Growth Rate Model of
Young Striped Bass
in Albemarle Sound:
Implications on Essential
Fish Habitat (EFH)
dynamics of fish may
depend on local processes
and can be strongly influenced
by the physical habitats which they live.
These habitats are often patchy which inhibits
the use of system-wide models to examine
fish production. We examined the growth rate
potential of juvenile striped bass in Albemarle
Sound , North Carolina , to identify essential
fish habitat (EFH) for striped bass during
the summer and early-fall months. Growth
rate potential integrates a physiological-based
model (bioenergetics) of fish growth with
the physical environment. We integrated the
growth rate potential model with Global Information
Systems (GIS) to spatially map the growth
rate potential of individual juvenile striped
bass in Albemarle Sound . Water temperatures
during the modeled period were within the
“preferred” range 19 and 27°C,
of juvenile striped bass except during June
when water temperatures were above 28°C.
Dissolved oxygen and salinity levels were
at levels suitable for striped bass throughout
the modeled period. Mean growth rate (g/g/d)
was 0.023 during the modeled period. This
model predicts that areas in the north Albemarle
Sound, particularly in the Chowan and North
rivers, the mouth of the Roanoke River provided
physical habitats (based on water temperature)
to support high growth rates of striped bass.
These areas may be defined as EFH areas.
This approach shows the usefulness of integrating
two technologies to predict fish production.