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Seasonal Movement Patterns of Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) in Their Nonnative Range

  • Megan C. Sabal
  • Cyril J. Michel
  • Joseph M. Smith
  • Andrew Hampton
  • Sean A. Hayes
Article
  • 103 Downloads

Abstract

Movement dynamics of nonnative species can change in new environments and differ from native populations. It has been more than 100 years since striped bass (Morone saxatilis) were introduced to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River system in California from the US east coast. Acoustic telemetry from 2011 to 2015 was used to examine striped bass seasonal residence patterns in their nonnative range across three regions—bay, delta and rivers, and the effect of fish length and release river (Sacramento River [SR] vs. Feather River [FR]) on movement. In spring, SR striped bass (n = 52) increased travel speed by 39% and river residence by 63% relative to other seasons, which is consistent with spawning migrations. In summer, SR striped bass spent the most time in the bay (mean = 28.2 ± 30.9 days) relative to other seasons and across regions. In winter, 87% of striped bass were detected in the delta over 42% in the bay and 25% in the river. Release river also affected movement behaviors—FR striped bass (n = 11) spent more time in the river in all seasons compared to SR bass. Striped bass with sufficient tag life (n = 17) traveled farther distances in 365 days (mean = 1248 ± 405 km, range: 641–2212 km) with increasing fish length. Seasonal patterns observed appeared to follow seasonal prey sources throughout the San Francisco Estuary. Individual behaviors, however, were highly variable, and this flexibility may be an important trait that has allowed striped bass to persist in their nonnative range.

Keywords

Striped bass California Movement Migration Seasonality Tagging 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the many biologists and technicians who assisted with field work maintaining acoustic receivers and tagging striped bass, including but not limited to: Zach Amidon, Arnold Ammann, Julie Day, Nick Demetras, Allison Jehly, Ryon Kurth, Brendan Lehman, Jeremy Notch, Nicolas Retford, and Andrew Sobieraj. We also thank all the scientists who have contributed to the California Fish Tracking Consortium. We would also like to thank NMFS-SWFSC for logistical support and staff time. The constructive comments from two anonymous reviewers greatly improved the quality of the manuscript.

Funding Information

The California Department of Water Resources and US Bureau of Reclamation funded this work.

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Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Megan C. Sabal
    • 1
  • Cyril J. Michel
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joseph M. Smith
    • 4
  • Andrew Hampton
    • 5
  • Sean A. Hayes
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of California Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA
  2. 2.Cooperative Institute for Marine Ecosystems and Climate (CIMEC) Award number: 22694-443861University of California Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA
  3. 3.Southwest Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries ServiceNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationSanta CruzUSA
  4. 4.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Fish Ecology DivisionPoint Adams Research StationHammondUSA
  5. 5.Division Feather River ProgramPacific States Marine Fisheries CommissionOrovilleUSA
  6. 6.Northeast Fisheries Science CenterNational Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationWoods HoleUSA

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