RecFIN Surveys

2001 Pacific Coast Cooperative

Party Charter Phone Survey



The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) provided funds to develop and test a new survey method for tracking marine recreational angler fishing effort  from party/charter boats.  The NMFS, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) and the California Department of Fish and Game are working cooperatively to conduct the new Party Charter Phone Survey (PCPS).  At the conclusion of the  survey, an independent panel will compare the new methods with the current survey method for party/charter boats used by the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey (MRFSS).


·    More efficient data collection methods

·    More reliable fishing effort estimates and therefore better catch statistics

·    Better public understanding of survey methods

·    More accurate statistics for fisheries management

·    Closer association between government agencies and the user-groups.

Boat Directory Telephone Survey

We select a 10% random sample in California in each week from boats listed in the state’s party/charter boat directory.  We then notify designated representatives of the selected boats by mail at least one week prior to the week for which they are asked to report.  Subsequently, we contact representatives by phone to obtain the number of trips and number of anglers who fished on each trip during the prior week.


Throughout the study, we will compare the summed weekly fishing effort estimates with the bimonthly MRFSS estimates.  To obtain survey catch estimates, we will combine party/charterboat fishing-effort estimates with catch-per-trip estimates from the MRFSS dockside intercept survey.

Boat Directories

Prior to the start of the PCPS, we developed comprehensive directories of party/charter boats for each state using a variety of information sources including state or federal registration lists, USCG lists, party/charter and guide boat association lists, and dockside surveys.  We are continuously verifying telephone numbers and addresses of vessel representatives through your responses to our mailings and telephone contacts.


Validation Surveys

To validate the effort data reported by the PCPS, state samplers will periodically survey charter boat docks to directly observe vessel fishing effort.  The direct observations of effort will be compared with the reported data from the telephone survey to confirm accuracy.

Planned Evaluations

 We are conducting the industryTelephone Survey side-by-side with the MRFSS in California and slightly different state surveys in Oregon and Washington to allow an effective comparison of the methods.

Evaluation Criteria:

·    Accuracy of catch & effort estimates

·    Reliability of catch & effort estimates

·    Respondent burden

·    Costs of implementation


We Need Your Help!

The success of the PCPS will depend greatly on the level of cooperation given by party/charter boat owners and operators.  We are asking you to tolerate this temporary increase in reporting burden to allow effective side-by-side testing of the alternative survey methods. You may be contacted by telephone to report the same trip information that you already recorded in a log.  MRFSS interviewers may intercept and interview anglers who fished on a trip which you will later describe in a telephone interview or on a log form.  The overlap in data collection methods is intentional and necessary to ensure a fair scientific comparison of the methods.

Why Should You Cooperate?

Your cooperation ensures that we obtain accurate and precise accounting of marine recreational angler fishing trips and catch from party/charter boats.  To avoid unnecessary regulations and to sustain the party/charter boat fishery for generations to come, it is in the long term interest of your industry to furnish accurate data on the trips and allow dockside samplers to examine the angler catch.  The planned new trip survey is a cooperative state/federal/industry approach to furnish better information.  We ask for your support and cooperation to make this survey successful and to keep the party/charter boat fishing industry successful for years to come!

Cooperating Agencies:

·    National Marine Fisheries Service

·    Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission

·    California Department of Fish and Game

Do You Have Any Questions?

Please contact one of the agency representatives listed below:


David Van Voorhees      NMFS             (301) 713-2328

Russell Porter                  PSMFC          (503) 650-5400

Steve Crooke                  CDFG             (562) 342-7195



Cooperative Party Charter Phone Survey Documents (PCPS)