Why Striped Bass?
Striped bass are a pleasant pastime for some and an obsession for others. Generations of anglers have fished the estuaries and shores of the Bay of Fundy in search of this prized catch, and Striped Bass touch many natural, economic, and cultural corners of the Maritimes. Striped Bass are a highly prized fish in the eyes of anglers, and are, therefore, very desirable for sport fishing. Anglers have been known to travel great distances, spending lots of money on bait, lures, rods, and reels just to get a chance to catch one. Their delicate white meat is extremely yummy, but with the demise of two thirds of the spawning populations in the Bay of Fundy, Striped Bass require heightened conservation efforts. Conservation is necessary so our children and their children to enjoy this wonderful fish.
Why are Striped Bass important?
Striped Bass are an important component of the aquatic ecosystem, and contribute to the biodiversity and health of our marine environment. They feed on invertebrates and bait fish and are typically found in estuaries and coastal waters, although a proportion of Canadian Striped Bass often spend the winter in rivers or lakes. Striped Bass can be used as an indicator of ecosystem health because they require high-quality habitats and food sources for successful reproduction. It is uncertain how economically important Striped Bass are, but estimates suggest they have surpassed the salmon sport fishery in Nova Scotia.
We can use fish tagging to study population characteristics.
The aim of this project is to characterize long-term population characteristics of Striped Bass in Nova Scotia.
This work is done at an individual fish level using field sampling, fish tagging, and catch logs. Fish are sampled for biological information such as length, and date, time and location of capture. A scale sample is taken for genetic analysis, and additional information such as number of anglers in the area, water temperature, and other environmental information is recorded. The main tool for field work is fish tagging. If a fish is of suitable size and is healthy, we apply a dart tag with an individual fish identification number (ID). Additional fish catch records and scale samples are continually being collected through our Striped AmBASSador program and these contribute hugely to this research.
1. Estimate population size of Striped Bass using a Capture-Mark-Recapture (CMR) analysis.
2. Characterize and quantify population demographics such as size distributions, run timing, and mortalities.
3. Characterize large scale movement patterns in the Minas Basin.
4. Characterize mixing patterns of Canadian and USA Striped Bass in Minas Basin/Bay of Fundy (see Population Structure).
5. Develop an IPM for Striped Bass using catch records, and tag returns submitted/collected from fixed monitoring sites (e.g. weirs) and mobile recreational anglers.
1. Catch Striped Bass in commercial fishing weirs or by angling, or through the help of Citizen Scientists (volunteer recreational anglers).
2. Record total length of each fish, along with date, time, and location of fishing event and other information.
3. Collect Striped Bass scales or tissue samples for DNA analysis.
4. Tag each fish with a uniquely coded external dart tag.
5. Return all fish to the water in good condition.
6. Attend and participate in Striped Bass fishing derbies in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to promote our Striped AmBASSador program, solicit commercial fishers and anglers to participate in reporting tagged fish and the fish they catch (or not) during fishing trips, and conduct various outreach and awareness events at community events.
|Year||Dates||No. Bass||No. Tagged||No. Recaptures|
|2012||5 May - 31 Sep||176||0||0|
|2013||21 Apr - 19 Nov||2221||556||50|
|2014||24 Apr - 13 Nov||801||342||41|
|2015||22 Apr - 22 Oct||996||314||88|
|2016||26 Apr - 8 Sep||217||36||27|