Science Advisory Report 2006/053
Recovery Assessment Report for the St. Lawrence Estuary, Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and Bay of Fundy Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) Populations
St. Lawrence Estuary
- The St. Lawrence Estuary population disappeared in the late 1960’s.
- A re-introduction program was initiated in 2002 with the objective of re-establishing the species in its historical area of occupancy.
- A recovery target was defined on the basis of re-establishing a population than can perpetuate itself with an area of occupancy and occurrence that existed in the past.
- Recovery is considered potentially feasible with the implementation of the re-introduction program.
Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence
- The Northwest Miramichi River is the only striped bass spawning area, known historically and currently, within the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Spawning has resulted in the production of new individuals every year since monitoring began in 1993.
- The extent of occurrence for this population of striped bass has remained unchanged and includes the coastal realm of the entire southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.
- A recovery target was defined on the basis of adult striped bass spawner abundance and a compliance rule of exceeding the target in 5 out of 6 years was proposed.
- Recovery was considered feasible but additional mortality beyond current levels will decrease this population’s potential for recovery as described in this RPA.
- Under the present mortality conditions, there is a low probability of exceeding the recovery limit by 2015.
- Illegal harvests are believed to be the most important limiting factor for this population of striped bass.
Bay of Fundy
- The Shubenacadie River is the only one of three historical spawning locations in the Bay of Fundy DU where striped bass continue to be produced annually.
- The presence of migrant US fish in the Bay of Fundy DU confounds the perception of status.
- Harvest levels (directed, bycatch) for striped bass in the Bay of Fundy DU are not supported with assessment information on abundance or reference levels.
- A recovery target was defined on the basis of area of occupancy.
- Recovery was considered to be potentially feasible, however the severity of stated threats and specific mechanisms contributing to the reported loss of the Annapolis and Saint John populations are unknown.
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