Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission researchers are polling saltwater anglers in the state through the new online Florida Saltwater Fishing Panel.
Anyone with a valid Florida saltwater fishing license or a Persons with Disabilities Resident Hunting and Fishing License, as well as exempt residents 65 and older, can sign up to take part in the panel, which begins this summer, according to the commission.
Registered panel members will be asked to complete one Web-based survey a month for a one-year period. Although most of each survey will focus on the angler’s last saltwater fishing trip in Florida during the previous month, surveys also may include questions about current or proposed fishing regulations, licenses, conservation of fish stocks and management effectiveness.
FWC researchers will use survey data to estimate the economic impact and value of saltwater fishing in Florida, assess the importance of fish hatcheries, estimate fishing effort and catch rates and describe angler behavior.
The FWC will take information gathered from panelists into consideration in management and policy-making decisions.