Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Sportfish Angler Data Collection Team

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. In 2002 to increase the information provided to ASMFC, MarineFisheries initiated the Sportfish Angler Data Collection Team (SADCT) program, in which anglers collect biological samples from striped bass. Due to the success of the program, in 2013 MarineFisheries expanded the program to include black sea bass, summer flounder (fluke), and scup.

Anglers who join the SADCT program are asked to follow simple sampling protocols to collect biological data. Anglers record length measurements, date of catch, general location of catch, and collect scale samples. MarineFisheries requests that participants obtain random samples from the targeted species on both kept and released fish of all sizes throughout the sampling season (May-October).

Scale collection is very important, because much like trees, scales lay down rings (annuli) that can be used in age determination. Age determination along with length data collected by SADCT anglers can be used in stock assessment models. Information from these models can help determine which age classes are experiencing the highest fishing mortality, track growth of the overall stock, and facilitate proper management of that species in the state of Massachusetts.

To date over 26,000 samples have been collected thanks to the efforts of dedicated SADCT volunteers. Members of the Plum Island Surfcasters as a whole have provided the SADCT program with well over a thousand samples. Many members of the Plum Island Surfcasters have been with the program since 2002, and have provided hundreds of samples personally. Without the cooperation and dedication of volunteer recreational anglers such as you this program would not be as successful as it is today!

The Sportfish Angler Data Collection Team provides a means for interested and dedicated anglers to help study the resource they enjoy. Anglers who are interested in the preservation and management of recreationally important finfish species can join the SADCT team by contacting Kimberly Trull at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries 978.282.0308 x130 or by emailing Anglers who participate receive a hat after their first year of sampling along with an individual report summarizing what they caught, and a chance to enter into a raffle. Winners of the raffle will be drawn in April after all of the samples have been processed and sent out with the reports and other freebies I have on hand!

—Kimberly Trull

Kimberly visited Plum Island Surfcasters on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016, to describe the program. You can watch her presentation below:

Her presentation covered all the information you need on how to participate. Audio starts around the 1 minute mark on this video.

Interested anglers measure the length of a fish, collect several scales (even catch and release fish can be sampled), record the species of fish, and note the area where caught. Scales and information are sent to Marine Fisheries to use in determining the age of each fish. Watch the video for all the details and find out how long it takes those fish to reach legal “keeper” size.



Beach Access on Plum Island: Next Public Meeting on May 4

Newburyport City Councillor Sharif Zeid has contacted the club to alert us to upcoming public meetings on beach access at the north end of Plum Island. The City has applied for and received a grant to look at beach access and erosion on the Northern End of Plum Island.  You can see a map of proposed trails at our Beach Access Survey page.

Another public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 4, 2017 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at PITA Hall, 8 Plum Island Turnpike.  A draft beach access map and draft signage will be presented and discussed.

You may be familiar with the fencing and signs that have appeared at the north end of the island recently.

Meetings are being held with residents and other interested parties to gather information and feedback on path usage and what’s important to people in that regard. As a fishing club, PISC has interest in both protecting the sand dunes from erosion and ensuring access to the beach for fishermen.

We encourage everyone to stay on the marked paths and to participate in public meetings to ensure that the fencing permits easy access to the river and oceanfront.

Location of Meeting:
8 Plum Island Turnpike
Newburyport, MA




April 18, 2017 Club Meeting: Extending Your Striper Season by Capt. Jerry Sparks


Extending Your Striper Season
by Captain Jerry Sparks

Fishing Rivers and Salt Ponds
Tools of the Trade
Please join us on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 for another great angling seminar.   Our monthly meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Newbury, MA Fire Hall (7 Morgan Ave, Newbury, MA 01950.)  The doors open at 7:00 PM. Dinner is served at prices that will not break the bank. 🙂 The club meeting starts at 7:30 PM.  After the meeting, we have a seminar by a featured angler. Seminars are free for club members; there is a $5.00 charge for non-members.  Membership information is available here.

Merrimack River Mouth: Beach Access Survey

This survey will run until April 30, 2017.  Please submit your response before the end of the month.

Erosion near the South Jetty is impacting the beach along the mouth of the Merrimack River.  Fencing has been erected to protect the dune grass and (we hope) combat this erosion. Some existing trails to access the beach may be closed.  It is important that some trails remain open to give fishermen and other members of the public access to the beach.  We are asking all interested parties to tell us which trails are important to them.

Please take our survey (bottom of page) about accessing the beach at the north end of Plum Island.  The survey contains five questions, so be sure to scroll through to see all of them.  Please refer to the maps below showing the trails.

Large Area:

Trails Area:  Please refer to the numbering of these trails as you answer the survey questions.

Create your own user feedback survey