navigation bar
  New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife
njdep home f&w home

Opening Day Angler Survey Results

May 22, 2012

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has been conducting angler (or sometimes referred to as "creel") surveys since 2004 on the opening day of trout season in April. This type of survey also referred to as an "On-Site Creel Survey" because surveys or interviews are conducted at the time and location the angler is fishing.

Angler surveys enable the Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries to gather information about angler success, fishing preferences, interests, and attitudes not only about trout stocking but also about the Division's Freshwater Fishery program. The intent of this type of data is to provide the Division with information to better understand anglers, provide better service, and ultimately improve fishing throughout New Jersey.

Since 2004, the division's Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteers have provided a valuable service by assisting with the collection of angler data on Opening Day. Each volunteer is assigned to a trout-stocked water and provided with written instructions on how to conduct the survey, data forms, and information about their assigned waterbody. Not only do the volunteers obtain much needed information regarding trout angling activity, but their visible presence has reaped several unexpected benefits. For many anglers, this is often their first contact with a Division representative. Anglers are generally willing to provide information about their fishing experience, and many are pleased to see that the division is taking an active role in managing the waterbody they are fishing.

The opening day of the 2012 trout season was Saturday, April 7 and the angler survey was conducted from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. This year, surveys were conducted on 34 waterbodies throughout the state, and approximately 1,700 anglers were counted fishing - the most ever counted! Additionally, 8 waterbodies were stocked pre-season with a mix of rainbow trout and brook trout (50% each species) to determine if anglers were more successful catching one species.

The Opening Day Angler Survey has two main objectives: (1) to record angler presence or turnout on specific waterbodies, and, (2) to determine angler success. This data is gleaned from casual interviews with anglers. Data about species specific catch, waterbody conditions, cormorant activity, and other pertinent information is also collected to enable the Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries to better manage the waterbodies that are being stocked with trout. The emphasis of the opening day survey is on lakes and ponds because of the difficulty in obtaining and assessing accurate angler turnout and success on streams.

The results of the 2012 Opening Day Angler Survey are available on this website in PDF format. The division encourages all anglers to review the survey results, and also to be active participants in the division's freshwater fisheries management programs by participating in the annual Trout Stocking Meetings (held in April at Pequest) and at the Freshwater Fisheries Forums held in both north Jersey (Hackettstown, in December) and south Jersey (Batsto State Forest, in February) locations.

2012 Opening Day Angler Survey (pdf, 250kb)

  Adobe Acrobat Some files on this site require adobe acrobat pdf reader to view. download the free pdf reader  
bottom footer contact dep privacy notice legal statement accessibility statement nj home nj home citizen business government services a to z departments dep home

division of fish & wildlife: home | links | contact f&w
department: njdep home | about dep | index by topic | programs/units | dep online
statewide: njhome | citizen | business | government | services A to Z | departments | search

Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2012
Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: May 22, 2012