- Ocean Fishing
- Laws & Regulations
- Marine Protected Areas
- Fish Identification
- Permits & Licenses
- FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
- Marine Life Management & Research
- Marine Region Projects
Main Office: 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100
Monterey, CA 93940
Information: (831) 649-2870, AskMarine@wildlife.ca.gov
California Recreational Fisheries Survey. CDFW file photo.
- High frequency on-site sampling
- On-site estimates of private skiff effort
- Emphasis on species of concern
- Use of an angler license database for effort estimates
The primary goal of the CRFS is to produce, in a timely manner, marine recreational fishery-based data needed to sustainably manage California's marine recreational fishery resources.
In response to fishery managers' and constituents' concerns about the use of MRFSS for making management decisions, CDFW and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) developed the CRFS. The CRFS was created to provide accurate and timely estimates of marine recreational finfish catch and effort. The program was implemented state-wide in January 2004.
- A single, integrated statewide marine recreational finfish sampling program
- Increased sampling for private, rental, and Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels ("party" boats, or CPFVs)
- Estimation of beach/bank and private access angler effort using an angler license database
- Effort and catch estimation on man-made structures using instantaneous angler counts, roving effort surveys, and angler interviews
- Monthly effort and catch estimates for all modes at a finer geographical resolution
- Sufficient sampling of private/rental vessels to meet ocean management data requirements including collection of coded wire tags in salmon heads
As a result of the increased sampling levels, recreational anglers, particularly those who fish frequently, are more likely to encounter CDFW representatives conducting the survey. Angler cooperation is critical to the success of the survey. Every fishing trip is different - different target species, different locations, gear, etc. - so, even if you have completed the survey before, please cooperate each time you are asked!
- A Slow Day at the Ramp (Except for the "Fanged Salmon")
May 2012 Marine Management News Article
- Surfperch and Suntans: A Day in the Life of a California Recreational Fisheries Survey Sampler
January 2009 Marine Management News Article
- Pier Rats, Jack Smelt, and Dancing Walleyes: CRFS Fisheries Technician Kirk Lombard meets and greets the fishermen of the city
March 2006 Marine Management News Article
- The Scientific Side of the Hot Salmon Bite: CRFS Fisheries Technician Jayna Schaaf records data from the Monterey Bay salmon rush of '05
September 2005 Marine Management News Article
- Not Just Another Day on the Job: Being a CRFS Fisheries Technician is hard work, but Stephanie White wouldn't trade it for anything
June 2005 Marine Management News Article
The cooperation of owners and operators of commercial passenger fishing vessels (CPFVs) has been critical to the success of the CRFS since its inception in 2004. Onboard and dockside sampling of CPFVs by CRFS samplers will continue. CPFV operators and anglers are reminded that accurate catch and effort estimates depend on the catch and discard data collected by CRFS samplers while onboard CPFVs. In addition, the CRFS samplers must observe both open and charter trips, and must gather effort data to ensure the best possible estimates.
Anglers are reminded that, by law (Section 105.5, Title 14, California Code of Regulations), owners or operators of CPFVs must carry and accommodate CRFS samplers on fishing trips when asked. CRFS samplers will ask to observe both charter and open fishing trips. If observer coverage of a trip is denied by the owner or operator of the vessel, CDFW may request a written explanation for the denial, and CPFV owners or operators who deny observer coverage of a trip may have their fishing permits or licenses revoked.
Anglers are encouraged to answer the CRFS sampler's questions; however, angler participation in the survey is voluntary. The CRFS sampler will ask anglers onboard CPFVs about the species they intend to target, how often they fish, and the county in which they live. While anglers are fishing, the CRFS sampler will collect data on the catch rate, the species composition of the catch, the fishing location and conditions, and length and weight of fish that the anglers do not keep. After anglers have completed fishing for the day, CRFS samplers will record lengths and weights of kept fish.
- 2015 CRFS Sampler Manual (PDF)
- Canary, Vermilion, Yelloweye Rockfish ID Flyer (PDF)
This flyer lists identifying features that can be used to differentiate between canary rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, and vermilion rockfish.
- Review of CRFS Methods (PDF)
- Understanding Fisheries Management (PDF)
Courtesy Auburn University and the University of Mississippi, the Auburn University Marine Extension and Research Center, the Mississippi- Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program, and the Mississippi Law Research Institute
- Information Sheet: Groundfish (PDF)
- CRFS Estimates
Perform your own queries and generate your own recreational fishery estimates. Operated by PSMFC (Note - because CRFS and MRFSS estimates are not directly comparable, this link accesses data from 2004 on; visit the link below for estimates for years prior to 2004)
- Historical CRFS Estimates
Operated by PSMFC.
- Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC)
- Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC)
- NOAA Fisheries
Los Alamitos Field Office and Laboratory
4665 Lampson Ave., Suite C
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
FAX (562) 342-7139
Monterey Field Office and Laboratory
20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100
Monterey, CA 93940
FAX (831) 649-2894
Eureka Office and Laboratory
619 2nd Street
Eureka, CA 95501
FAX (707) 445-7883