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JNAFS

02

Gary A. Nelson, Bradford C. Chase, and Jason D. Stockwell1

1Present Address:  United States Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center, Lake Superior Biological Station,

2800 Lake Shore Drive East, Ashland, WI 54806, USA
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station
30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA  01930, USA

Publication (Upload) date: 2 Jun 2006

NELSON, G. A., B. C. CHASE, and J. D. STOCKWELL. 2006. Population consumption of fish and invertebrate prey by striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from coastal waters of Northern Massachusetts, USA. J. Northw. Atl. Fish. Sci., 36: 111–126. doi:10.2960/J.v36.m576

 

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Abstract

Seasonal, age-class, and population-level changes in diet and consumption demand of prey by striped bass residing in coastal waters of northern Massachusetts were investigated to determine their potential predatory impact on ecologically- and economically-important prey species. Most consumption by individual striped bass of ages 3–8 came from crustaceans and fish. More crustaceans (50–78% of total consumption) than fish were consumed during June–July, while more fish (52–88% of total consumption) than crustaceans were consumed during August–September. Rock crabs Cancer irroratus and American lobsters Homarus americanus became more important to the production of striped bass as bass aged, but Atlantic menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus became less important. Together, the biomass of prey consumed by all age-classes in 2000 totaled over 5 575 t. Atlantic menhaden accounted for 29% of the total biomass consumed, followed by rock crabs (18%), American lobster (11%), and Atlantic herring Clupea harengus (3%). On a numerical basis, striped bass consumed seasonally over 3, 1 940, and 965 times the numbers of lobsters, rock crabs, and menhaden, respectively, taken annually by regional and statewide fisheries, suggesting striped bass may exert considerable predation pressure on these prey populations.

Key words: Morone saxatilis, predation, prey consumption

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Citation

NELSON, G. A., B. C. CHASE, and J. D. STOCKWELL. 2006. Population consumption of fish and invertebrate prey by striped bass (Morone saxatilis) from coastal waters of Northern Massachusetts, USA. J. Northw. Atl. Fish. Sci., 36: 111–126. doi:10.2960/J.v36.m576


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