Striped bass live in a specific temperature and oxygen range. Adult striped bass prefer water temperature between 68 and 71.6Ëš F (20-22 ËšC) and avoid water warmer than 77ËšF (25 ËšC). Adult fish are able to migrate within the water column as well as into and out of the Chesapeake Bay to find suitable temperature conducive to their survival. 

During the spring and summer, however, surface water temperature heats up, reducing habitat for the adult striped bass which avoid water that is too warm. Spring algae blooms eventually die, sink to the bottom, and decompose, causing dead zones, or areas of low dissolved oxygen concentration, in deep waters. Striped bass need oxygen to live, so they avoid these deep oxygen-depleted waters as well. The result of warm surface water and oxygen-poor bottom water is a habitat squeeze in which striped bass are confined to the middle layers of the Bay during these warmer months. Explore more about dissolved oxygen in the Chesapeake Bay here.