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Effects of Catch and Release Angling on the Physiology, Behavior and Survival of Striped Bass: Implications for Conservation and Management

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Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Department of Environmental Conservation
Project Description: 

Recreational angling is a popular leisure activity for residents and visitors in Massachusetts, with one of the most sought after species being striped bass. Many of the striped bass are released following capture because of regulations and a growing conservation ethic among anglers, however little is known about how stresses associated with the capture event impacts behavior and survival.

This research is the first extensive approach to systematically link the physiological and physical stress response to angling with measures of post-release behavior and survival and multiple spatial and temporal scales for coastal striped bass. A better understanding of how angling and anglers impact the fate of striped bass post-release will improve the ability to effectively manage fish stocks, and increase the sustainability of the highly-valuable striped bass fishery for the state of Massachusetts as well as the entire eastern seaboard of the United States.