U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

April 1998


Published in North American Journal of Fisheries Management 18:936–939, 1998. Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 1998. Permission to use.


We documented predation on smolts of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar by striped bass Morone saxatilis foraging in the tailrace of the Essex Dam on the Merrimack River, Lawrence, Massachusetts, and assessed factors that may affect smolt susceptibility to predation. During 6 d of diurnal angling from 6 to 28 May, we captured 212 striped bass, 41 of which contained prey remains. More than 48% of striped bass that contained prey had consumed smolts. Atlantic salmon smolts composed more than 80% of the total mass of prey remains recovered and included both individuals of stocked-fry and stocked-smolt origin. Based on information from this pilot study, a focused investigation of striped bass predation on smolts after passage of the Essex Dam began in 1998.