Striped Bass History

A History of the Striped Bass.

Striped Bass helped to sustain the Pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and astounded Captain John Smith, who wrote in his journal of that coast in 1614.

"I myself at the turning of the tyde have seen such multitudes pass out of a pounce (a fish trap), that it seemed to me that one might go over their backs drishod".

One of Smith's contemporaries called the Striped Bass:

"a most sweet and wholesome fish as ever I did eat . . . altogether as good as our fresh Sammon.... Our Fishers take many hundreds together ... yea, their Netts ordinarily take more than they are able to hall to Land".
Quoted from D. S. Jordan and B. W. Evermann, American Food and Game Fishes, Doubleday, Page, New York, 1903.

1634 William Wood, in his New England's Prospect, called the Striped Bass.

  "one of the best fishes in the Country . . . a delicate, fine, fat, faste fish.... The English at the top of an high water do crosse the creek with long seanes or bass nets which stop the fish; and the water ebbing from them, they are left on the dry grounds, sometimes two or three thousand at a set, which are salted up against winter, or distributed to such as have present occasion either to spend them in their homes or use them for their grounds.

The Pilgrims also caught them with hook and line...

" the fisherman taking a great cod line to which he fasteneth a peece of lobster and threwes it into the sea. The rockfish biting at it, he pulls her to him and knockes her on the head with a sticke."... (Bigelow and Schroeder, Fishes of the Gulf of Maine)

1639, in the first conservation law passed in the New World.
 Massachusetts forbade the use of this delicate, fine, fat, fast fish for fertilizer.

In 1879 and again in 1881.
Meet Dr Livingston Stone Pioneer in Striped Bass Stocking.
Striped bass were seined from the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers near Red Bank, New Jersey and transported by train in wooden barrels and milk cans across the continent to the San Francisco Bay. Still today this effort ranks as maybe the most successful Fish Stocking effort in the world.

Read More:
Early Striped Bass Stocking

Jumping ahead to 1941 when the dam on the 170,000 acre Santee-Cooper Reservoir was closed.

Striped Bass from the Atlantic were trapped on a Spawning up the Cooper river.  Biologists were aware that striped bass were on a spawning run up into the Cooper River they just assumed that the stripers would die. However, it was discovered by line breaking tail spacking action after the war that the striped bass were flourishing and reproducing in the huge lake.

In 1954 Arkansas fisheries Biologist Bring Striped Bass to the Natural state.
 Stocking Striped Bass into Lake Ouachita and Lake Greeson

In the 1960s and early 1970s,
Forward thinking Biologist in several states jumped on the bandwagon promoting the stocking of striped bass in large impoundments.



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