NOAA Fisheries Releases Transition Plan for New Recreational Fishing Effort Survey

This week, NOAA Fisheries released a comprehensive, three-year Transition Plan for incorporating estimates from the new mail-based Fishing Effort Survey (FES) into stock assessments and management decisions. The FES will replace the Coastal Household Telephone Survey (CHTS) currently being used to measure saltwater recreational fishing effort in shore and private boat modes on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.   

Developed by the Atlantic and Gulf Subgroup of the MRIP Transition Team, the transition plan outlines a detailed three-year process for shifting to the FES estimates for stock assessments and management decisions. During the transition, the FES and the CHTS will be conducted concurrently. This side-by-side benchmarking will allow an "apples-to-apples" comparison and enable us to develop a calibration model to convert historical time series of catch from old to new numbers.

Transition Process Timeline (click the image to enlarge).

The FES Transition Plan lays out a clear and specific path to ensure that the FES estimates are incorporated into stock assessments and management in a timely fashion, but also in a way that is scientifically sound, statistically robust, and ensures the sustainability of recreational fishing.

The Transition Plan also reinforces the critical decision to use CHTS estimates for science and management purposes throughout the transition process. For the new FES estimates to have statistical relevance, the  new survey estimates must first be calibrated and then incorporated into the decades-long, CHTS-based stock assessment time series. The complete Transition Plan and more information about the new survey method can be found at

Informational Webinars

MRIP will be hosting two webinars to provide an overview of the Transition Plan. Both webinars will cover the same information, therefore please attend whichever fits your schedule. 

Monday May 18, 2015 - 12-1 p.m. Eastern

Thursday May 21, 2015 - 12-1 p.m. Eastern

Questions? Contact Connie Barclay at 301-427-8003 or Kate Brogan at 301-429-8030.