Recreational Fishing Survey Coverage

The Marine Recreational Information Program works with its partners and stakeholders to develop, improve, and implement a national network of surveys that collect recreational fishing data at the state, regional, and coast-wide scale.

A map of the recreational angler data collection programs in place across the United States and its territories.

The Marine Recreational Information Program is a state-regional-federal partnership that administers surveys across the U.S.

Regional Implementation

As MRIP evolves from developing and testing survey improvements to putting new methods to practice in the field, we have adopted a hybrid approach to implementation. Under this approach:

  • NOAA Fisheries—working through MRIP—supports the development of new survey methods while maintaining a central role in establishing national standards and best practices and certifying new methods as statistically valid.
  • Regions—working through MRIP Regional Implementation Teams—lead the development of new survey methods and are responsible for determining which survey methods are most suitable for their science, stock assessment, and management needs.

MRIP Regional Implementation Teams use Regional Implementation Plans to identify, prioritize, and estimate the cost of additions and improvements to their data collection programs. These plans help MRIP develop a national inventory of partner needs, as well as annual priority-setting criteria for supporting them.

Atlantic Coast

From Maine to Florida, MRIP works with its partners to administer the following surveys to collect information about recreational fishing catch and effort:

From Maine to Virginia, we administer the Large Pelagics Survey (LPS) to collect catch and effort data for tuna, billfish, sharks, and other large pelagic fish. The LPS consists of an in-person intercept survey, a telephone survey, and a biological survey.

From Maine to North Carolina, the NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office administers a Vessel Trip Reporting program that supplements the FHS. From North Carolina to Florida, the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center administers the Southeast Region Headboat Survey.

In all but two Atlantic states, anglers must report recreationally landed billfish, swordfish, and tuna by submitting a Highly Migratory Species catch report. In Maryland and North Carolina, landings of billfish, swordfish, tuna, and some sharks are tracked through a recreational catch card census program.

Gulf Coast

From Florida to Mississippi, MRIP works with its partners to administer the following surveys to collect information about recreational fishing catch and effort:

In Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi, three specialized surveys have earned NOAA Fisheries certification: Florida’s Gulf Reef Fish Survey (GRFS), which is used to monitor private boat fishing for red snapper and nine other reef fish species, and Alabama’s Snapper Check and Mississippi’s Tails n’ Scales, which are used to monitor charter and private boat fishing for red snapper.

In Louisiana, LA Creel serves as a certified alternative to the APAIS and FES.

From Florida to Texas, the NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center administers the Southeast Region Headboat Survey.

In Texas, marine recreational fishing is monitored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

In all but two Atlantic states, anglers must report recreationally landed billfish, swordfish, and tuna by submitting a Highly Migratory Species catch report.

Pacific Coast

On the Pacific Coast, marine recreational fishing is monitored by the Pacific Coast Recreational Fisheries Information Network (Pacific RecFIN). Pacific RecFIN surveys include the Ocean Sampling Program and Puget Sound Sampling Program, administered in Washington; the Ocean Recreational Boat Survey and Shore and Estuary Boat Survey, administered in Oregon; and the California Recreational Fishing Surveys.

Alaska, Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean

In Alaska, marine recreational fishing is monitored by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

In Hawaii, MRIP administers an in-person intercept survey and the Fishing Effort Survey (FES).

While we have administered the APAIS and the FES in Puerto Rico, our data collection efforts have been suspended in the region as the territory rebuilds following Hurricane Maria.

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