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Access Point Angler Intercept Survey (APAIS)

Fishing Regulations Icon Delaware Fishing

The most critical responsibility of Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife’s (DDFW) Fisheries Section is sustainably managing our fisheries to keep fishing in Delaware great. Good management depends on good data, so the Fisheries Section is always looking for ways to improve its data collection. To that end, the Fisheries Section, working with the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP), will conduct the Access Point Angler Intercept Survey (APAIS). This survey is a critical component of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), used to estimate the number of fish caught and harvested by recreational anglers. MRIP counts and reports marine recreational catch and effort, using in-person, telephone, and mail surveys. The Fisheries Section believes that a Delaware APAIS conducted by DDFW will result in improved data quality and greater stakeholder confidence in that data. We anticipate that our involvement in conducting the APAIS will:

  • Improve data quality and efficiency of data collection;
  • Maximize angler participation; and
  • Give Delaware anglers a bigger stake in the recreational data and the data collection program.

What to Expect when Interviewed

The intercept survey is conducted by DDFW fisheries personnel at fishing access points along the Delaware coast. Saltwater anglers returning from a fishing trip may be asked to participate in the dockside survey. The interview, which only takes a few minutes to complete, consists of two major sections:

  1. A background portion that addresses fishing mode (private boat, shore, or charter boat), gear type, number of anglers, hours spent fishing, general area fished, whether anglers were targeting specific fish species, and the anglers’ county and state of residence; and
  2. The latter portion which focuses on the anglers’ catch. We ask questions pertaining to the species and number of fish released as well as those fish kept. For released fish, we collect information on whether they were used for bait, or released alive or dead. We also ask to measure and weigh fish retained by the anglers

The intercept surveys are conducted by DDFW fisheries personnel at fishing access points along the coast of Delaware.

By participating in this survey, you’re helping keep recreational fisheries sustainable.

  • You’re our “eyes and ears” on the water — what we learn from you is critical to understanding the health of our fisheries.
  • You’re on the front line of conservation. You can have a real impact on our waterways and how they’re managed.
  • Your input helps ensure that regulations are working and that our fish populations can support recreational fishing for future generations to enjoy.

Delaware’s Small Pond Program

The Division has nine small ponds scattered throughout the State which offer shore angling targeted at youth. The ponds range from ½ to 8 acres and contain good populations of largemouth bass and bluegill. Catch and release is the order of the day so barbless hooks are required at most. A brochure listing the pond locations and available facilities is available online (www.fw.delaware.gov), or by calling 302-735-8650.