size, 1.25 to 2.5 pounds.
Hybrid striped bass tolerate a wide range of water
temperatures, from 39 ºF to 84 ºF however, maximum growth occurs between 77 and
81 ºF. Therefore, in the temperate zone of the U.S., the highest growth rates
will occur from March through June and from September through November.
DIET: Insects, bluegill, small
fish such as golden shiners and commercial fish food.
SPAWNING: Does not naturally occur;
fish removed must be re-stocked over time.