Hybrid striped bass

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Hybrid striped bass
Hybrid Striped Bass.jpg
hybrid striped bass
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Moronidae
Genus: Morone
Species: M. chrysops x M. saxatilis
Binomial name
M. chrysops x M. saxatilis

A hybrid striped bass, also known as a wiper or whiterock bass, is a hybrid between the striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and the white bass (M. chrysops). It can be distinguished from the striped bass by broken rather than solid horizontal stripes on the body. Wipers are considered better suited for culture in ponds than either parent species because they are more resilient to extremes of temperature and to low dissolved oxygen.

Wipers became part of aquaculture in the United States in the late 1980s. Most producers purchase the fish young (as fry or fingerlings) and raise them in freshwater ponds. Currently about 10 million pounds (4.5 million kg) are produced annually in the United States. Wipers are used both as a gamefish and a food fish.

Most wipers are produced by fertilizing eggs from white bass with sperm from striped bass; the resulting fish are also called "sunshine bass" or "cherokee bass".

Hybrid striped bass are known for aggressive feeding habits which makes them highly sought after by anglers. Often schooling by the thousands, these stocked fish will surface feed on baitfish like shad. Often called "breaking," this surface feeding makes the fish visible and easy to catch on a wide array of lures and baits. Popular lures include casting spoons like Kastmaster and Little Cleo, buck-tail jigs, soft body plastic fish replicas, and inline spinners.

Their quality as a hard-fighting gamefish is closely followed by their delicious firm, white, flaky meat. Many restaurants sell "striped bass" on their menus, but what you are really eating when you order this are farm raised hybrid striped bass.

Origins are from 1970's when the first hybrids were stocked in Cherokee Lake in Tennessee. They became known as Cherokee bass, but most commonly are called 'hybrid' (Southeast) or 'wiper' (midwest and Texas). They are stocked in dozens of large impoundments to control baitfish populations and provide sport for anglers.

Produced in hatcheries, the most common hybridization is the female striped bass Morone saxatilis and the male white bass M. Chrysops. This is due to the high number of eggs produced by the female striped bass. This hybrid cross typically produces a faster growing offspring which attains larger size. The female striped bass is injected with human gonadotropin which stimulates her to lay. Usually there are around a dozen male white bass in the tank when the spawn occurs. Once the eggs are fertilized, the brood fish are removed and the eggs must stay adrift in artificial current for approximately 48 hours to hatch. Natural hybridization has been occurring for thousands of years between the species, but it is usually the reverse cross which would be male saxatilis x female chrysops since the white bass eggs do not require the same degree of flotating to hatch.

Wipers main diet include Bluegill Sunfish, Fathead Minnows, and Black Crappie.