Survey Shows Fishermen Catching Fewer, Smaller Stripers

Striped Bass, photo/New England Boating
Striped Bass, photo/New England Boating

Stripers Forever, a recreational fishing group that seeks to protect striped bass and ban commercial fishing for the species, has released the results of its 2013 Annual Fishing Survey. The survey was sent to anglers throughout the striper’s migratory East Coast range.

Of the 1,020 survey respondents, 83% claimed to have fished for stripers for more than 10 years. Eighty-nine professional fishing guides were also among the respondents. MA and NJ vied for the greatest contributions, with 227 and 222 completed surveys, respectively.

According to SF, the survey shows that 78% of anglers reported catching fewer fish in 2013, while 4% reported catching more fish. Also, 60% said they caught smaller fish in 2013, while 18% claimed to have caught larger fish.

“Most of the older, larger fish from the great year classes of the 1990s and early 2000s have been removed from the population leaving us with smaller fish and many less fish from the poor year classes that have generally characterized the fishery since 2003,” writes SF’s Brad Burns.

A PDF of the survey contains both survey totals and the questions and the responses; the answers have not been edited.

Another PDF titled “Key Comparisons” graphs out the answers to some important questions.