web banner home page button

West Point anglers now have an active role in the management of the fisheries resources found at West Point. They can help by participating in the West Point Angler Diary Program.

What is the West Point Angler Diary Program?
The program involves participating anglers recording information on their fishing trips to West Point waters in a diary booklet provided by the Natural Resources Branch. The information an angler records for each fishing trip includes:

• Date
• Time of day fished
• Where the angler was fishing
• What the angler was fishing for
• What method the angler was fishing (bait/lure, boat/shore, etc.)
• What fish were caught, if any, and how long each fish was.

It is also important that trip information be recorded even if no fish were caught.

Why is this information important to manage fish populations?
Well, it is important for two reasons. First, the lengths of the fish tell what each fish species population structure is like in

each body of water. If a lot of small fish are being caught and very few big fish, it means that too many big fish have been kept by anglers or the big fish are dying after being released. More effort would have to be put into managing that body of water so that anglers could again have an opportunity to catch decent-sized fish.

The second reason the diary information is useful is that it can tell how successful an average angler would be fishing a body of water. For example, you have two ponds. In each pond, 80 percent of the bass likely to be caught are at least 12 inches long. In the first pond an average angler catches a bass every half-hour, while in the second pond, an average angler only catches one bass every three hours. Which pond would you prefer to fish in?

Determining the catch rate lets the manager know whether more investigation is necessary. Is something killing off the bass? Or, are not enough bass able to survive and grow bigger? Is there enough food for the bass to eat? These are all questions that may need to be answered to provide a quality fishing experience for the average angler, and, it is not just gamefish that are important.

Many anglers like to catch panfish, catfish, pickerel, and other species. That is why all kinds of fish need to be recorded.

How do you sign up for this program?

You can sign up for the diary program in one of four ways:

1. Call the West Point fish & wildlife biologist at (845) 938-3857
2. By mail:
Natural Resources Branch, West Point
West Point, NY 10996-1592
3. By e-mail at Christopher.Pray@usma.edu
4. Stop by in person at the Natural Resources Office Bldg. 733, West Point, NY.

The Angler Diary Program does not require a lot of effort on the angler's part and you will be helping to ensure that quality fishing continues in West Point's waters. All diaries will be returned to each angler after the information is recorded.

For more information, call the Fish & Wildlife Biologist at (845) 938-3857.