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Appendix B Existing Marine Recreational Fisheries Surveys Currently, there are several different surveys of marine recreational fishing conducted throughout the United States (Table B.1). There are supplemental surveys that were created to better analyze a specific sector (e.g., For-Hire Survey [FHS]) and others that better sample specific types of fishing (e.g., Large Pelagic Survey [LPS]). A quick overview of the different surveys is provided below. MARINE RECREATIONAL FISHERIES STATISTICS SURVEYS The Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS) was implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1979 and was conducted for all recreational fisheries along the Atlantic and Pacific coast, in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, and off Hawaii. The MRFSS is separated into two-month periods called "waves." January and February are wave 1, March and April are wave 2, and so on. The MRFSS is designed to determine annual, regional harvest estimates and to provide continuous, coastwide monitoring of fish stocks. Total angler fishing trips and total angler catches by species, including removals and catch released alive, are recorded for the annual, regional estimates. Fishing effort and catch per unit effort (CPUE) are recorded for coastwide monitoring. Fishing effort is determined from coastal household telephone surveys, which collect data for each household by recording the number of residents who fished in the last two months; for each angler by recording the number of fishing trips (days) in the last 147
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152 APPENDIX B two months; and for each fishing trip by recording state and county of fishing access, private versus public access, mode of fishing, and date and time of return. CPUE is determined from access-point intercept surveys conducted for shore fishing off docks, piers, jetties, breakwaters, bridges, cause- ways, beaches, and banks and for private, rental, and for-hire boats. These surveys collect data on (1) the angler by recording their state and county of residence and telephone number; (2) the trip by recording the state and county of trip, fishing mode, and area fished; and (3) the catch by recording the identified species, number of species, weight and length of landed fish, and disposition (i.e., thrown back dead or alive, used for bait, or kept to eat or sell). Total catch recorded for the intercept surveys include the landed catch as observed by the interviewer, and the catch landed and thrown back dead as reported by the angler. Since 1996, aerial surveys have been conducted in Tampa Bay, Florida, by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This method provides instantaneous counts of boats engaged in fishing and their locations. Boats engaged in fishing are defined by observed fishing rods engaged in fishing and no commercial markings on the boat. Aerial counts are adjusted for "turnover" from the access-point or roving boat surveys to expand fishing effort estimates. Roving boat-access, shore roving-creel, and access-point surveys are used to correct effort for fishing guides and charter vessels not distinguished by the aerial observer. FOR-HIRE SURVEY FHS was first implemented in the Gulf of Mexico in 2000 but since has been extended to all coasts for all fisheries. This survey is designed to ascertain fishing effort and CPUE data. Effort is determined from boat directory telephone surveys, and CPUE is determined from access-point intercept surveys for charter and head boats and from at-sea surveys for head boats. Boat directory telephone surveys stratify charter and head boats. Samples are taken from the vessel telephone and address directory so that 10 percent are contacted randomly for each weekly vessel survey. The owner or operator of the vessel is contacted, and fishing effort is determined by recording the number of boat trips, number of anglers, and areas fished in that week. Boat directory telephone surveys are checked with dockside validation of boat trips in order to correct for trip reporting errors. Access-point and at-sea intercept surveys are also used to correct
APPENDIX B 153 for trips by boats not in the directory. These methods of quality control aim to more accurately estimate total angler trips and mean catch per angler trip, which are used to determine total catch. Intercept surveys are conducted similarly to the methods described in the MRFSS. At-sea sampling involves an observer onboard the charter or head boat for Florida, Alabama, the Atlantic coast, and California. The observer records the number of fish landed and released (alive or dead), species identification, and effort needed to catch those fish. PARTY CHARTER SURVEY The Party Charter Survey (PCS) is structured similarly to FHS, but PCS only includes fishing trips for party and charter boats off California. Fishing effort is determined from boat directory telephone surveys, and CPUE is determined from access-point intercept surveys and at-sea sampling. Intercept survey methods are described in detail in the MRFSS section, while boat directory telephone survey and at-sea methods are described in detail in the FHS section. ALASKA SPORT FISH STATEWIDE HARVEST SURVEY The Alaska Sport Fish Statewide Harvest Survey (SWHS) was im- plemented in 1977 to obtain statewide estimates of catch, location, and CPUE for each species. SWHS is a fishing household mail survey sent out using the angler license directory. The survey samples about 20 percent of the households with licensed anglers, and about 40 percent of the sampled households currently respond to the survey. The SWHS was initially used instead of the MRFSS because there were not many telephones in Alaska. In 2003, nearly 292,000 anglers that fished and over 50 percent of the households surveyed were not residents of Alaska. CALIFORNIA RECREATIONAL FISHERIES SURVEY The California Recreational Fisheries Survey (CRFS) was developed in response to concerns from resource managers and constituents in regards to groundfish management. CRFS is implemented under the Pacific coast's Recreational Fisheries Information Network (RecFIN) to determine monthly estimates for quota management for all California
