TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking saltwater anglers to let them know about their experiences and opinions.
The FWC launched their new online Florida Saltwater Fishing Panel to help them collect research.
If you have a valid Florida saltwater fishing license or Persons with Disabilities Resident Hunting and Fishing License, or an are an exempt resident age 65 and older, you can sign up to take part in the panel. The panel will begin this summer.
Panel members will take a web-based survey every month for a year. Each survey should take 10-15 minutes to complete. Most of the surveys will focus on the person's last fishing trip in Florida during the previous month, the FWC said.
Some surveys may include questions about proposed or current fishing regulations, licenses, conservation of fish stocks and management effectiveness.
The data collected will help FWC researchers estimate the economic impact and value of Florida saltwater fishing. This will help researchers assess the importance the importance of fish hatcheries, to estimate fishing effort and catch rates and to describe angler behavior.
Information gathered will then be considered when the FWC discusses management or potential policy-making decisions.
If you register as a panelist, you will receive a coupon from West Marine each time you complete a monthly survey. Participants will also have the opportunity to review summary results from the surveys each month.
Anglers who submitted their email addresses when they purchased their fishing licenses have already received emails asking them to register for the panel. If you are not one of the 200,000 anglers who have already received the email, you can sign up by visiting the FWC's Saltwater Fishing Panel site and clicking "Register for the Panel."
If you would like to participate you must register by August 20. This will enable you to participate in the September survey. New members will still be able to register after August 20.
In order to participate, you will have to have a current email address and internet access.
First Coast News