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Left out in the cold: the understudied overwintering ecology of striped bass in Canada
- Andrews, S. N., Buhariwalla, C. F., Fleet-Pardy, B., Dadswell, M. J., Linnansaari, T., Curry, R. A.
- Environmental biology of fishes 2019 v.102 no.3 pp. 499-518
- Morone saxatilis, autumn, cold, environmental factors, fisheries, habitat destruction, habitats, inland waterways, latitude, overwintering, pollution, population viability, spring, winter, Canada
- Striped Bass in Canadian waters occur at the most northern extent of the species range. At these latitudes, overwintering represents a significant portion of annual activities (Nov- May). During the winter period, Striped Bass generally occupy inland waterways, aggregate densely, feed little, and conduct minimal movements rendering them vulnerable to fisheries exploitation, pollution and habitat alterations. Despite the importance of winter survival to population viability, the winter period remains an understudied aspect of Striped Bass ecology throughout the species range. Here we review what is known as well as the knowledge gaps regarding the overwintering ecology for Striped Bass in Canadian waters. We discuss: all reported Canadian Striped Bass overwintering locations and their characteristics; environmental conditions that may be required for Striped Bass winter survival; environmental cues that may cause Striped Bass to enter overwintering habitats in late fall and depart in early spring; possible threats to overwintering habitat; and we propose numerous research questions necessary for improving Striped Bass conservation and management both within Canada and across the species range.