An Introduction to Marine Recreational Information Program Data
We work with our state and regional partners to collect recreational fishing data throughout the year.
Our query tool allows users to filter catch, effort, and fishing participation data by time series, geographic area, species, mode, and other characteristics. Query results can be viewed in table or graph form, or downloaded as a CSV file. For further exploration, public-use survey data, estimates, and statistical analysis software (SAS) template programs can be found on our Recreational Fishing Data Downloads page.
The terms used in our query tool are defined in our Recreational Fishing Data Glossary.
Limitations of the Data
Data users should be aware of the limitations below.
Preliminary estimates may be revised before being published as final. The direction and magnitude of such revisions cannot be predicted.
Percent Standard Error
The percent standard error, or PSE, is a measure of precision presented with all estimates. The higher the percent standard error, the lower our confidence that an estimate is close to the actual population value. Estimates should be viewed with increasing caution as PSEs increase beyond 25.
At lower levels of aggregation, our estimates may be imprecise. For this reason, our estimates are best viewed in aggregate: annually and at the state or regional level.
Changes in survey coverage over the years mean some estimates cannot be compared across an extended time series. More information about changes in sample coverage over time and the periods in which our survey program was not been conducted can be found in our Recreational Fishing Data Glossary under Sample Coverage.
Use caution with weight data. Weight estimates are minimums, and may not reflect actual total weight. More information about how weight estimates are produced can be found in our Recreational Fishing Data Glossary under Weight Data.
Data Release Schedule
Survey data and preliminary estimates of general catch, effort, and fishing participation are published approximately 45 days after the end of each sampling wave. Final estimates are published by April 15 of the following year.
|Sampling Wave||Preliminary Data Available (Approx. Date)|
|1 (January-February)||April 15|
|2 (March-April)||June 15|
|3 (May-June)||August 15|
|4 (July-August)||October 15|
|5 (September-October)||December 15|
|6 (November-December)||February 15|
Preliminary estimates of catch and effort for tuna, billfish, sharks, and other large pelagic fish are published approximately one month after the end of each Large Pelagics Survey (LPS) sampling wave. (The LPS consists of three surveys that are administered from June through October.) Final estimates are published in January of the following year.
What kinds of datasets are available for download?
Information about public-use datasets can be found on our Recreational Fishing Data Downloads page and in the MRIP Read Me. Variable formats and descriptions for our survey and estimates datasets can be found in MRIP_Survey_Variables (.xls) and MRIP_Estimate_Variables (.xls).
Why are there non-integer catch counts?
Non-integer catch counts can occur under two circumstances:
- Catch is grouped.
- Shore trips are intercepted before they are complete. (Under specific conditions, samplers can intercept incomplete shore trips. In these cases, samplers ask anglers to estimate the amount of time they will continue fishing. This additional fishing time is used to expand the recorded catch count.)
What is the difference between PRT_CODE and LEADER?
The PRT_CODE is assigned to the leader of a fishing party. A LEADER code is assigned to each group within a fishing party.
While most private and charter boat trips include one group within their fishing party, trips on party boats often include more than one group with separate grouped catches. In the former case, the value of the PRT_CODE equals the value of the LEADER code. In the latter case, there is more than one LEADER code associated with the trip.
How is grouped catch recorded?
If Type A catch (i.e., observed harvest) is grouped, it will be reported under the leader’s ID_CODE. Type B1 catch (i.e., unobserved harvest), Type B2 catch (i.e., released), and all Type A catch that is not grouped are reported separately by individual ID_CODE.
Metadata can be accessed through InPort.