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eLogbook for Anglers

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Recreational Fishing Electronic Logbook now available for Anglers

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF) in conjunction with the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) announced in June 2009 a new electronic angler logbook (eLogbook) for recreational anglers willing to provide data useful for management of marine fishes in Massachusetts. The eLogbook is a web database designed for recreational anglers to enter daily trip information on general location, gear used, and sizes of fish species that are harvested or released. Participating anglers can access and summarize their fishing data in tabular or graphical forms at anytime which is useful for tracking fishing successes (see figures).

To date, 316 anglers are signed up and 504 trip reports (253 in 2009, 251 in 2010) have been made with 3,792 fish reported (1,735 in 2009, 2,057 in 2010). The top three species reported are striped bass (49%), bluefish (15%) and Atlantic cod (12%). A total of 28 fish species have been reported.

Why is MA DMF interested in collecting this data? The Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS), the primary federal program designed to collect information of recreational fisheries throughout the United States, neglects to measure specific aspects of fisheries required for more effective management in Massachusetts waters. Currently we lack sufficient information on sizes of fishes that are harvested or released, and information on important recreational fishing areas in state waters. These data are needed to improve stock assessments of marine species and to help protect important fishing grounds.

Residents or non-residents who fish in Massachusetts and adjacent federal marine waters can participate in this program. To begin using the eLogbook, go to eLogbook Login located under the Quick Links on the left hand side of the MA DMF website. First time users will have to register. A password and user name will be sent to the angler’s email account. All data provided by participating anglers are considered confidential under M.G.L. c. 66A, the Fair Information Practices Act and only MA DMF personnel will have complete access. The eLogbook is an easy way for you to keep track of your fishing season and aid in conservation efforts of important recreational fish species. Sign up and start today! Questions or comments please contact Jennifer Stritzel Thomson at 978-282-0308 x 130 or email at

How Can Angler’s Participate?

As part of the Atlantic coastwide effort to manage and conserve striped bass, each year the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MarineFisheries) provides the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) with size, age, and catch data for striped bass caught in Massachusetts. In 2002, to increase the information provided to ASMFC, MarineFisheries initiated the Sportfish Angler Data Collection Team (SADCT) program, in which volunteer recreational anglers collect biological samples from striped bass.

Anglers who join the SADCT program follow simple protocols for measuring striped bass, recording data, and obtaining scale samples. Scales are used for age determination, because much like trees, growth rings form annually on striped bass scales and the scales of many other temperate fish species. MarineFisheries requests that program participants collect scale samples and biological information from ten striped bass per month, May-October (60 samples for the season).

Overall, results from the program provide continued information on striped bass growth and help determine which age classes are experiencing the highest fishing mortality in Massachusetts. In nine years 16,429 striped bass have been sampled with the SADCT program. The smallest bass sampled was 8 inches and the largest was 56 inches. The majority of fish sampled by SADCT anglers were in the 17-24 inch range and 28-32 inch range. The average length of striped bass caught by the SADCT anglers was 24 inches (4 or 5 years old). The youngest striped bass was age 2 and the oldest was age 18. The average age for a legal 28 inch fish is six years old. Striped bass samples were returned from all areas in Massachusetts.

The success of the SADCT program stems from the volunteer efforts of over 200 anglers. The Sportfish Angler Data Collection Team provides a means for interested and dedicated anglers to help study the resource they enjoy. All participating anglers receive a project t-shirt (after the first year), a ball cap (after the second year), along with an annual study report that includes an individualized data summary (i.e., each person receives information about the fish they caught/samples they returned). To find out more about this program or to sign up, contact Jennifer Stritzel Thomson at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, Annisquam River Marine Fisheries Station, (978) 282-0308, ext. 130 or

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