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Georgia Strait Creel Survey - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a "creel"?


From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913) Creel \Creel\ (kr?l), n. [Gael. craidhleag basket, creel.] 1. An osier basket, such as anglers use. --Sir W. Scott. 2. (Spinning) A bar or set of bars with skewers for holding paying-off bobbins, as in the roving machine, throstle, and mule. From WordNet (r) 1.5 Database (wn) creel n : a wicker basket used to hold fish

For the purposes of the Creel Survey, we refer to the actual catch as the "creel".

When did the Georgia Strait Creel Survey begin? What were the reasons for conducting this study?


The Georgia Strait Creel Survey statistics date back to 1980 when the program was first implemented. At that time it was recognized that the recreational tidal salmon fishery had grown dramatically over the previous two decades. This pattern of increased growth was set against a background of declining commercial salmon catches and increased concern for the resource. For the Georgia Strait fishery, reliable estimates of basic salmon sport fishery statistics of catch and effort had been lacking. This deficiency had retarded analysis of that fishery sector and challenged the credibility of sport fishery regulations -- both those in place and those proposed. Little concrete information existed concerning either the levels of catch for chinook and coho or the level of effort in achieving these catches. Such information, on a temporal and geographical basis is critical to the sound management of the sport fishery.

What areas are covered in the Georgia Strait Creel Survey?


The study area is that part of the Strait of Georgia between Sheringham Point off Sooke to Stuart Island north of Campbell River. For statistical reporting purposes DFO has divided the coastal waters of British Columbia into a geographic grid of "Statistical Areas". The study area essentially is that area encompassed by Statistical Areas 13 through 19, with Statistical Area 19 being comprised of areas 19A and 19B+ . Statistical Areas 28 and 29 are included in the survey as well.

How is the Georgia Strait Creel Survey done?


The Georgia Strait Creel survey is a two-part survey. In 1980, when the Creel Survey was designed, a hybrid approach comprised of an aerial survey and an access point creel survey was adopted for this project. In the aerial survey, for each sub-region, the number of sport boats actively fishing during a particular benchmark period is identified. From the creel survey, the proportion of daily fishing effort occurring during the benchmark period and the daily catch per unit effort are determined. Such a 'dual' approach encompassing rigourous statistical design standards was felt to be the best one available to meet the project objectives.

What is an "access point creel survey"?


With this method, interviewers are stationed at boat access points (marinas, boat ramps, etc.) and sport fishing parties are interviewed at the end of their just-completed boat trips. A list of all potential landing sites is required, and the day must be broken into time blocks representing potential interviewing periods or shifts. Ideally, measures of boat traffic volumes at different access points and during different time periods should be available to enhance the efficiency of the survey design. Sampling shifts are determined by randomizing with respect to access points and interviewing periods. For each shift, at the designated facility and during the designated time block, all boating parties returning are counted and as many parties as possible interviewed. Estimates of total fishing effort and total catch over all access points and over all landing time blocks can be constructed.

What kinds of questions are asked during an interview?


One person from each boating party is interviewed concerning boat trip characteristics for the total boating party. Information is collected on hour of arrival, trip length, number of people in the party, time of fishing, fishing gear used, catches realized (kept and released), etc. In addition, the interviewer inspects the creel of kept fish. This inspection serves two purposes:

  1. to determine the number of marked and unmarked coho and chinook in the creel, and
  2. to ensure the correct species identification of kept fish
How is fishing effort measured?


The measure of fishing effort adopted for this study is a "fishing boat trip" - the basic measurement unit for both the aerial survey and the creel survey. A daily boat trip represents a completed trip, i.e., the boat has reached its final landing point. Therefore, refueling and disembarking immediately would not constitute a completed boat trip. A boat trip is not a boat day. A boating party may undertake more than one boat trip in a given day. More over, a boat trip refers to the present day portion of the trip.

How are the expanded estimates calculated?


The estimation procedure essentially uses the proportion of daily sport boats fishing in the target hour (from creel survey interview), as a scale factor to convert the "snapshot" of sport fishing boat estimates (from aerial survey) to a daily estimate of sport fishing boat trips. This daily estimate is converted to a monthly estimate of sport boat trips by multiplying the number of like days in the month, and this monthly effort estimate is multiplied by the estimated catch per boat trip (from creel survey interview) to generate a monthly estimate of sport catch.

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