Striped bass still appearing in southern Labrador
DFO to analyse samples of the fish this fall
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans say they are still receiving reports of stripe bass in coastal waters and estuaries in southern Labrador.
Since August, the fish have been seen in Forteau River, Port Marnham Book and the mouth of Gilbert Bay.
Reports have come as far north as Pinsent’s Arm.
DFO fishery officers have been collecting samples of the striped bass with DFO Science and plan to analyse the samples this fall.
In addition, the department says it is working with fish and wildlife guardians from the NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC), who have gathered samples and information related to the appearance of the striped bass.
According to DFO, it is not uncommon, especially when ocean temperatures are warmer in summer, for warm water fish like striped bass to travel further north. They say it is uncertain if this species will remain and if this occurrence is related to changes in ocean conditions.
Striped bass are native to North America, but typically not seen as far north as Labrador. The St. Lawrence River population of stripe bass is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA); therefore, DFO recommends that any striped bass caught in NL waters be released until further study is done to determine the origin of these fish.
They say it is too early to speculate on any potential fishery for this species.
Studies conducted by DFO Science in Atlantic Canada and Quebec indicate there is little or no population-level impact on salmon; however, similar studies have not been conducted in Newfoundland and Labrador since the species does not typically appear there.
The DFO says they will continue to study interactions among species, including in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Striped bass is an opportunistic species and feeds on abundant forage species such as smelts, sand lance and herring.
A striped bass that washed up on L’Anse au Clair beach.