The following was copied from the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GCRLstripedbass
Once common to coastal rivers and estuaries of the northern Gulf of Mexico, striped bass declined and nearly vanished in the 1960s. The GCRL began turning that decline around in 1967 with a program focused on restoring striped bass.
To re-establish a self sustaining population in MS coastal rivers as well as assess critical habitat important for all striped bass llife stages of development.
The striped bass restoration program in southern Mississippi began in 1967 with the goal of re-establishing a self-sustaining population. Fingerling striped bass are released each year to supplement the fishery.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the GCRL hatchery. The hatchery operations have moved to Lyman in 2006, where fish production will increase. July 2008, was the 1st release of striped bass fingerlings since Hurricane Katrina. More than 200,000 fish were released in coastal rivers along the MS coast.
In addition to fish stocking, extensive habitat mapping is underway in an effort to determine the amount of available habitat for adult striped bass. The summer months are the most critical with warmer water and typically lower dissolved oxygen. A bioenergetics model of potential growth is being developed as a indicator of habitat suitability.
An acoustic telemetry study is studying movements of fish as their habitat changes. This will allow scientists to determine most critical habitat areas to protect and/or enhance to allow the species to return to natural numbers.