All About Hybrid Striped Bass
Striped Bass, also known as a Wiper or Whiterock Bass, is a hybrid between the
Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis) – and the White Bass (Morone Chrysops). The Hybrid Striped Bass 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 aquaculture 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 Striped Bass with the White Bass, a fish that
lives in both estuaries and fresh water.
Hybridization of these two species
does not occur naturally. Therefore, Hybrid Striped Bass must be cultured in a
fish hatchery, and fish that are removed from the aquaponics system will need to be re-stocked over time. 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 they are usually marketed
at 1 to 3 pounds.
Hybrid striped bass are produced in various systems including ponds, raceways and tanks, but they are best 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 of 1.25 to 2.5 pounds.
Hybrid Striped Bass tolerate a wide range of water temperatures ranging from 39º to
84º F, however, maximum growth occurs between 77º and 81º F. 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 and Nutrition
The Hybrid Striped Bass enjoys insects, Bluegill, small fish such as Golden Shiners, and commercial fish food.
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