Volunteer Angler Logbook Program

map of US east coast from NC to Maine showing striped bass seasonal migrations

Volunteer Angler Logbook Program

The Volunteer Angler Logbook (VAL) program is primarily geared toward striped bass anglers, but it is open to anglers who fish for any saltwater species, and serves as a means of collecting additional length, catch & effort data. Our field staff sees a limited number of striped bass due to Maine's striped bass size and bag limits, and anglers opting for catch and release.

Striped bass length data coming in from volunteer anglers provides us a broader view of striper catch (released as well as harvested). In addition to providing Maine managers with valuable length, catch & effort data, VAL striped bass length frequency data is also submitted annually to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (the multi-state assessment & management group overseeing Atlantic coast striped bass populations) to aid in their assessment of the striped bass population. This is an angler, science, and management partnership to be proud of.

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, and target species. Striped bass length data coming in from volunteer anglers, provides us a broader view of striper catch (released as well as harvested).

Angler in water holding striper

Photo courtesy of Sue Daignault


To sign up for the 2022 Volunteer Angler Logbook program, please contact Victoria Batter by phone at (207) 350-7354 or find her e-mail address on our staff page.

There are two options for participating in the program. In one, anglers record data in a printed logbook that will be mailed on request. At the end of the season each angler mails their logbook to us (in a pre-paid mailer), which we then copy and send back to the angler.

An app, Survey123, is also available for anglers who prefer to record data electronically.

Survey123 can be downloaded to a computer or smart phone, allowing anglers to fill out and save data while in non-service areas and then upload the completed survey to DMR once cell service/wifi is available. Open this PDF file (1.9 MB) for download and step-by-step instructions for the eVAL app.

Preliminary Summary of the 2021 data:

136 logbooks were distributed during the 2021 fishing season, of which 52 (38%) were returned and summarized. it's worth noting that 66 (49%) 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, American shad, Atlantic bonito, Atlantic cod, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic menhaden, black sea bass, blueback herring, bluefish, blue shark, catfish, crab, cunner, haddock, hake, herring, pollock, porbeagle shark, sculpin, sea run brown trout, silver hake, striped bass, sturgeon, thresher shark, and white perch.

Effort data flow chart summary of effort, catch, and length striped bass 2021 data

  • The 52 logbook keepers reported 1,232 fishing trips which, when multiplied by the number of logbook keepers and their fishing companions, resulted in 2,009 individual angler-trips.
  • The 52 logbook keepers reported that they and their fishing companions fished over 6,800 angler-hours over the course of the season.
  • Of the 1,232 reported fishing trips, 96% (1,180) targeted striped bass (SB) as the primary or secondary target.
  • 41 trips reported using a tube rig set up; 39 of these trips caught a fish.

Catch data - striped bass (SB)

  • One striped bass was caught per angler-hour (1.37 sb/angler-hr) on all trips with complete catch information (number of anglers and hours fishing) targeting striped bass as the primary or secondary target (941 trips).
  • A total of 4,532 striped bass were caught on 919 trips. The highest total was in 2005 when 28,476 striped bass were caught on 2,203 trips.
  • Of the 4,532 striped bass caught in 2021, 1% (47) were kept and 99% (4,485) were released.

Length data - striped bass (SB)

  • 3,908 (86%) striped bass had their length either estimated or measured.
  • 3.61% (141) of the stripers with estimated or measured lengths were greater than or equal to 28" and less than 35"? (legal size). Of these, 24% (34) were kept, 76% (107) were released.
  • The average size for measured striped bass was 21.5". The largest was 48" and the smallest was 9".
  • 96.39% (3,767) of the striped bass with estimated or measured lengths were not legal size.
2021 Maine Striped Bass by Length Category
Size Estimated Measured Total Percent
Less than 28"
Greater than 28" and less than 35"
Greater than or equal to 35"

2021 Maine Striped Bass size frequency histogram showing sub-legal (3695), legal (141), and oversized (72) fish by length

2021 Maine Striped Bass size frequency histogram using measured and estimated lengths (n=3908)