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Fishing Effort Survey At-a-Glance Fact Sheet

July 23, 2020

This fact sheet answers common questions about the Marine Recreational Information Program's mail survey of fishing activity.

From Maine to Mississippi, anglers often wonder why we’re asking for information about their fishing trip and how we’ll use the data we collect. Finding a field interviewer at your local marina, boat ramp, or beach is one way to get answers to your questions about recreational fishing data collection. But you don’t have to wait until you’re at the dock to learn why your catch counts.

This fact sheet from the Marine Recreational Information Program answers anglers' most common questions about the Fishing Effort Survey (FES), including:

  • How does NOAA Fisheries collect information about fishing effort from recreational anglers?
  • How many mail surveys do you send out? How many people respond?
  • How are the data used?
  • If I haven’t been surveyed, how do I know my trips count?
  • Are your effort estimates reliable?
  • Has the transition to the Fishing Effort Survey impacted our understanding of fishing effort?
  • How does responding to the Fishing Effort Survey benefit me?
  • What can I do to help?

This mail survey of shore and private boat trips collects data from hundreds of thousands of coastal households across 17 states each year. Anglers are our primary source of recreational fishing data. Their understanding and support of these surveys is vital to the assessment and management of sustainable fish stocks.

Have a question to add? Email the Marine Recreational Information Program.

Last updated by Office of Science and Technology on 05/17/2022

Marine Recreational Information Program