News  Striped Bass Citizen Science Project

  • Division of Marine Fisheries
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Due to regulations and conservation-minded anglers, most striped bass are released back to the water after being caught. Even though most of these fish survive, post-release mortality from recreational anglers causes more striped bass deaths than any other source. We at MADMF conduct research to understand what affects the survival of recreationally-caught striped bass.
Between 2020 and 2021, DMF biologists tagged 349 striped bass with accelerometer transmitters, caught with live and dead bait using both circle and J-hooks. These specialized tags sense ‘tail beats’ from the fish within an array of receivers, informing researchers whether the fish dies or not. Preliminary analyses suggest that survival is related to hook location, water temperature, and handling time.

As a follow-up, we are expanding our investigation of release mortality to include striped bass caught via artificial lures and flies. During the summers of 2023 and 2024, we are partnering with volunteer anglers to collect information when they go striped bass fishing. These citizen scientists are asked to record data on the fish they catch (length, fight time, handling time, hook location, and injury), their tackle choices (lure type and size, number and type of hooks), as well as the air and water temperature. Although the program has only been running for a couple months, over 500 anglers have signed up to date and over 1000 striped bass have already been reported!

Each angler who submits at least one report will receive a complimentary pair of fishing pliers as a thank you. Continued participation will keep anglers entered into weekly raffle drawings for Shimano spinning rod/reel combos and Costa sunglasses. Anyone interested in helping us conserve striped bass can sign up by filling out a brief application at

The ultimate goals of this project are to identify the causes of release mortality, and to provide an updated mortality rate estimate that is representative of the entire recreational fishery.

By Micah Dean, Senior Marine Fisheries Biologist

  • Division of Marine Fisheries 

    The Division of Marine Fisheries manages the state’s commercial and recreational saltwater fisheries and oversees other services that support the marine environment and fishing communities.
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