Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Database

Acceptance and utilization of LTER data requires that:

(1) The Principal Investigator be sent a notice stating reasons for acquiring any data and a description of the publication intentions.
(2) The Principal Investigator of the data set be sent a copy of the report or manuscript prior to submission and be adequately cited in any resultant publications.
(3) A copy of any resultant publications should be sent to:

Principal Investigator
Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL St.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Dataset URLs:METADATA: HTML, Rich Text, XML(EML compliant)
DATA: Comma Delimited, Excel file with Metadata and data
Dataset ID:HTL-PIE-MassDMF-StripedBass.01
Dataset Title:Summary of the commercial and recreational striped bass fisheries conducted in Massachusetts from 1986 to present.
Investigator 1: 
First Name:Linda
Last Name:Deegan
Address line 1:Ecosystems Center
Address line 2:MBL
Address line 3:7 MBL St
City:Woods Hole
Zip Code:02543
Associate Investigators:Anne Giblin, Samuel Kelsey
Keywords:PIE LTER, population dynamics, striped bass, Morone saxitalis, fisheries catch
Abstract:This dataset summarizes the commercial and recreational striped bass fisheries conducted in Massachusetts. Data sources used to characterize the state fisheries come from monitoring programs of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (Marine Fisheries, the Division) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), which are considered to be essential elements of the long-term management approach described in Section 3 of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Fisheries Management Report No. 41 (Amendment #6 to the Interstate Fishery management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass (IFMP)). Fisheries data are compiled from four Massachusetts regions (Cape Cod Canal, Southern Massachusetts, Cape Cod Bay, Northern Massachusetts). Data begins with year 1986 and is updated to present years as data is made available.
Contact: Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Information Manager
The Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Lab
7 MBL St
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone (508) 289 7485
Online URL:
Data File URL
Data File Name HTL-PIE-MassDMF-StripedBass
Beginning Date 1/1/1986
End Date 12/31/2014
Number of Data Records 29
Other Files to Reference
Availability Status
Quality Control Information Type 1
Maintenance Description on going data collection
Log of Changes: Version 01: February 5, 2016, initial data and metadata entry to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Jan2015.xlsm 1/15/15 4:26 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
RESEARCH LOCATION: HTL-Mass-DMF_CapeCodCanal HTL-Mass-DMF_CapeCodBay HTL-Mass-DMF_NorthernMass HTL-Mass-DMF_SouthernMass  
Geographic Description Cape Cod Canal region, Massachusetts Cape Cod Bay region, Massachusetts Northern Massachusetts Region Southern Massachusetts region  
Location Bounding Box          
West Bounding Coordinate          
East Bounding Coordinate          
North Bounding Coordinate          
South Bounding Coordinate          
OR if single point location          
Latitude 41.49059 41.7651388888889 43.03523 41.229914  
Longitude -71.10129 -69.9133055555556 -70.700955 -70.014821  
Taxonomic Protocols
Organisms studied Morone saxatilis
Methods:Commercial Fishery
Licensing, Reporting, and Estimation of Landings.
To purchase striped bass directly from fishermen, fish dealers are required to obtain special authorization from Marine Fisheries in addition to standard seafood dealer permits. Dealer reporting requirements included weekly reporting to the Marine Fisheries Division or Standard Atlantic Fisheries Information System (SAFIS) program of all striped bass purchases. If sent to Division, all landings information is entered into SAFIS by Division personnel. Following the close of the season, dealers are also required to provide a written transcript consisting of purchase dates, number of fish, pounds of fish, and names and permit numbers of fishermen from whom they purchased. Marine Fisheries personnel review dealer transactions and correct entries before calculating total landings.

Fishermen must have a Marine Fisheries commercial fishing permit (of any type) and a special striped bass fishing endorsement to sell their catch. They are required to file monthly trip level reports, which include the name of the dealer(s) that they sell to and information describing their catch composition and catch rates.

