2013 Annual Angler Survey results

The results of the Stripers Forever 2013 Annual Fishing Survey are attached below. In 2013 we received a near record 1020 responses to our annual survey. 752, or 83% of the respondents, have fished for stripers for more than 10 years, and many of these people fished through both the last striped bass collapse and the recovery of the late 1980s and 1990s. This is a very experienced sample of the angling population. This year’s survey has again produced a good representative sampling of sentiments from fishers all along the striper’s migratory range, and as usual MA and NJ vied for the greatest contributions with 227 and 222 completed surveys respectively.

Without a reasonable doubt the fishery is continuing to decline. 78% of fishers report catching fewer fish compared to 4% reporting catching more. Also, 60% said they were catching smaller fish compared to only 18% claiming they were larger. 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.

We had survey results from 89 guides, which is one of our best years. Without a doubt the decline in striper fishing is hurting this valuable industry as well as the related fishing tourism and tackle businesses. The guides know how to fish their areas, though, and can usually produce the best results possible from their home waters. If you are thinking about a guided trip please check out the guides and tackle shops listed on the Stripers Forever website.

We will send this information to the press and to fishery policy makers everywhere. We hope that you will use this information personally to help us advocate for the goal of coast-wide striped bass game fish. Please share the results with your local fishing club, home town newspaper, and elected officials that you may know.

The PDF contains both survey totals and  the questions and the responses, the answers have not been edited. Another PDF is entitled Key Comparisons and graphs out the answers to some particularly important questions. The questions that we use have been the same for the ten years we have been doing the survey.

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Stripers Forever | 209 Winn Road Falmouth, ME 04105

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