Thursday, August 5, 2010

Harbor Class Striped Bass Ted Williamson


Today we discussed Striped Bass. This was very interesting to me becasuse I have been fortunate to catch some. This was a 48" bass caught near Brewster, MA. It won the tournament.

This is my son Drew's first keeper, a 30". He was pumped!

This was the fish we investigated. We learned the anatomy and major features. The diagram below gives a good illustration.

Professor Burman explained how to fillet the fish to maximize consumption.

Here is the fish with exposed organs:

The large mouth and expanding stomach allows for this fish to eat almost any animal it can swallow.

We investigated the stomach contents to find partially digested crab remains.

Below is a closeup of the gills that allow the fish to breath under water:

As alway, the class was ready to be "hands on."

We were left with some great fillets with just enough fat to give flavor (fat in red).

We all took a piece home to experiment with. My children and I added heat and added some chemicals to our experiment. We even added some Lovells Island blackberrys.
It was excellent!

Speaking as a scientist, I hold a neutral position to opening Striped Bass fishing in federal waters. The quotas given to each state will remain the same reguardless of where they are fished from.
There are a few variables to consider when shifting the % of fish caught in deeper water:
  • Size of fish
  • Mortality rate of released fish
  • Disrupting the flow of fish from VA to ME
From a scientific and fisherman's point of view, I am more concerned with what is happening to the Striped Bass in Chesapeake Bay. Although the 2005 biannual report indicates that the Striped Bass policies implimented have resulted in a sustainable model, recent trends elicit concern.
There have been signs of malnourished and diseased Stripers in the bay due to pollution and overfishing of bait fish. I believe there is still much work to do.

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