Striped bass closeup

Striped bass (or rockfish)

Striped bass or rockfish? Call ‘em what you want, this fish is delish! Sink your teeth into this quiz. Answers are below.

1. Once striped bass reach adulthood, they are too large for most predators (humans are an exception) to prey on. Which of these prey on juvenile striped bass?

A. Bluefish

B. Dolphin

C. Larger rockfish

D. Osprey

E. All of the above

2. When can you find striped bass in the Bay?

A. Fall & winter

B. Spring

C. Summer

D. Year-round

3. The striped bass is the state fish of one Bay State and the state saltwater fish of two others. Which states are which?

A. Delaware

B. Maryland

C. New York

D. Virginia

4. More Atlantic striped bass spawn in the Chesapeake than anywhere else. What percentage of the fish’s Atlantic population use the Bay as a nursery?

A. 50–70%

B. 65–85%

C. 70–90%

D. 75–95%

5. As a rule, adult striped bass are 2–3 feet long and weigh 10–30 pounds. The record for the Chesapeake was set in 1995 off Bloody Point in Maryland. How much did this fish weigh?

A. 52.3 pounds

B. 67.5 pounds

C. 84.7 pounds

D. 106.9 pounds

6. Weight and length vary widely among striped bass and are not reliable indicators of the fish’s age. What is the best way to tell how old the fish is?

A. Count the stripes on its sides, multiply by 3

B. Count the growth rings (called annuli) on the fish’s ear bone (otolith)

C. Count its teeth

D. Count the dorsal spines

7. Striped bass, as a rule, hunt prey from dusk to dawn, but head for deeper waters during the day. Why?

A. They have learned to avoid boat motors.

B. They follow their prey, which also seek deeper water in the day.

C. They have no eyelids and must avoid the sun’s glare.

D. They get sunburned in shallow water or water near the surface.

8. Striped bass get their name from the dark stripes running along its side. How many stripes do they have?

A. 6–7

B. 7–8

C. 8–9

D. 9–10

9. Female striped bass can spawn more than once in a season. The older the fish, the more eggs she lays. How many eggs can an older female lay?

A. 1.5 million

B. 2 million

C. 2.5 million

D. 3 million

10. Striped bass eat all of the fish listed below. Which one is their primary prey along the coast?

A. Atlantic menhaden

B. Eels

C. Herring

D. Mummichogs

11. Striped bass often ambush their prey. Why?

A. They don’t swim very fast.

B. They like being sneaky.

C. Turbulence makes prey taste better.

D. Scientists aren’t sure.

12. Which of these are a threat to striped bass in the Bay?

A. Lack of habitat & prey

B. Disease

C. Hypoxia & pollution

D. All of the above


1. E 

2. D

3. State fish: Maryland; State saltwater fish: New York & Virginia

4. C  5. B  6. B  7. C  8. B  9. D  10. A  11. A  12. D

Kathleen Gaskell is the Bay Journal's copy and layout editor and author of the Chesapeake Challenge. Contact Kathleen at

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