Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Duncan Barnes, secretary of the Coastal Conservation Association, is the champion behind Snap-a-Striper, a joint study between the CCA and Gulf of Maine Research Institute into why the prized fish hasn’t rebounded sufficiently since its 1980s crash.
Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Duncan Barnes tests the waters of the Kennebec River for striper viability, casting from the bow of Capt. Dave Pecci’s boat on a July 2 mission that they found encouraging after reeling in a couple small fish.
"Back in the '90s the Kennebec was a destination fishery. But today the people I guide, 75 to 80 percent, are tourists looking for something else to do, who are not fishermen but who want to fish rather than play goofy golf," Pecci said.
The joint study between CCA and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute this summer will help bring greater understanding to the stripers in the river, and maybe eventually help with management there, Annala said.
"There is a gap in the research on striped bass along the Maine coast," Annala said. "So we thought this was a good opportunity to find out some information about a species that we know very little about. And we knew the Coastal Conservation Association was an active group."
All the information gathered from the institute will be given to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
"We know the Maine spawning stock was overfished back in the 1980s," Annala said. "Now the population is very healthy all along its range.
"But it's one stock all mixed together. Whether the fish in the Kennebec River return to their home streams to spawn (or remain) is unchartered territory," Annala said.
Deirdre Fleming can be contacted 791-6452 or at:
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The small striped bass will be returned to the Kennebec River after its vital stats are collected by Duncan Barnes, left, and Capt. Dave Pecci.