Identification & Biology: The striped bass is anadromous, meaning that it migrates from a saltwater habitat to spawn in fresh water. It can range in size from 2 to 70 pounds, though market weight is usually between 2 and 15 pounds. The striped bass is olive green fading to silver, and has 6 to 8 longitudinal black stripes.
Range & Habitat: Wild striped bass, is caught along the East Coast, mainly in Virginia and Maryland. Over 70% of the striped bass population uses the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries for spawning and nursery grounds. During the 1970s and early 1980s, overfishing and habitat degradation (due to pollution) in the Chesapeake Bay decimated the striped bass population. Severe fishing restrictions in the early 1990s and community efforts to improve environmental conditions have allowed the population to rebound to record levels, however.
Striped bass are caught in recreational fisheries with mainly hook-and-line gear… and in commercial fisheries with net gear (pound nets, gillnets, haul seines, trawls). These gear types have little impact on fish habitat.
Market Description: Striped bass can be wild-caught or farmed. In terms of quality, they are second to none. It has a moderately fat, firm-textured flesh with a mild, sweet flavor. The flesh cooks up white and moist. The great looking dark striped skin crisps up beautifully when cooked and tastes great.
Flavor Profile: Light colored flesh, large flake, robust flavor
Fishing Technique: long line, hook & line
Special Note: Introduced to pacific early 1900’s, non-commercial
Suitable Sub: Large grouper variety
Buying Tips: Striped bass is commonly marketed fresh-caught or frozen, whole or in steaks or fillets. Fresh whole fish will have bright red gills and smell sweet.
Recommended Preparation: Striped bass can be prepared in a variety of ways including broiling, grilling, poaching and steaming.