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Food habits of yearling and adult striped bass,Morone saxatilis (Walbaum), from Albemarle Sound, North Carolina


A total of 1,094 yearling and adult striped bass,Morone saxatilis, were collected from Albemarle Sound, North Carolina, from July 1970 through August 1971. Specimens were captured by gill nets, hook and line, trawl, pound nets, and purse seine, and ranged in size from 125 to 714 mm total length. Approximately 77 percent of the fish contained food consisting of 3,249 individual organisms. Twenty-five specific groups of food organisms were identified. These included fifteen species of fish and ten taxa of invertebrates. Fish were the main foods of striped bass and occurred in 93 percent of the stomachs containing food. Predominant species identified were Atlantic menhaden,Brevoortia tyrannus, blueback herring,Alosa aestivalis, and bay anchovy,Anchoa mitchilli. Invertebrates were of secondary importance and consisted mainly of blue crabs,Callinectes sapidus, penaeid shrimp, and gammarid amphipods. Food habits varied substantially with size of fish, area, and season of collection. Cannibalism was rarely encountered. Only two yearling striped bass from over two hundred examined (1 percent) contained youngMorone saxatilis. No striped bass were found in larger specimens. Striped bass are capable of consuming clupeids which are approximately 60 percent of striped bass length. Striped bass generally fed on smaller fish which averaged 20 percent of the predator’s length. Size availability of forage is an important factor in Albemarle Sound. Striped bass preferred the soft-rayed species which generally occurred as juveniles in the sound.

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Based in part on a M.S. thesis submitted to the Graduate School at North Carolina State University.

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Manooch, C.S. Food habits of yearling and adult striped bass,Morone saxatilis (Walbaum), from Albemarle Sound, North Carolina. Chesapeake Science 14, 73–86 (1973).

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  • Striped Bass
  • Blue Crab
  • White Perch
  • Penaeid Shrimp
  • Purse Seine