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Hi Guys,

Whenever I read a report about quotas and annual harvests the numbers puzzle me to no end.

For example (and I'm making this up). Last year Virginia Anglers caught 643,271 flounder.

I suspect the commercial #'s are reasonably accurate, especially if tags are involved. As for recs... I have no idea. I've been fishing out of Virginia Beach for 27 years and I have only been asked about my catch twice. Once at Rudee and once when the Man boarded me during rockfish season.

How do they collect #'s on the catch? Are the numbers they use to set quotas accurate? Or reasonably accurate?

If anyone asks, I'm a conservation minded rec angler, but I do not a political ax to grind either way. Just curious in this case.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Mike that is the problem we all have with the numbers. that each state report for the rec. fisherman. In all cases it just a guess on their part. And man do I get steamed when I hear that from them. We the sport fisherman. Are told we catch most of the fish. More then the commercials. Their is no way I'm going to beleive that. For my part, like you. I return every thing. But here is the thing that burns me. I was told of all the fish I return. A percentage of them die. They count that in their totals. How in to hell do they know if a fish I release dies? They don't have a qlue as to how I handle fish. I was told they feel that a given percentage of released fish are stressed enought that they die. so they factor that in, I asume by the number of liecnses that are sold. And that really jerks my chain.:mad: .
 

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So being lazy and in a hurry this morning here are some snippits from previous posts. Somewhere I did a more detailed explaination, I just can't find it now.

The data comes from the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statitics Survey (MRFSS) is broken into two basic parts. The first part is the dockside interview data. It provides several things.

1. Catch per angler trip by fishing mode (private boat, charter boat, shore based, etc.) They take the total number of harvested fish for each species and divide it by the total number of participating fishermen. Call this CPUE.

2. The size distribution of the landed fish which is normally turned into an average size per wave.

3. The percentage of fishermen who do not live in coastal counties within MD (or VA, etc.) Call this "Fx"

The second part is the random telephone interviews of coastal counties. This gives you the number of angler trips per household during each two month wave. Call this TPA.

The thrid part is the number of households in each county. Ncounty

So the total effort, TE, equals

TE = Sum{Ncounty * TPA * (1+Fx)}

where you sum across all of the counties.

So the total catch, TC, is

TC = TE*CPUE

Clear as mud, huh??

In VA they do about 5000 dockside interviews a year. In 2004 they intercepted about 90,000 fish at the dock.

The docside interviews are only a snapshot of that trip that day. They do not ask about any other trips. The telephone interviews only ask about when and where you went and get no data regarding what you caught.

Tom
 

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Help needed from a Commonwealth Gentleman

In VA they do about 5000 dockside interviews a year. In 2004 they intercepted about 90,000 fish at the dock.

The docside interviews are only a snapshot of that trip that day. They do not ask about any other trips. The telephone interviews only ask about when and where you went and get no data regarding what you caught.

Tom
----Tom--As you know during the years of 85---90 Maryland had a STRONG restocking hatchery program ---We released millions of fingerling Stripers with Tag Chips in their gill plates to be able to track them for life

--Is there any way you could get Va. to use wands in hope of Retrieving gill plate tag chips --These fish should be aprox. 45" now --geo.
 

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As I've mentioned here before, I'm not convinced that the DNR data collection remotely captures the data. I've never been interviewed, and understand that they do random calling, of MD citizens, not random calling of fishing license holders. I don't see where they account for those of us who do C&R the vast majority of time. Lots of improvements to be made here before the numbers can be trusted.
 

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I can not speak of other states but in VA commercial fishermen are required to do daily reporting. The forms are sent in monthly. There is a VMRC employee or two that pours over the enforcement on the water check records and visits the fish houses to check the buyer's reports. When there is a repeated (maybe not so repeated, I don't know) missmatch between reported landings and buyer's reports/MPO reports of working that day. Staff contacts the individual and ask them to correct their records or bring them before the Commission. As of late there have been three or four cases showing up on the agenda every month.

Normally folks that show up are given a warning and put on "probation" for 12 months. Failure to keep up their records during the period and they loose their waterman's card for like 90 days. Failure to show up at the Commission meeting after being served with a warrant pretty much brings an automatic loss of their waterman's card until they show up. While their waterman's card has been revoked they can only work on the water as crew of someone else's boat.

With respect to the MRFSS system. . .

First off it was never intended to be used for state by state quota management. Because it is the only data out there that is what they use.

In theory, they account for C&R fishermen by the catch per trip data from the dock side interviews. And yes, like I said there are problems with the current system. One of which is the fact that they do random digit calling. In fact one of the problems is that they only call land lines not cell numbers, etc. Anyway in theory they are working on improvements to the data collection, etc. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in coming years.

George, The interviews are being done by MRFSS contractors. It is difficult for the state to get them to do anything that is not on the script. I will try to remember to talk to some of the folks at VMRC regarding your request.

Tom
 

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My Request-

---These wands ARE expensive , & probably would need a Grant from Feds. Or someone that has intrest ---But if Va. could swing it Maryland morortorium Hatchery workers like some of us Charter Capt. Would Appriciate the the input to get the final Till Death account Closed ---These Chips in the gill plate tell the whole story as to the first 8 months --Geo.
 
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