By Cindy Hoffman
(March 9, 2023) The Ocean Pines Anglers Club is asking local anglers to log and submit their catch data to help make recreational fishing statistics more complete.
The catch data is part of the NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program, a state, regional and federal partnership that develops, implements, and seeks to improve a national network of recreational fishing surveys to estimate total recreational catch.
These estimates are combined with commercial catch data and biological research to help scientists and managers assess and maintain sustainable fish stocks. To view the form, visit https://fishinoc.com/fish-data.
Data collected includes the name and contact of the angler, the species, date and location of catch, length and whether the fisher released or kept the fish. The form is short and will take less than a minute to fill out.
“This is a massive program that runs along both coasts of the country and the Gulf,” said Buddy Seigel of the Ocean Pines Anglers Club.
The concern, according to Seigel, is that when the agency does not have enough data, it takes the number from previous years or regions.
“We are advocating for people to submit data, so their data is more accurate,” Seigel said.
These data are used to provide the states with information necessary to assign limits to the fisheries (e.g., four summer flounder at 16 inches), so that the states can catch their rightful limits.