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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.

We are Delaware anglers too…

Hey, we see you trying to get home before we’ve had a chance to interview you! We fish too and we know how at the end of long day fishing you just want to go home. But we won’t take long; just give us a few minutes to get a little data that will help us manage your fishery better.

Whether you caught no fish, big fish, small fish, landed fish, released fish…it’s all important to us! Believe it or not, it is just as important that we interview you if you caught zero fish as it is if you caught your limit! Just have a mess of small ones, hardly worth keeping? That’s just fine with us — we love to measure and weigh fish. Catch a trophy, but you don’t want folks to know where you caught it? That’s okay, not only will we keep it quiet, but letting us measure and weigh it will make sure your trophy catch is used in fishery management!

For more information, go to:

31st Annual Youth Fishing Tournament

As part of its activities for National Fishing and Boating Week, June 3–11, the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold its 31st annual Youth Fishing Tournament from 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Saturday June 3, 2017. The event will take place at Ingrams Pond in Millsboro, Wyoming Pond in Town Park, Wyoming, and at the Lums Pond State Park dog training area.

This fishing event is for youths ages 4 to 15. An adult must accompany youths under age 12 and contestants should bring their own fishing equipment. The tournament is free to the public and prizes will be awarded in three age groups: 4–7; 8–11; and 12–15.

The tournament was established to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch and release approach to conservation. There is no pre-registration nor entrance fee required and the tournament is held rain or shine.

In addition to the youth fishing tournament celebrating National Fishing and Boating Week, the Division has designated June 3 and 4, 2017 as free fishing days when anyone may fish in Delaware’s waters without a fishing license.