Gulf Reef Fish Survey
Florida Saltwater Fishing
Summer recreational fishing is in full swing, but no matter the time of year, we need your help to improve Gulf reef fish catch and effort data.
Ways to participate
Gulf Reef Fish Angler: It is mandatory to sign up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler if you are fishing from a private boat from Florida’s Gulf coast (excluding Monroe County) and plan to target: red and vermilion snappers; gag, black and red groupers; gray triggerfish; and other jack species. You can sign up annually via FWC’s licensing system (GoOutdoorsFlorida.com or at any location that sells licenses).
Mail Survey: Gulf Reef Fish Anglers may be randomly selected to receive a survey by mail about their fishing activity. The information you provide is used to estimate the total number of recreational fishing trips for reef fish on Florida’s west coast during a given month. Even if you did not fish for Gulf reef fish, your feedback allows scientists to more accurately determine fishing effort. You may also receive a survey from the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) about your recent fishing activity. If you receive either survey, please respond and return as soon as possible, even if you did not fish in the given month!
Dockside Interviews: FWC biologists conduct in-person interviews at boat ramps and marinas, where they ask for details about fishing trips such as the number and types of reef fish harvested and released. They may also ask to weigh and measure your catch and take biological samples. These interviews take just a few minutes and help fisheries scientists estimate recreational harvest and average catch for reef fish and obtain key biological information for fisheries stock assessments.
iAngler Gulf Red Snapper Smartphone App Pilot Program: Many red snapper anglers have been asking for a way to share catch information electronically on a smartphone or tablet. In partnership with the Angler Action Foundation (AAF), FWC is testing the iAngler Gulf Red Snapper smartphone app that allows anglers to do just that. Use of this app is voluntary and does not replace signing up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler or participating in mail surveys and dockside interviews. This app is also a great way to keep a fishing log, so download it today!
Reeling it in
The information you provide through surveys helps scientists and managers monitor annual harvests and assess the status of fisheries. The app helps fishery managers understand more about anglers’ experiences on the water. With better, more precise data, we can keep Florida’s fisheries sustainable and productive. Remember, the next time you are surveyed about your fishing activity, whether by mail or in person, your response is contributing to fisheries management in Florida.