154 APPENDIX B fisheries. Fishing effort is determined from angler directory telephone surveys, and CPUE is determined from access-point roving-creel, and access-point boat-trip intercept surveys; the survey type varies depending on the fishing method. Both the angler directory telephone and roving- creel surveys were initiated in California in 2004. Angler directory telephone surveys randomly sample from the angler license telephone and address directory. The angler is contacted, and fishing effort is determined by recording the number of boat trips, number of anglers, and areas fished. Angler directory telephone surveys are checked with dockside validation of boat trips in order to correct for trip reporting errors. Access-point, roving-creel, and boat-trip intercept surveys also are used to correct for trips by anglers not in the directory. Similar to effort determined using the FHS, these methods of quality control aim to more accurately estimate the total number of angler trips and mean catch per angler trip, which are used to determine total catch. Party and charter boats are sampled by a weekly telephone survey to determine effort. 10 percent of all active vessel skippers are surveyed to provide details on the number of trips for the week, trip type, and the number of anglers carried for fishing trips. Vessel operations are validated through field observations. Total catch; discards; area of catch for each stop with catch, depth, and length of discards; and angler demo- graphics are determined from at-sea sampling. Access-point boat-trip intercept surveys record data for private, rental, party, and charter boats. Public access sites are used to collect data from primary and secondary private boats.1 Effort is determined by counting all primary boats returning to the site for the day, and CPUE is determined by sampling all boats at the completion of the trip and recording the number of anglers per boat, trip type, catch area, discards, identified catch, and weight and length of catch. The sites where secondary private boats are found are sampled as clusters. Effort is determined from instantaneous counts of boat trailers while roving the cluster of sites, and CPUE is determined by sampling individual anglers as boats return from the completion of the trip. Data recorded are similar to the CPUE data recorded for the primary private boat intercept surveys. Private access sites, such as marinas, harbors, backyard slips, buoyed vessels, and private ramps and hoists, are used to sample private and 1 Primary private boats are boats returning to sites where 90 percent of catch is recorded and catch includes management species of concern. Secondary private boats are boats returning to sites where 10 percent or less of catch is recorded.
APPENDIX B 155 rental boats. Sampling methods include onsite and offsite surveys (e.g., for night fishing). Voluntary catch logs are used by a panel of private access anglers and fishing clubs to determine CPUE. The logs are vali- dated with public access boat ramps. Catch rates and CPUE from similar targeted trips at adjacent public launch ramps are included in private access boat creel data. Shore sampling is conducted for fishing off of human-built platforms, which include piers, jetties, and breakwaters, and off beaches or banks. Fishing effort off of human-built structures is determined by counting the number of anglers at the beginning and end of the survey day and by tallying arrivals and departures during the day. Effort for beach and bank anglers is determined from angler license telephone surveys. CPUE for fishing off of human-built structures is determined by interviewing individual anglers at the completion of their trip. CPUE for beach and bank anglers is determined by roving creel access-point surveys. Identified catch, catch length and weight, discards, angler demo- graphics, and license information are recorded for both human-built fishing structures and beach and bank fishing. Night and private-access fishing effort is estimated from licensed angler telephone surveys. CATCH CARD SURVEY The Catch Card Survey (CCS) is implemented in Washington, North Carolina, and Maryland. Catch effort is recorded by mandatory catch card reports regulated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admini- stration. The Washington survey includes all boats and shore fishing and covers the salmon and halibut fisheries. The Atlantic coast survey includes all boats and covers the bluefin tuna and marlin fisheries. CCS data only include the recreational landings of designated species. Highly migratory species catch cards provide a census for landed recreational billfish and Atlantic bluefin tuna. LARGE PELAGIC SURVEY LPS is used along the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Maine. LPS records information for fishing of offshore pelagic species within this region. Only private and charter boats with highly migratory species permits are sampled. Effort is determined from boat directory telephone surveys, and CPUE is determined from access-point intercept surveys.
