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Frequently Asked Questions

What are hybrid striped bass?
How do farmers grow hybrid striped bass?
What are the differences between wild-caught and farm-raised bass?
What do farm-raised striped bass taste like?
What do farm-raised striped bass look like?
What are the best ways to cook striped bass?

 

What are hybrid striped bass?
Hybrid striped bass generally refers to a cross between striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and white bass (Morone chrysops ).

The “original cross”, was first produced in South Carolina in the mid-1960s using eggs from striped bass and sperm from white bass.  The accepted common name of this cross is the palmetto bass. 

More recently the "reciprocal" cross using white bass females and striped bass males was also produced and is now the most common way to produce hybrid striped bass.  The accepted common name of this cross is the sunshine bass.  Other Morone species have since been hybridized with striped bass but none has gained the acceptance of the striped bass by white bass cross, either as a sportfish or as a culture species.

 

How do farmers grow hybrid striped bass?
Fertilized striped bass or white bass eggs hatch in 40-48 hours depending on water temperature. The larvae are held in aquaria for 3-5 days before they are stocked into ponds. The ponds are filled with high-quality water and fertilized to create zooplankton blooms that provide food for the young fish. In approximately 35-45 days the fingerlings are harvested, placed in raceways and trained to eat pelleted feed. These small fingerlings (about 1 gram each), commonly called Phase I fingerlings are sold to pond or tank producers who feed them a balanced, specially-prepared, pelleted diet for the next 9-18 months until they get to a market size of one to three pounds. During the production period the fish are generally harvested and graded by size once or twice before the final harvest for market.

 

Some foodfish producers may purchase fingerlings that were placed back in ponds, for a few weeks or months, after being trained to eat pellets. These larger fingerlings, (20 to 100 grams) are then placed in tanks or ponds to finish their grow-out period.

 

Growers carefully manage all aspects of the culture environment, enabling the fish to grow to optimum size quickly while maintaining firm flesh and excellent flavor. When harvested, the fish are quickly chilled in ice water before being packed in ice. This keeps them exceptionally fresh. All this attention produces most excellent fish. Some fish also are sold alive to dealers that generally sell them to Asian communities in the larger cities.

 

What are the differences between wild-caught bass and farm-raised bass?
Unlike wild-caught fish, which may be harvested and held for several days before the boat unloads, Farm-raised hybrid striped bass are generally iced and shipped on the day-after they are harvested. In most cases, they are harvested to order, allowing retailers and restaurateurs the opportunity to offer fish so fresh the customers may think they caught the fish themselves!

 

Farm-raised hybrid striped bass are uniform in size and can be harvested year-round, guaranteeing consistent quality and availability. Because the fish are shipped on the day of harvest, they have an extraordinarily long shelf life when stored correctly.

 

Farm-raised striped bass are also described as "cultured" (short for aquaculture), which is an appropriate name for these high quality fish.

 

What do farm-raised striped bass taste like?

They have a mild sweet flavor and firm flaky texture - truly one of the most delicious fish available.

What do farm-raised striped bass look like?

Farm-raised Striped Bass are beautiful with bright silver skin accented by striking lateral black stripes.

What are the best ways to cook farm-raised bass?

The versatile Farm-raised Striped Bass are excellent baked, broiled, grilled, blackened, smoked, sautéed, poached, or fried, and can be readily adapted to most fish recipes. Check out our recipes page for some ideas!