• Morone saxatilis;
  • handling stress;
  • glucose;
  • glycogen;
  • lactic acid

Fed and 3-day fasted inland (average mass: 6.97 g) and anadromous (average mass: 6.54 g) striped bass Morone saxatilis fingerlings were held in dipnets above water for 5 min in groups of six. Severity of the response to this handling was measured by whole-body glucose, glycogen, and lactic acid in non-handled bass (considered control level), and then at 30 min, 1, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h recovery. At resting levels, both fed and fasted inland bass showed significantly higher concentrations of the whole body variables than anadromous bass. All four groups of bass showed an increase in lactic acid and glucose immediately after handling, with a concomitant decrease in glycogen. Peak levels of glucose and lactic acid were similar in the four groups. Fasting did not have an effect on the glucose and lactic acid responses, but did affect the glycogen response. The two fasted groups did not return to control glycogen concentrations during the 48-h recovery period. By 48 h, both glucose and lactic acid had returned to control levels. It is concluded that inland and anadromous strains of fingerling striped bass do not differ in their sensitivity to an acute handling stress. Recovery of glycogen energy stores following handling is much better if fish are not fasted before handling.