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Striped bass studies on Coos Bay, Oregon in 1949 and 1950 Public Deposited

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  • 1. There is no evidence of a decline in the striped bass population of Coos Bay. 2. The striped bass, a species introduced to the West Coast of North America, has been important as a recreational and commercial fish in Coos Bay since the late 1920s. The catch has ranged from 18,000 pounds in 1931 to 263,000 pounds in 1945. 3.A total of 4,979 angler-days and 23,851 hours were fished in 1950 and 2,563 fish were caught. The fish weighed an estimated 14,931 pounds with an average of 5.8 pounds per fish. In 1949, more than 7,170 bass were taken in the sport fishery, weighing over 61,000 pounds. 4. Two-hundred anglers were interviewed to determine their expenditures during a yearly period. It was found that they spent an average of $54.05 a year. Using this figure it was determined that the total expenditure for striped bass fishing in Coos Bay during 1950 amounted to $65,722. 5. The commercial fishery lands approximately 90,500 pounds annually; the fish average slightly over ten pounds each. In 1950, the catch was 35,400 pounds, or 3,400 fish. At a retail price of 40 to 45 cents per pound, the average annual value of the commercial catch is $38,000. The 1950 catch was valued at $15,000. 6. It was calculated that the commercial fishery in 1950 removed a maximum of 19 percent of the bass population in the fishing area at that time and within the size range selected by the gear. The total population of available fish in the bay during the fishing season was estimated to number 18,000 bass of which the commercial fishery took 3,400; this is not the total population of bass inhabiting Coos Bay. 7. Fish taken by sport fishermen ranged in size from 6 to 45 inches; fish taken in commercial gear ranged in size from 12 to 48 inches. Fish in the second, third, fourth, seventh, and eight year classes were abundant in the catches of the sport and commercial fisheries, Few fish younger than the third year class were taken by commercial gear while the second year class contributed the largest number of fish to the sport fishery in 1950. 8. Food studies indicate that fish such as herring, anchovies, viviparous perch, sand lance, and smelt are the major items in the striped bass diet. Bottom forms such as sculpins, crabs, and shrimp are found in considerable numbers throughout the year. Salmon and trout form an important part of the diet in April, May, and June when the schools of bass migrate into the Coos River spawning areas and meet the young salmon and trout migrating downstream to the sea. 9. Sex ratio studies in 1950 indicate that male bass predominate in the commercial catch. Almost three percent of all bass sampled were hermaphroditic. 10. Preliminary work on fecundity of striped bass showed the number of eggs per female to range from 900,000 in an 8.8 pound individual to 4,775,000 in a 50 pound fish.
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  • Introduction -- Personnel -- Acknowledgments -- Striped bass sport fishery -- Commercial fishery -- Life history -- Conditions affecting survival -- Economic evaluation -- Summary -- Recommendations -- Literature cited.
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