Seasonal use of a New England estuary by foraging contingents of migratory striped bass
Pautzke, Sarah M.
Mather, Martha E.
Finn, John T.
Deegan, Linda A.
Muth, Robert M.
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Using acoustic telemetry on migratory striped bass Morone saxatilis in Plum Island Estuary (PIE), Massachusetts, we found that striped bass (335–634 mm total length) tagged in the spring and summer of 2005 (n = 14) and 2006 (n = 46) stayed in the estuary for an average of 66.0 d in 2005 and 72.2 d in 2006. Striped bass spent the most time in two specific reaches: middle Plum Island Sound and lower Rowley River. In both years, three different use-groups of striped bass were observed in PIE. Short-term visitors (n = 24) stayed in the estuary only briefly (range = 5–20 d). Two groups of seasonal residents stayed for more than 30 d, either in the Rowley River (n = 14) or in Plum Island Sound (n = 22). Within PIE, the two seasonal-resident use-groups may be foraging contingents that learn how to feed efficiently in specific parts of the estuary. These distinct within-estuary use patterns could have different implications for striped bass condition and prey impact.
Author Posting. © American Fisheries Society, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of American Fisheries Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 139 (2010): 257-269, doi:10.1577/T08-222.1.