State Fish of Maryland

State Fish of Maryland

Rockfish Is The Official State Fish of Maryland. Maryland Adopted Rockfish also called Striped Bass as the official state fish in 1965. Rockfish Is Known for its size and fighting ability, the silver-flanked, iridescent striped rockfish (Morone saxatilis) has an olive-green back fading to light silver on its sides, with a white underside and dark stripes running from head to tail. Adult Maryland State Fish rockfish swim in the ocean but lay their eggs in fresh water.

In spring the rivers and streams feeding the Chesapeake Bay provide spawning grounds for Atlantic coast rockfish. Those born in the Bay spend their first 3 to 5 years there before migrating out to the Atlantic, where their life span may be as long as 30 years. The Maryland record for a State Fish of Maryland rockfish caught in the Chesapeake Bay weighed 67.5 pounds. Declining stocks forced Maryland to impose a moratorium on harvesting the species between 1985 and 1989.

Adult State Rockfish is 20-30 inches, 3-10 pounds. Rockfish can live in excess of 30 years under good habitat conditions and light fishing pressure. Hence they have the potential to reach 48 inches and 60 – 100 lbs or better. State Fish of Maryland Rockfish is an anadromous species of fish. Anadromous fish inhabits both fresh water and salt water, depending on the time of year. Maryland State Fish Rockfish lives in the Atlantic and Pacific coastal waters and the Gulf of Mexico but enters freshwater streams to spawn.

The preferred water temperature is 65-75°F. The diet of striped bass consists mostly of soft-rayed fish. Preferred species in freshwater are threadfin shad, gizzard shad, and blueback herring. Adult State Fish rockfish swim in the ocean but lay their eggs in fresh water. Between April and June, rivers and State Fish of Maryland streams feeding the Chesapeake Bay provide spawning grounds for most Atlantic Coast rockfish.


Facts About Striped Bass:

  1. Striped bass has a preferred water temperature range of from 55° F to 68° F, and migrate to find the water of these temperatures.
  2. The World Record weight for striped bass is 81 pounds and 14 ounces. That particular fish was caught on the Long Island Sound, near the Outer Southwest Reef, off the coast of Westbrook, Connecticut. The lucky angler was one Gregory Myerson.
  3. Striped bass doesn’t have eyelids. When the sun comes up they will retreat to deeper water to avoid the bright light.


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