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Creel Surveys

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Last week on vacation I got stopped by DNR three different days on the (same) water for a creel survey. Twice by the same person.

None of it took very long but I have to admit that by the third time it got under my skin a little since I was one of about three boats (at most) fishing this lake so the fishing pressure was not exactly high. They did ask each boat.

My question is twofold - (1) Would it not be better to do these surveys when there are more people fishing to get a better feel for what is going on? and (2) Is there a regulation that says we have to cooperate and do it?

I had nothing to worry about since I keep no fish except for an occasional crappie or walleye and was fishing for bass and had all the required safety equipment and licenses so by the third time I was ready to tell them that I was not interested in participating. I guess I was just plain cranky...

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I've only been involved in these surveys twice. Both times I remember being asked if I would take part in the survey.

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you wouldn't want to do a creel survey only when there are "lots" of boats on the water because you'd get skewed results....

these things are often every day for "x" number of days to get an average on what people are catching and how many

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Yeah I could see your point if you are getting checked three times in a weekend. Just keep in mind that the person doing the surveying is usually not paying attention to specific boats so they most likely don't remember who they've talked to and who they haven't. I know that I deal with the general public quite a bit with my profession. There's many times when someone will talk to me for a second time and I'll have no idea who they are.

As for taking the survey, you are not required to take it. However, keep in mind that the goal of a survey like this is to help improve our fisheries and natural resources.

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The way I look at it.. the DNR is doing their best to make our lakes better. If I can give them someinformation.. Any information to make it better. I will gladly answer a few questions that take 5 mins at most. If they want.. they can ask me every time out. But thats just my opinion.

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1) As someone said, putting the clerk where all the boats are would bias the results

2) Cooperating is your choice. But the more information, the more accurate the information, the better a management decision can help a body of water when applicable.

Don't take it personally. The clerks can't remember you from John Doe. If you can do anything to make their jobs easier, treat them as you would want to be treated. I did DNR interviews once and I hated when people got all worked up. I was their vent about everything that ever went wrong. The nicer you are to them, the better things will go. Customer service is a tough job is one thing I learned!

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On Green in Kandiyohi county the creel survey comes to you!DNR boat cruises the lake takin a survey,We sat and BSed a bit with the guy,we thought it was lisence check. cool.gif

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I guess I wasn't clear enough - that is what they did with me - I was fishing deep water and they motored right up to me each of the three times.

I still can't seem to get my mind around the value of such a small sampling though. It seems to me the larger the sample the less room there is for error in interpretation.

I can see where the idea could be beneficial and I guess that it was just that I was on vacation and did not want to deal with anything other than feeling for a bite and the fact that I got hit three times. I should just be more patient. I don't think it would have been even a question if it happened on one of my routine trips around the cities. Thought it was interesting the first time, tolerated the second time and third time but not sure if there had been a fourth time...

Thanks guys...

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Not sure with MN but in WI the creel clerks are sub-contracted and are not actual DNR employees. They ask for participation, and most people in fact do. However they only ask you at the boat ramp, and only if you have been fishing between specific times. The only time they motor around the lake is to count the number of fisherman about every hour or so. I haven't been interviewed on the water there.

The numbers end up skewed a little bit no matter how they do the survey, but it still is valuable information when they look at how to manage a lake and how well current regulations are supporting a fishery.

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