156 APPENDIX B Refer to the FHS section for details on boat directory telephone survey methods. OREGON RECREATIONAL BOAT SURVEY The Oregon Recreational Boat Survey (ORBS), which is applied for all fisheries in Oregon, is designed to sample ocean-going private, charter, and party boats. Effort for ORBS is determined from onsite boat exit count surveys. Private boats are surveyed by counting bar crossings from dawn to 10:00 AM in most ports, with expansion to include trips leaving outside of this time frame. Count surveys include the initial trailer and moorage slip count plus counts of additional launches throughout the day. An additional 4 percent expansion is made to all effort to account for late afternoon trips as recommended by the RecFIN Statistical Committee. Charter boat effort is calculated by contacting the charter offices for the tally of trips stratified by target species. This data is validated with bar crossing counts. CPUE is determined from port- based boat-trip intercept surveys. Private boats are interviewed throughout the major moorage and launch sites, and charter boats are interviewed usually with prior knowledge of trip type. Sampling is conducted independently of vessel size and passenger load. All interviews are conducted at the completion of the trip to tally catch by species retained, species released, length and weight for most species, lengths for Pacific halibut, and catch area. Data are stratified by week and season type. Narrow time frames are required due to the highly variable season and because sampling rates can vary over the year. Pulse fisheries, like the deepwater halibut season (often Thursday through Saturday), require further stratification beyond the week level. OCEAN SAMPLING PROGRAM The Ocean Sampling Program (OSP) is administered for all fisheries in Washington and is designed to sample coastal private, charter, and party boats. Effort for OSP is determined from onsite boat entrance count surveys of vessels at ocean ports, and CPUE is determined from port- based boat-trip intercept surveys. Boat interviews are conducted at the completion of the trip to tally catch by species, catch length, catch area,
APPENDIX B 157 and discards. Onsite boat interviews are described in detail in the ORBS section. PUGET SOUND SAMPLING PROGRAM The Puget Sound Sampling Program (PSSP) is used in Washington's Puget Sound to determine special area catch estimates and CPUE. PSSP methods are structured to cover the same site for the entire shift where site selection is based on anticipated effort. Therefore, PSSP data are responsive to pulse fisheries. Effort at each site is dependent on fishery openings and closings, catch success, and angler preference. Periodic spot checks are conducted to confirm effort expectations. Effort is determined from telephone surveys, and CPUE is determined from boat-intercept surveys. The Washington Interactive License Database is used for the telephone surveys and electronically captures licensed angler contact information at the point of sale. Charter- issued licenses are outside the point of sale system. The angler license survey randomly samples 1,700 out of 200,000300,000 licensed saltwater anglers every two months. The sampling frame is updated prior to each survey. The angler-license and charter boat-operator telephone surveys are conducted to collect trip-specific information. These data include the total number of trips, dates, marine catch area where fishing occurred, number of anglers per boat, launch sites, and target species. Response data and the number of contact attempts also are recorded. Adjustments for unlicensed anglers are estimated from intercept sampling. CPUE for PSSP is determined from the calculated mean catch per trip. Boat interviews are conducted at the completion of the trip to tally catch by species, catch length, catch area, and discards. The numbers of anglers per boat, licensed anglers per boat, and license type also are recorded. SHORE AND ESTUARY BOAT SURVEY The Shore and Estuary Boat Survey (SEBS) is implemented for all fisheries in Oregon. Shore and inland boats are surveyed using an angler- license frame telephone survey to determine effort and an access-point intercept survey to determine CPUE. Ocean-going private, charter, and party boats are surveyed using onsite boat exit count surveys to determine effort and port-based boat-trip intercept surveys to determine
158 APPENDIX B CPUE. Species caught, catch length and weight, catch area, and discards are collected to calculate CPUE. Details of the SEBS survey methods are described above in various sections. SOUTHEAST HEAD BOAT SURVEY The Southeast Head Boat Survey is used for all fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. Effort, CPUE, and catch for head boats are determined from logbook census. The logbooks are collected dockside every two weeks, on average, by the port agent. At times, such as the off-season, logbooks are mailed in by the boat captain. This onsite collection is one way that the information is verified. Additional verification is gained through onsite surveys that are done at the end of trips to gather sampling data to compare to the logbooks. The logbooks are used to gather boat permit number and identification details, date and time sailed, area sailed (e.g., state waters, federal waters, inshore), length of trip, number of anglers, catch by species, catch location (which is done in a 10 minute by 10 minute grid), and discards. (Discard data are separated out into living and dead categories.) TEXAS MARINE RECREATIONAL FISHING SURVEY The Texas Marine Recreational Fishing Survey was initiated in 1974 and is structured to collect information from private, rental, and charter boats regarding the targeted species, catch composition, catch number, and catch size through stratified proportional random sampling. Data on trip length, angler CPUE, location of fishing, gear and bait used, residence of anglers, and trip satisfaction also are collected. Onsite surveys are conducted to collect trip-specific information, and roving surveys are done to collect trailer and empty wet-slip counts. Results from the onsite survey are expanded by relative pressure at that site. Boat access sites are surveyed in relation to fishing pressure. Surveys are conducted for 1,0001,800 hours to maximize angler intercept. Fishing seasons are stratified by high use (May 15November 20) and low use (November 21May 14). This is stratified further by day type (weekdays, weekends, and holidays). Surveys are conducted 97 days per bay during high-use season and 36 days per bay during low-use season, except for Sabine and San Antonio, which only have 72 high-use survey days. Two-thirds of the surveys are conducted on weekdays and
APPENDIX B 159 one-third on weekends. This totals to an annual coastwide sample of 1,014 survey days and approximately 12,000 fishing trips interviewed per year. Further details of onsite surveys are described above in the CRFS section. VESSEL TRIP REPORTS Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs) are implemented for federally regulated fisheries off the Atlantic coast. Effort, CPUE, and catch for party, char- ter, and head boats with federal permits are determined from logbook census. The logbooks, which are collected from these boats for each trip in state or federal waters, are required to be submitted by the fifteenth of the month for all trips in the previous month. VTRs record the boat permit number and identification details, date and time sailed, trip type (i.e., party or charter), number of crew, number of anglers, catch by species, catch location, and discards. (Discard data are not separated out into living and dead categories.) Currently, there is no dual-frame system in place to verify the information given in VTRs.