Transparency is one of our core values, achieved through open access to our products, tools, and processes. This section provides a detailed look at the methods we use to count angler catch, why we use them, and how they work together to produce estimates of total recreational catch.
By sampling a subset of a population—in this case fishermen and fisheries—we are able to use statistics to understand the characteristics of the whole population. Sampling and estimation can be extremely complex. However, we experience results from sampling in our everyday lives; for example, political polling, health statistics, and television ratings.
Learn more about survey statistics
Generally speaking, to estimate total recreational catch, we need to estimate both the catch per angler trip (catch rate) and the number of angler trips (effort).
Catch rate is the estimated average catch per angler trip. An angler trip is an individual fishing trip taken by a single angler; it can be for any amount of time, whether it is half an hour or an entire day. Catch rates are estimated using data about catch from interviews of fishermen as they complete fishing trips. From these interviews, we can estimate (per angler trip):
Fishing effort refers to the estimated number of angler fishing trips taken. Currently, fishing effort is estimated by conducting telephone and mail surveys of coastal households and for-hire boat captains, as well as on-site survey methods in some regions. From these interviews, we can estimate:
State and regional partners use a system of surveys to gather the information needed to generate these estimates. Once our scientists have this data, they use two methods of estimation.
Learn more about estimation methods
Members of the Marine Recreational Information Program team will join port agents from NOAA Fisheries’ Greater Atlantic Region at the New England Saltwater Fishing Show from March 9-11, 2018 and the Saltwater Fishing Expo from March 16-18, 2018....
The Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program has completed an MRIP Regional Implementation Plan (PDF, 16 pages) summarizing the data needs and funding priorities for improving recreational fisheries data collection on the Atlantic Coast. The...
Community Profiles: Map showing participation in recreational fishing by residents of Alaska communities in 2014.
Event methods that are already in use can be improved to make sure that, in a changing management environment, the best available science is used. Teams of scientists, statisticians, state partners, fishermen, and other...
On December 29, 2017, NOAA Fisheries announced the certification of the Louisiana Recreational Creel (LA Creel) survey design. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries uses LA Creel as an alternative general survey to estimate recreational fishing...