Marine Volunteer Angler Survey Program
The Marine Fisheries Program is seeking marine recreational anglers who will volunteer to participate in the Connecticut Volunteer Angler Survey (VAS) Program. The VAS Program is designed to collect fishing trip and catch information from marine recreational (hook and line) anglers who volunteer to record their angling activities via a logbook. VAS anglers contribute valuable fisheries-specific information concerning striped bass, fluke, bluefish, scup, tautog and other important finfish species used in monitoring and assessing fish populations inhabiting marine waters.
Participants will have the choice of either filling out the traditional paper logbooks and mailing them back or by entering their data electronically by a computer web based application. In either case, paper logbooks will still be sent out to each angler.
Both the VAS paper logbook and the computer electronic version are easy to enter. Each participating angler is assigned a personal code number for confidentiality. The paper logbook instructions are located on the inside cover and the electronic version will have a specified menu with assisted help information. Upon completion of the paper logbook, tape the pre-postage paid logbook and drop it in the mail. All paper logbooks are returned to each angler for their own personal records upon data entry. Anglers that participate are also provided with updated program results and public hearing notices concerning recreational fishery management regulations.
Congress, through the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, called on NOAA Fisheries to create a national registry of saltwater anglers. Required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Marine Recreational Angler Program (MRIP) is a partnership working to improve saltwater recreational fishing data collection and provide more informed fisheries conservation.
The angler registry will improve data collection by creating a universe of saltwater anglers, essentially a phonebook of fishermen. This resource will help reduce bias and improve the efficiency of catch and effort surveys. Instead of asking a random sample of coastal U.S. residents if they’ve gone fishing (what is currently done), an angler registry through a phone or mail survey would allow surveyors to call upon those who have already identified themselves as saltwater fishermen.
Anglers please note:
New York, Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire also have marine license or registration requirements. Connecticut has reciprocity (your CT Marine Waters, or an All-Waters fishing license will be accepted) with all these states except for New Hampshire where a CT resident will need to obtain a New Hampshire saltwater license. Note that residents of Connecticut are required to have a CT resident Marine Waters sport fishing license to fish in Connecticut’s Marine District.
Connecticut anglers holding valid marine waters fishing license are exempt from National Saltwater Angler Registry.