Catch and Release in Marine Recreational Fisheries

National Marine Fisheries Service’s Recreational Fisheries Database: Applications in Catch-and-Release Behavior and Angler Profiling

B. Gentner

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569308.ch30

The Fisheries Statistics and Economics division of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) conducts the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistic Survey (MRFSS). The MRFSS is conducted in every region (Northeast, Southeast, and Pacific Coast) of the U.S. covering every coastal state except Texas, Alaska, and Hawaii. This survey is designed to take a random sample of fishing trips to gather catch, effort, participation, demographic, and socioeconomic data. The MRFSS consists of two independent, but complementary surveys conducted every year in every region in six two-month waves, all across the United States. The first part consists of an intercept survey conducted at fishing access sites and is designed as a random sample of recreational trips. This sample is stratified by year, sub-region, state, wave, mode, fishing area, catch type, and species, and over 125,000 interviews were conducted in 1998. During the intercept interview, biological data are collected by measuring and weighing available catch. Disposition of catch not retained is also solicited to characterize release behavior. The second part of the survey involves a random digit dial survey of all coastal counties. This phase is used to develop the overall recreational angling participation level, both catch and effort, for coastal counties. From this survey, angler catch and effort can be estimated. This data set provides a consistent, standardized time series that stretches back to 1979.