Access Point Angler Intercept Survey (APAIS)
The Access Point Angler Intercept Survey (APAIS) is part of NOAA Fisheries' Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) for estimating recreational fishing catch. MRIP is the state-regional-federal partnership that develops, implements, and continually improves a national network of recreational fishing surveys to provide estimates of recreational catch and effort. The large-scale surveys administered through MRIP provide one of the only sources of regionally consistent recreational data and long-term trend information covering many species.
In addition to APAIS in-person shoreside interviews with anglers, the Fishing Effort Survey (FES) is a mail survey used to estimate effort, or the number of trips made by anglers on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The FES samples households from a national database of mailing addresses, supplemented with information from state-based recreational fishing license and registration programs. The FES replaced the Coastal Household Telephone Survey (CHTS) in 2018. The FES reaches a more representative sample of anglers and generates a higher response rate than CHTS.
APAIS in New York
New York, along with other Atlantic Coast states from Maine to Georgia, have partnered with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) to run the APAIS. DEC oversees APAIS field data collection for New York and ACCSP is responsible for coordination of data from all of the Atlantic Coast States.
APAIS field staff are assigned to visit specific recreational angling access sites throughout New York's marine district. There are currently 366 active sites in New York throughout Suffolk, Nassau, New York, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Bronx, and Westchester counties. Sites are selected randomly, with a bias toward those with higher fishing pressure (see Fishing Pressure below). Nearly 1,000 site assignments are completed in New York each year.
Fishing pressure is used to describe fishing activity at a site. The fishing pressure is characterized numerically based on the estimated number of anglers who have completed a recreational fishing trip during a specific time interval at that site (see Sampling Intervals below). Pressures are categorized by month, type of day (weekend or weekday), time interval and fishing mode (private boat, charter boat, or shore). These pressures are routinely updated in NOAA's Public Access Fishing Site Register to accurately reflect fishing activity.
Field staff are assigned to visit sites during one of the following 6-hour time intervals:
- 2:00 AM - 8:00 AM
- 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
- 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
- 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- 8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Assignments are scheduled as follows:
- Full 6 hours spent at a single site OR
- 3 hours spent at Site 1, with the remaining time spent at Site 2
Field staff must stay regardless of activity; this ensures that any potential activity during that time period is not missed and that an accurate snapshot of fishing activity is captured.
All marine recreational finfish anglers who have completed fishing for the day are eligible to be interviewed for the survey. Each trip and each angler represents a unique data point for that day, so repeated participation is important and appreciated!
There are a variety of survey questions including, but not limited to: fishing gear, time and area fished, demographic information, targeted catch, discarded fish, and kept fish. All fish that are available at the time of interview are to be identified, weighed, and measured. All data remain strictly confidential and are never used for regulating compliance.
Head Boat (Party/Charter Boat) Sampling
In addition to monitoring recreational fishing at access sites, APAIS field staff also ride onboard randomly selected party boats (head boats). Similar to site assignments, the APAIS is conducted with each eligible passenger onboard the boat. Additionally, discarded fish from a subset of anglers are identified and measured.