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NOAA FISHERIES: Office of Science and Technology

Program Glossary

APAIS: Access-Point Angler Intercept Survey

Avidity: The frequency of fishing activity, measured as number of days on which fishing trips were made.


  • Type A Fish that were caught, were landed whole, and were available for identification and enumeration by the interviewers. In addition, the fish were potentially available for weighing and measuring.
  • Type B Fish that were caught but were either not kept or not available for identification.
    • Type B1. Fish that were caught and filleted, released dead, given away, or disposed of in some way other than Types A or B2.
    • Type B2. Fish that were caught and released alive.
  • The total catch The number of fish caught but not necessarily brought ashore, may be obtained by summing catch types A and B or by summing catch types A, B1, and B2.
  • The total number of fish removed from the fishery resource may be obtained by summing catch types A and B1.

CHTS: Coastal Household Telephone Survey

Coastal counties: All counties in the coastal states of the United States with some portion within 25 miles of the coastline were included in the telephone household survey. This boundary was extended to 50 miles in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico from May through October. The boundary was extended further in North Carolina to 50 miles November through April and 100 miles May through October.

Coastal resident: An angler who lived in a coastal county included in the telephone household survey.

Coastal state: A state bordering on the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean Sea. State also includes a Territory or Commonwealth.

EEZ (U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone): The MFCMA defines this zone as contiguous to the Territorial Sea of all the United States and its possessions and extending seaward 200 nautical miles measured from the baseline from which the Territorial Sea is measured.

FHS: For-Hire Survey, For-Hire [Telephone] Survey

Fishery Management Plan (FMP): A plan developed by a Regional Fishery Management Council and the Secretary of the Department of Commerce to manage a fishery resource pursuant to the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976.

Fishing access site: Fishing access site refers to the name and location of the place where anglers were intercepted. Each intercept site was given a unique name and code number. The fishing access site did not define the mode of fishing since anglers may have used more than one mode at any given site.

Fishing trip: Fishing during part or all of 1 day in one mode. An angler who fished from both a pier and a beach on the same day made one fishing trip since the pier and the beach are both in the shore mode. However, an angler who fished from a head boat in the morning and from a pier in the afternoon is counted as having made two fishing trips--a head boat trip and a shore trip.

Hours fished: The amount of time an angler actively fished in a mode with fishing gear in the water. If an angler spent time fishing at other sites on the same day, that time was also included provided the fishing was done in the same mode. Not included was the travel time in a boat or travel time between sites.

Household: A household consisted of all persons who occupied a housing unit. The unit must have been intended for year-round use, not seasonal or migratory use.

Intercept survey or creel census: Interviewing anglers and examining their catch upon completion of their fishing trip, or under certain circumstances, while they were still fishing.

Length and weight of fish:

  • Length and weight measurements were obtained from a sample of fish brought ashore in whole form by intercepted anglers.
  • If more than 10 fish of the same species were brought ashore in whole form, 10 fish were randomly selected to be weighed and measured.
  • If 10 or less fish of the same species were brought ashore in whole form, each fish was weighed and measured.
  • For fish with a forked tail, fork length was measured from the tip of the longest jaw or the snout, whichever was terminal with the mouth closed, to the center of the fork.
  • For fish with a non-forked tail, total length was measured from the tip of the longest jaw or the snout, whichever was terminal with the mouth closed, to the tip of the caudal lobe or fin.
  • Weight was measured to the nearest tenth of a kilogram (1 kilogram is approximately 2.2 pounds). Length was measured to the nearest millimeter (1 millimeter is approximately 0.039 inches).

LPS: Large Pelagics Survey

Marine recreational anglers: Those people who fished in marine waters primarily for recreational purposes. Their catch was primarily for home consumption, although occasionally a part or all of their catch may have been sold and entered commercial channels. Specifically for this survey, marine recreational anglers were defined as follows:

  • In the telephone household survey, an angler was anyone who had been marine recreational fishing in the 12 months prior to telephone household contact,
  • and an eligible angler was anyone who had been marine recreational fishing 2 months prior to the telephone household contact.
  • In the intercept survey an eligible angler was anyone just completing a finfishing trip, or in certain cases, someone who was still fishing.
Marine recreational fishing: Fishing primarily with hook and line for pleasure, amusement, relaxation, or home consumption. If part or all of the catch was sold, the monetary returns constituted an insignificant part of the person's income.

MRFSS: Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Surveys

MRIP: Marine Recreational Information ProgramĀ

Mode of fishing: The type of place or platform from which marine recreational fishing occurred. There are three modes:

  • Shore, comprised of
    1. pier, dock. A structure built over the water and supported by pillars.jetty.
    2. A kind of wall, usually made of rocks, built out into the water or parallel to the shore to restrain currents or protect a harbor.
    3. breakwater. An off-shore structure used to protect a harbor or breach from the forces of waves.
    4. breachway. A connecting channel.
    5. bridge. A structure carrying a pathway or roadway over a body of water.
    6. causeway. An elevated or raised way across wet ground or water.
    7. beach. A level stretch of pebbles or sand beside a body of water, often washed by high water.
    8. bank. A stretch of rising land at the edge of a body of water not washed by high water, which could be rocks or an overhanging cliff.
  • Head or charter boat
    • Head boat. A boat on which fishing space and privileges are provided for a fee. The vessel is operated by a licensed captain and crew. In some parts of the country head boats are called head boats or open boats.
    • charter boat. A boat operating under charter for a price, time, etc. It is operated by a licensed captain and crew and the participants are part of a pre-formed group of anglers. Thus, charters are usually closed parties, as opposed to the open status of head boats.
    • Note: Both head and charter boats may make all-day or half-day trips.
  • Private or rental boat
    • A boat belonging to an individual.
    • rental boat. A boat that is rented. No crew is provided; the boat is operated by the renter.
Non-coastal resident: An angler who lived in a particular county of a coastal state which was not included in the telephone household survey.

Out-of-state resident: An angler who lived in a state other than the coastal state in which he fished.

Primary area fished:

  • Ocean For the purposes of the survey, ocean is divided into two categories:
    • the ocean 3 miles or less from shore (Territorial Sea) and
    • the ocean more than 3 miles from shore (Exclusive Economic Zone).
    • However, the boundary for state and federal jurisdiction on the Gulf of Mexico coast of Florida is 3 marine leagues, or 10 miles, from shore.
    • Not included are sounds, inlets, rivers, bays, etc.
  • Inland
    • Other bodies of saltwater besides the oceans.
    • Included were sounds, inlets, tidal portions of rivers, bay, estuaries and other areas of salt or brackish water.
State of fishing access: (State of intercept) The state in which the fishing or intercept site was located. For boat fishing, it was the state from which the boat departed the shoreline for fishing.

State of residence: The state in which the angler lived and maintained his permanent residence.

U.S. Territorial Sea: A zone extending 3 nautical miles from shore for all states except the Gulf coast of Florida where the seaward boundary is 3 marine leagues (approximately 10 statute miles).

Wave: A wave is one of the following 2-month intervals:

  1. January/February (Wave 1),
  2. March/April (Wave 2),
  3. May/June (Wave 3),
  4. July/August (Wave 4),
  5. September/October (Wave 5), or
  6. November/December (Wave 6)

For the Query Glossary click here.