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2013 Volunteer Angler Logbook Program

     The Volunteer Angler Logbook (VAL) program is primarily geared towards striped bass fishermen as a means of collecting additional length, catch/effort data but is open to anglers who fish for any saltwater species. Although we have increased the sample size of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), we still miss lengths and weights on sub-legal or released stripers because Maine’s striped bass fishery has size and bag limits. This, coupled with the fact that many anglers opt for catch and release, field interviewers actually see limited numbers of fish. The VAL program is quite simple. An angler records information about fish harvested or released during each trip for themselves and any fishing companions. Additional information about each trip is also recorded, including: time spent fishing, area fished, number of anglers, target species and how much money was spent. At the end of the season each angler mails his/her logbook to us (in a pre-paid mailer), which we then copy and send back to the angler.

                       An angler displays his trophy striped bass with his family.      An angler proudly displays his trophy striped bass.
                       Photos provided courtesy of Capt. Ben Garfield and Chris Rogers.

A preliminary summary of the 2013 data follows:

              One hundred sixteen logbooks were distributed during the 2013 fishing season, of which 59 (51%) were returned and summarized. It’s worth noting that 68 (59%) participants responded in some manner at the season’s end, some noting no fishing for the season or lost logbooks.

              The following species were reported as being caught: Acadian redfish, alewife, American eel, American sand lance, American shad, Atlantic cod, Atlantic mackerel, black sea bass, bluefish, brown trout, cunner, cusk, haddock, hake, pollock, river herring, sculpin, skate, smallmouth bass, squid, striped bass, tautog, white perch, winter flounder and wolffish.

Effort Data

  • The 59 logbook keepers reported 1,174 fishing trips which, when multiplied by the number of logbook keepers and their fishing companions, resulted in 1,917 individual angler-trips.
  • The 59 logbook keepers reported they and their fishing companions fished for more than 6,000 angler-hours over the course of the season.
  • Less then one striped bass was caught per angler-hour (0.62 sb/hr) on self/family/friends trips targeting striped bass as the primary or secondary target (874 trips).

Catch Data

  • Of the 1,174 reported fishing trips, 91% (1,067) targeted striped bass as the primary or secondary target.
  • A total of 3,291 striped bass were caught on 693 trips.
  • The highest total was in 2005 when 28,476 striped bass were caught on 2,203 trips.
  • Of the 3,291 striped bass caught in 2013, 9% (284) were kept and 91% (3,007) were released.
  • Thirty percent (834) of the stripers with estimated or measured lengths were slot length (20” – 26”). Of these, 29% (231) were kept and 71% (570) were released.
  • Thirty four striped bass were estimated or measured to be 40” or greater in length (all 34 were actually measured). Two of these were kept while the other 32 were released.
  • Sixty nine percent (1,898) of the striped bass with estimated or measured lengths were not legal size.

Table 1. 2013 striped bass size distribution.







Under 20”










27" to 39"





40" and over







Length frequency distribution of striped bass in 2013.


Five year trend in striped bass catch per unit effort.



Average cost per trip type in  Maine for 2013.

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