The presentation part of this lesson is a teaching tool that demonstrates the link between striped bass survival and physical conditions such as water temperature and dissolved oxygen. Striped bass hatch as tiny larvae that can grow to be 1000 times larger than they started. They are influenced by physical conditions at every stage in their life cycle, from larval drift, to growth and feeding, to adult spawning. Habitat quality for striped bass varies as water temperature and dissolved oxygen change in different seasons. Monitoring programs and observing systems are important tools that scientists and managers use to better understand how physical conditions influence striped bass and inform fisheries and ecosystem management. Developed by E. North. 

The second part of the lesson is a web-based activity that uses information on striped bass habitat preferences and water temperature and dissolved oxygen to understand where striped bass can be found in Chesapeake Bay. Users are asked to answer a series of questions about the potential location of striped bass by following links to monitoring programs and observing systems for recent information on physical conditions in Chesapeake Bay. This activity is based on the presentation above. Developed by E. North.

Teacher Note: This is a more advanced activity and should take one-two class periods. Carefully monitor your students to make sure they are understanding the data they are investigating on the Chesapeake Bay monitoring programs.




  1. Lead a discussion by utilizing the PowerPoint presentation about striped bass scales and life history tales; fish and physics in the Chesapeake Bay.
  2. Following the presentation, allow students to investigate various on-line monitoring stations to answer questions regarding the locations of striped bass.

National Science Education Standards

9-12 A: Science as Inquiry

9-12 B: Physical Science

9-12 C: Life Science

9-12 D: Earth and Space Science

9-12 E: Science and Technology

9-12 F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

9-12 G: History and Nature of Science

Lesson Resources

PowerPoint Presentation 

Where Could the Stripers Be? Activity page