NOAA Fisheries recently announced that the agency will transition from a telephone survey to a mail survey to gather data on fishing trips (effort) of Atlantic and Gulf Coast saltwater recreational anglers. The major change during the transition will involve switching from a current Coastal Household Telephone Survey to a more comprehensive mail survey.
During 2015-2017, NOAA will conduct both surveys together to calibrate new mail survey results with historic phone survey effort data. The current phone survey will be used to provide recreational fishing effort information for the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for science and management decision-making through 2017. NOAA Fisheries plans to use the new data in fishery management decisions beginning 2018.
Last fall NOAA Fisheries concluded a multi-year Marine Recreational Information Program pilot project in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Florida. The pilot project results indicated that more people report fishing in the mail survey than the telephone survey. This means that fishing effort is most likely greater than previously estimated.
source: NOAA Fisheries