In a similar fashion, striped bass (a native saltwater species transplanted into fresh water by biologists) also utilize flowing streams to complete their reproductive cycle. Oklahoma is proud to claim a handful of the very limited number of freshwater striped bass populations that can successfully reproduce in inland waters. Similar to white bass, adult stripers leave their reservoir homes to migrate up flowing streams when sufficient stream inflows reach 60-70 degrees. Unlike the white bass, striped bass eggs are buoyant and utilize the flowing water to develop and hatch as they float many miles back to the reservoir. Research conducted by ODWC from 2001-2004 identified numerous striped bass spawning locations between 35 and 100 miles above Lake Texoma in the Washita and Red rivers. While floating towards the reservoir following a spawning event, the striped bass eggs develop and hatch in the moving waters of the stream.
Adequate amounts of flowing water is the most critical ingredient needed to produce abundant year classes of white bass and striped bass populations in our state. The stream flows initiate the spawning cues for adult fish, provide a healthy environment for spawning and egg hatching, and then transport developing eggs and young fry back to the food rich environment of the reservoir that they need to grow into the adult fish Oklahoma anglers love to pursue. Maintaining and protecting seasonal flows is a vital conservation measure to ensure healthy populations of white bass and striped bass in our waters.
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