15 Jun The Biscayne Creel Survey Adventure
Besides my exciting adventures out on the water, assisting the resource management department’s weekly tasks, I have also started my project on land, surveying the Homestead Bayfront Marina’s anglers about their day, catches, regulation education, and satisfaction. To summarize the objectives and definition of these surveys, creel surveys (angler surveys) are a type of in-person survey performed by resource managers (me) asking anglers questions about their fishing experience, number of anglers, trip duration, areas fished, catch and releases, knowledge of regulations, satisfaction, and if they can measure their harvest. In communicating with and understanding angler needs and fish availability, creel surveys are essential in gaining insight about recreational angling perceptions, efforts, and harvests in order to inform future decision-making (Abby 2019).
In my first and second weeks, I was trained by four of my coworkers and my supervisor on how to properly conduct creel surveys, and the different approaches when speaking to anglers. After my training period, I was dropped into the field on my own and got straight to work. The survey starts with driving around the marina parking lot and counting the number of trailers. Once the trailers have been counted (highest count so far was 88), I go over to a picnic table next to the docks and wait for a boat to dock. Took me a few interviews to get the hang of how I would like to conduct my surveys, but after a short realization and testing period, I figured out the way I like to conduct the surveys, including tone, greeting, small talk, identifying the captain, order of questions, and measuring fish. After I finish my questions, I let the anglers know they’ve completed the survey and bid them a good rest of their day.
WIth the start of my creel surveys, the start of my main project and reason for being at Biscayne National Park has begun. As I conduct the creel surveys by myself, with volunteers, interns, or my coworkers, my knowledge of understanding and educating the general public as a member of the National Park Service will increase. Through assessing fisherman experiences and total catch accountability, I will be improving on how to communicate with people to determine their understanding of the Biscayne marine environment and educate them on the rules and regulations that protect the sustainability of organisms being caught. Through this assessment, my and the anglers of the Homestead Bayfront Marina’s knowledge and accountability will greatly improve to benefit the future success of harvests and park visitation. Thank you for reading my blog about my project at Biscayne National Park so far! Until next time, when I will post about influential people and what I’ve learned thus far!!
Abby (2019). Creel Survey. Fishionary. https://fishionary.fisheries.org/creel-survey/.