Back in June, as Fred Karsten and I were pulling his boat out at the Blish Pt. launch at Barnstable Harbor, we were approached by a friendly middle-aged gentlemen with a clipboard.
I guessed we were about to participate in a creel survey. The guy instroduced himself as being from NOAA and asked us if we had been fishing, then asked what we had been fishing for. When I said, "stripers," he didn't seem to know what they were and I immediately started wondering what was going on.
The entire survey was related to money we spent fishing. Considering the news of future fees for saltwater anglers in MD, I figured this was appropriate. At the end of the survey, he asked if I would be willing to participate further, by mail. I agreed.
This week, I received a large envelope from NOAA. It contained a multi-page survey on Cod/Haddock/Pollock charter fishing trips. Great.
But the wierd part was, the survey was primarily composed of comparisons of chartered fishing trips. Each page had the very specific details of two different trips including what you would catch, what you threw back and what you kept, how long you were out, and what it cost. You had to pick the trip you preferred, or decide if you would rather not do any saltwater fishing as an alternative. The trip costs included charter fees, bait, fuel, your transportation/lodging/etc.; everything but food and beverages.
I think there were six or more pages of these trip comparisons. The details for each trip were so different, it was difficult to make any kind of rational choice as to which one was "better." It actually frustrated me trying to decide how to begin to determine which trip was preferable. I thought it was the most bizarre survey I've ever participated in and I really couldn't see what kind of data could be drawn from it. I wish I had copied a couple of the pages before I returned it.
(By the way, I chose the "I'd rather not do any saltwater fishing that day" alternative to each pair of trips offered.)
Did anyone else receive this survey?
Why is NOAA concerned with whether I want to spend $213 on a 4-hour charter and keep 4 pollock, 2 cod and 3 haddock, throwing back 2 cod, 1 pollock and 3 haddock, or spend $391 on an 8-hour charter and keep 5 haddock, 5 pollock and 1 cod, throwing back 1 cod, 2 pollock and 3 haddock? (That really is representative of the comparisons in the survey.)
Are they going to be fixing rates for the charter guys?
:Eyecrazy: Or is this just our tax money at work, as usual?
At the first encounter I would have asked for some identification and proceded to give false information. As for the nvelope from"NOAA" return to sender without any info. Sounds like a scam to me. rel1
Hey Bob....you are now a marked man...Is it safe to fish with you next year?....Tom
NOAA has alot of great research and programs aimed at a variety of things.
It sounds like this person thought you were a good candidate for the charter boat study, But perhaps missed someone who actually uses those charter services. Someone who doesn't really know the sport could assume that all fisherman must use charter services that target a different species than you were fishing for. Though I doubt that is the case, just trying to get another survey filled out it seems.
I know I don't target those fish species usually, and as a boat owner.. I'm not particularly interested in charters, and would rather stay home as well.
So whether it was inept or lazy research assistant trying to get their quota of surveys filled out, or a misplaced research inquiry..
Whatever the metric, certainly tough to tell what the value is...
Besides now having your name and address, did the survey ask for your date of birth and other personal information.... apart from a SS number? From my own personal point of view and despite the "good Cause" many of these surveys perport...I make it a personal practice to not participate in any surveys whatsoever, and also simply hang up on the many tele surveys that come over the phone lines. I give sidewalk approaches the "bums rush" and stuff like that....But this is only my way of doing things. It also seems that the information sought could more easily be obtained, and effecient by getting it directly from the charter captains rather than some random approach to a couple fishermen....and...if not you might think they could situate themselves at landings where customer disembark from charter trips. Absent other info, I agree with Rel1, if it appears weird...it is.
The survey was legit (no personal information was asked for and not even your name was attached to the mail-in survey. Check NOAA's site for info.).
It just seemed like it was out in left field, and unusual that it involved pricing on charters. But I'm honored that they wanted my opinion. ;)
LuckyT -- it will be safe to fish with me next spring. :cool:
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