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BP AMERICA INC. HELPS FUND STRIPED BASS STUDY

 BP AMERICA INC. HELPS FUND STRIPED BASS STUDY
 ATLANTA, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Striped bass are now swimming in


greater numbers in the Sabine and lower Mississippi rivers, thanks to an ongoing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service program to restore them to their natural habitat.
 A new phase of the program, to monitor the movements and habitat of the striped bass, will be highlighted during a May 4 event at the Toledo Bend Research Facility, 15 miles west of Anacoco, La. The event will bring together representatives from BP America, the states of Louisiana and Texas, and students from nearby Evans High School in Evans, La., to see the project in action.
 BP America provided a $20,800 "corporate partnership" grant to bolster funding by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the study.
 Officials from BP America, the service, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Evans High School students will tour the Toledo Bend Research Facility and watch as biologists implant a radio- transmitter into a striped bass. The fish will then be released into the Sabine River, while being tracked by the science class members. The students will be updated periodically on the movements of individual fish and the significance of the information being obained as part of the service's educational outreach program.
 The striped bass study focuses on the Sabine River between Louisiana and Texas, south of Toledo Bend Dam. Fish and Wildlife Service officials predict the study likely will expand to include the Mississippi River in future years.
 Striped bass are anadronous fish, which means that they live in salt water and return once a year to fresh or nearly fresh water to spawn. After the fish grow to juvenile size, they migrate back to coastal areas and to the ocean, where they grow to maturity.
 Stripers once were common in the rivers and estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Texas, in the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast, and in the Great Lakes region. During the 1960s, striped bass populations drastically declined, due to a variety of factors, including pesticides and other pollutants and extensive habitat alteration.
 The study will identify basic movement and habitat use patterns, particularly those associated with reproduction. Information gathered in the study will help Fish and Wildlife Service biologists determine how to restore naturally reproducing populations of striped bass in the Sabine and other suitable Gulf of Mexico rivers.
 -0- 4/27/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Activities will take place at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' Toledo Bend Research Facility on May 4. The facility is located near the Toledo Bend Dam on the Sabine River west of the town of Anacoco, La.
 Schedule follows:
 Noon: Arrival and setup; briefing on striped bass program.
 12:30 p.m.: Students, Congressman Jim McCrery, BP America, state and federal reps tour Toledo Bend Research facility.
 1:30 p.m.: Radio transmitter implanted in striped bass.
 2:30 p.m.: Radio-implanted fish released into Sabine River, radio signals monitored by students.
 All participants will be available to the media throughout event./
 /CONTACT: Vicki M. Boatwright, 404-331-3595, or Doug Fruge, 601-875-9387, both of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/ CO: United States Fish and Wildlife Service; BP America Inc. ST: Louisiana, Texas IN: SU: EXE


EA-BN -- AT004 -- 3009 04/27/92 10:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 27, 1992
Words:567
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