Striped Bass: Restoring a Vanishing Breed

Once common to coastal rivers and estuaries of the northern Gulf of Mexico, striped bass declined and nearly vanished in the 1960s. The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory began turning that decline around in 1967 with a program focused on restoring striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in coastal waters along the Mississippi coast.

Restoration Project

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, each year for more than 30 years, GCRL project personnel

Results

Post-Katrina

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina completely destroyed the striped bass program facilities. The soon-to-be-released six-inch juveniles were lost as well as the broodstock.

Laboratory and offices for striped bass program Sept. 2, 2005.
Laboratory and offices for striped bass program Sept. 2, 2005. (Photoby Walter A. Skupien)

Katrina destroyed striped bass structures and raceways.
Katrina destroyed striped bass structures and raceways. (Photo by Walter A. Skupien)

Through continued funding from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service, research is focused on evaluating the standing population of striped bass in Mississippi coastal waters.With a commitment to reestablishing and enhancing the program, personnel have been relocated to the GCRL's Cedar Point expansion site. Equipment lost in the storm is being replaced, and new culture facilities are being planned. Through continued funding from the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service, research is focused on evaluating the standing population of striped bass in Mississippi coastal waters to determine:

New partnerships with local sport fishers and state agencies are being developed in preparation for reestablishing and accelerating the stocking program once culture facilities are restored.