Life Cycle of the Stripped Bass
Egg: the striped bass egg pre-fertilization
Larvae: hatches from fertilized egg one week later
Juvenile: from hatch to 2 years of age these small fish stay up river
Maturing fish: ages 2 – 8, these fish live in the open waters of the bay and estuaries
Ocean going fish: the largest striped bass, can grow up to 40 pounds, they spend most of their time at sea
The process in cyclical, in that the fish return to where they hatched to lay their own eggs. However, not all fish return. There is a long maturation process before the fish come of age.
It is important to note that fish must grow for almost 8 years before they can reproduce. If too many larger spawning fish are taken, we can expect to see a drop in egg counts in subsequent years.
The purpose of this system is to educate the public of the great migration taking place. Not many people recognize that these fish travel such incredible distances and can live for so long. The important part being that these fish take a long time before they can reproduce. This long maturing process makes the Chesapeake population susceptible to fulgurations if not enough fish are making it to spawn.