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Creature Feature: Striped Bass

by Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy 

New York State’s official saltwater fish, striped bass, is our latest Creature Feature. Found in the East River and in the Ed Center’s East River Aquarium, striped bass – also called striper or rockfish – are much more than just a saltwater fish.

Striped bass are anadromous, meaning they spawn in freshwater and spend their life in saltwater. Stripers are schooling fish that migrate north in the summer and south in the fall and winter; they’re most commonly found between Cape Cod and New Jersey, but have been known to travel as far as Nova Scotia and North Caroline!

Boy looking in fish tank with Striped Bass

© Alexa Hoyer

On average, striped bass grow to be about 40 inches long and weigh 50 pounds, making them among the largest of New York’s temperate basses. They are also distinguished by the seven to nine dark horizontal lines found on their sides. Their size, speed, and power have made them a popular game fish – take a chance and see if you can catch one at our Pier 5 Fishing Station. We’ve managed to catch young striped bass during our seining program under the Manhattan Bridge! Come to our Ed Center to see them in the East River Aquarium, swimming among other fish also caught during seining sessions.

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