Freshwater Fish - Species

Hybrid bass (striped bass x white bass)

Description: (Anatomy of a Fish)
Similar to the striped and white bass that it is a product of, the hybrid bass has an elongated body. However, its sides fade from a dark olive to steel green in color along the top edge to a silver along the side and belly. Hybrids commonly have distinctly broken lines along their sides. Its back is arched similar to that of the white bass but it has a longer sloping forehead than typically seen in striped bass..

Range: The hybrid bass is found in the Savannah River drainage, particularly lakes Hartwell and Thurmond and Stevens Creek Reservoir.

Average Length: 11-23 inches

Average Size: 2-3 ΒΌ pounds

South Carolina State Record: 20 pounds 6 ounces (1978)

Life Expectancy: Unknown

Preferred Habitat

Due to the limited distribution of the hybrid, little is known about the potential variety of preferred habitats. However, in those waters where the hybrid has been introduced, it appears to prefer open waters.

Food Habits

  • Hybrids consume primarily threadfin and gizzard shad, blueback herring and yellow perch. However, the Palmetto bass hybrid is opportunistic and will consume insects and other targets when possible.

Spawning

  • Despite being a hybrid, this fish has been spawned under laboratory conditions. Hybrids will migrate upstream with white bass and striped bass during their seasonal spawning run. The hybrid has been observed conducting spawning behavior similar to the striped bass; however, reproduction is questionable.

Miscellaneous

The hybrid bass is a cross between a striped bass female and a white bass male. The hybridization of this species was developed in the mid-1960s by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources at the Dennis Wildlife Center in Moncks Corner in an attempt to produce a fish that would have higher survival rates than striped bass when stocked at a smaller size. Unlike small striped bass, the striped bass x white bass hybrid is much less sensitive to the stress of movement and stocking. Since its introduction into lakes Hartwell and Thurmond, it has become one of the favorite sport fish of local anglers.

Commonly Mistaken Species

Some species of fish that are commonly mistaken for this species:

Identifying The Temperate Bass of South Carolina

Literature Cited

Rohde, Fred C, Arndt, Rudolf G., Foltz, Jeffery W., Quattro, Joseph M. 2009. Freshwater Fishes of South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina.

Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. 2009. South Carolina Guide to Freshwater Fishes.

Fish Illustration by Duane Raver.