Estimates of Total Catch and Harvest Rates. Estimates of harvest rates (pounds of fish harvested per hour) for the commercial fishery were developed in order to provide an index that may be indicative of fishing success. In 2011, MarineFisheries switched to trip-level reporting. Significant information has been lost due to the generalization of the report to cover all fisheries in Massachusetts. The only information now available is daily total hours fished, pounds of fish sold and consumed, and area fished. This information was used under a generalized linear model (GLM) framework to generate standardized indices (Hilborn and Walters 1992). Each record represented the summarization of a permit’s pounds harvested and hours fished by year, month, and area fished reduced to 4 regions (Cape Cod Canal, Southern Massachusetts, Cape Cod Bay, Northern Massachusetts). Only data from July and August were used to constraint analyses to the most recent duration of the fishing season. The harvest rates for each record was calculated by dividing the total pounds caught by the total number of hours fished. The harvest rate was standardized using the GLM model.

Recreational Fishery
Licensing and Reporting Requirements: A recreational fishing permit is required in Massachusetts state waters.
Harvest levels: Harvest and total catch estimates were provided by NOAA Fisheries Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). In 2011, new estimation methods were applied to data collected since 2004, but only small changes (range: -9.1 to 10.1%) were observed for Massachusetts data.
Trends in Catch Rates.
To examine trends in recreational angler catches, standardized catch rates (total number of fish per trip) for striped bass were calculated for all fish caught using a delta-Gamma model (Lo et al. 1992; Stefánsson 1996) which adjusts trip catches for the effects of year, wave, county, area fished, mode fished, and time spent fishing. A delta-Gamma model was selected as the best approach to estimate year effects after examination of model dispersion (Terceiro 2003) and standardized residual deviance plots (McCullagh and Nelder 1989).

Total recreational and commercial fish counts and weights were added together to get a yearly stock estimate.
All weights have been converted from pounds to kilograms.

To fully understand the source and limitations of the data it is highly recommended to review the Massachusetts Striped Bass Monitoring Report for 2013 ,

Hilborn, R. and C. J. Walters. 1992. Quantitative Fisheries Stock Assessment: Choice, Dynamics and Uncertainty. Chapman and Hall, Inc., New York, NY

Lo, N. C., L. D. Jacobson, and J. L. Squire. 1992. Indices of relative abundance from fish spotter data based on the delta-lognormal models. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 49:2525-2526.

McCullagh, P. and J. A. Nelder. 1989. Generalized Linear Models. Chapman and Hall, Inc., London.

Stefánsson, G. 1996. Analysis of groundfish survey abundance data: combining the GLM and delta approaches. ICES Journal of Marine Science 53: 577–588.

Terceiro, M. 2003. The statistical properties of recreational catch rate data for some fish stocks off the northeast US coast. Fisheries Bulletin 101: 653-672.

Updated 2014 data using
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
Technical Report TR-62
Striped Bass Monitoring Report for 2014
Gary A. Nelson
Massachuestts Division of Marine Fisheries
Annisquam River Marine Field Station
30 Emerson Avenue
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
Year Year of harvest   datetime     yyyy NA NA=not available
REC_HAR_NUM Recreational harvest numbers of indivdual fish number ratio   whole   NA NA=not available
REC_WT Recreational harvest weight kilogram ratio   real   NA NA=not available
REC_REL_NUM Recreational number of fish released into the wild number ratio   whole   NA NA=not available
REC_TOT_NUM Recreational total number of fish, includes harvested and released fish number ratio   whole   NA NA=not available
COM_SEA Commercial season fishing days number ratio   whole   NA NA=not available
COM_WT Commercial weight of fish kilogram ratio   real   NA NA=not available
COM_HAR_NUM Commercial harvest umbers of indivdual fish number ratio   whole   NA NA=not available
COM_DEL_PER Commercial dealer permits number ratio   whole   NA NA=not available
COM_FIS_PER Commercial fishing permits number ratio   whole   NA NA=not available
FISH_NUM_TOT Total individual fish (recreational total and commercial summed) number ratio   whole   NA NA=not available
FISH_WT_TOT Total weight (recreational and commercial summed) kilogram ratio   real   NA NA=not available