Skip to content Skip to navigation

Snap-a-Striper Program

What: Snap-a-Striper is a data collection program aimed at 1) compiling photos of live release and legal keeper striped bass caught in Maine waters and 2) saving and freezing the heads of legally harvested keepers.

Who: Snap-a-Striper is a collaborative effort between the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Coastal Conservation Association - Maine, and local anglers and guides.

When: Snap-a-Striper is an ongoing program aimed at collecting valuable biological information from striped bass throughout the fishing season in Maine.

Why: Body shape data from every striper 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 our fish, information that can improve management of the striped bass resource.

Using a photo of a striped bass we can look for differences in body features indicative of a migratory or resident lifestyle. 

Similar to counting the rings of a tree, we can count the rings in fish ear bones to determine a striper’s age. Analyzing the chemistry of these bones provides clues to where and when this fish has traveled. 

How can I participate?

Snap-a-Striper data cards can be downloaded here or you can contact

When printing cards be sure to print on regular letter size paper (8.5" x 11") and set print setting to 'actual size'.

How do I collect data?

Follow “Taking Photos” directions on the printed sheet. Submit photos to Please make sure to use a new card with each striper photo you submit.

Each striper head, along with the same data card used in your fish photo, should be placed in a plastic bag and frozen. A list of participating tackle/bait shops with freezers can be found at



The Charter Boat

For charter boat captain Carle Hildreth, recreational fishing is serious business. Listen to Carle's love of Casco Bay and the striped bass his clients chase in the latest Voices of the Gulf of Maine video.