2014 Annual Angler Survey Results

In 2014 we received 830 responses to our annual survey. 752, or 84% of the respondents, have fished for stripers for more than 10 years. This is a very experienced sample of the angling population, many of them fished for stripers throughout the good years of the 1990s and early 2000s then the subsequent decline. 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 206 and 199 completed surveys respectively.

2014 was another year of declining sentiment. 88% of fishers reported catching fewer fish compared to just 2% reporting catching more. Also, 71% said they were catching smaller fish compared to only 15% claiming they were larger. It seems evident that 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.

The survey shows that our members continue to believe we should not be harvesting large, breeding stripers, that they want to set aside a high percentage of the current commercial catch for conservation – and not harvest it themselves – and that they are willing to buy a stamp to finance the buyout of the commercial fishery.

We had survey results from 77 guides, which is down from 89 last year. 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 complete 20 page PDF of the 2014 Annual Angler Survey is available below. You will also find both the questions and the responses listed by state. Comments  we received from both anglers and guides are included; as usual there were some very good ones, and they have not been edited.

2014 Annual Angler Survey

Another PDF document entitled Key Comparisons is also found below. Key Comparisons 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.

Key Comparisons 2003 through 2014

If you have any questions about the survey please don’t hesitate to e-mail us at: stripers@stripersforever.org

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