Evaluating striped bass exploitation in the Arkansas River basin
January 2019 - December 2022
- Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) is an economically important sportfish that often congregates in tailwater habitats, where they are potentially vulnerable to overharvest. The project is a collaboration of researchers from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma State university, and the Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. This study will evaluate the current population demographics, exploitation rate, and movement patterns of Striped Bass from tailwater habitats of the Lower Illinois and Canadian Rivers and the mainstem Arkansas River to determine the potential for growth overfishing of tailwater fisheries. A delayed hooking mortality study will also be conducted to evaluate the mortality rate of fish that are captured but not harvested to allow better predictions of the effectiveness of restrictive bag limits. The above data will be evaluated with a population harvest model to determine the optimum harvest regulations for sustaining quality fishing in this fishery.