Researchers at GMRI are collaborating with the Coastal Conservation Association Maine and local anglers in a data collection program called Snap-a-Striper. The program aims to compile photos of live release and legal keeper striped bass caught in Maine waters and save the heads of legally harvested keepers for research.
Striped bass are an important component of the recreational fishery in coastal Maine. Unfortunately, catches have declined dramatically in recent years without a clear understanding of all the contributing factors.
Scientists do not yet understand the relative contribution of stripers spawned in the Kennebec River watershed versus fish that migrate to the coastal striped bass fishery in Maine from more southern populations. Body shape data from every photo taken with a Snap-a-Striper data card in place, as well as data retrieved from otoliths (fish ear bones) collected from the heads of legally harvested stripers, can help fishery scientists determine the origin (local vs. migrant) of the fish -- information that can improve management of the striped bass resource.
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