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JNAFS

25

Gary A. Nelson, Bradford C. Chase and Jason Stockwell

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station
30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930, USA

Source - Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science, Volume 32:1-25
ISSN-0250-6408

Abstract

Stomach contents of striped bass (Morone saxatilis) collected from three coastal regions of Massachusetts during June-September in 1997-2000 were examined for patterns in prey composition and body size related to coastal region, time period of capture, foraging habitat, and length of striped bass. Together fish (mostly Clupeidae, Menidia sp., and Ammodytes sp.) and crustaceans (mostly Crangon septemspinosa, Cancer irroratus, and Homarus americanus) dominated the diet of striped bass by both weight (91-95%) and number (87-97%), and had a high frequency of occurrence (42-66%) in the stomachs. Similarity in prey taxa among coastal regions was moderate to high (58-74%). Cluster analysis and ordination techniques grouped the stomach contents from each region by capture period, habitat, and 50 mm striped bass length interval. The stomach contents of bass <675 mm total length (TL) collected during August-September from estuaries and rocky shoreline habitats in the North Shore and Cape Cod Bay regions had a higher average percentage of menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) by weight than found in similar-sized bass collected during June-July from the same habitats. Also, in the North Shore area, striped bass <675 mm TL sampled in rocky shorelines contained a higher average percentage of Cancer irroratus by weight than similar-sized bass taken in estuaries. Bass >675 mm TL in rocky habitats consumed more Homarus americanus than smaller bass residing in this same habitat. The size distribution of the dominant fishes and crabs (Ammodytes sp., B. tyrannus, Cancer irroratus, and Carcinus maenus) consumed by striped bass was related to bass body size. Benthic prey were found to be a major component of the diet of striped bass in Massachusetts coastal waters.

Language - English
Publisher - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), Dartmouth, N.S., Canada
Publication Date - 2003
Publication Type - Journal Article
Descriptors -  diet composition, Morone saxatilis, prey size, striped bass

Posted in: Volume 32 - 2003
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