Creel Clerks - locations they work & estimates of fishing harvest they collect

What is an Angler Survey?
It's a sampling method used to collect recreational fishery information (catch, effort, angler profiles and opinions etc.). Creel surveys have been used on various Michigan waters to estimate angler effort and harvest since 1940 (inland) and 1985 (Great Lakes).

Michigan's Statewide Angler Survey Program
The objectives of Michigan's Statewide Angler Survey Program are:
1. to manage a continuous record of sport fishing effort, catch and harvest, catch and harvest rates, and catch composition for important Great Lakes, tributary, and inland fisheries of the state of Michigan.
2. to provide consistent protocols and data collection methods, and program oversight; and
3. to provide timely data analysis of recreational fisheries statistics for Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Division managers, research biologists, and the public.

Creel clerks play an important role for the DNR. DNR creel clerks are stationed at boat launches and piers, asking anglers questions as they return from their fishing trips. Information is requested on trip length, target species and number and type of fish caught. In some cases, creel clerks may ask to measure or weigh fish and to take scale or other bony part samples for aging. These data are key information in managing the state's fisheries resource.

Here's a list of places creel clerks are stationed in Michigan.

Want to see the data they collect from Great Lakes ports? Check out our online database.

Want to see the data they collect from inland waterbodies? Check out these reports.