Anglers fishing on Fort Peck Reservoir this summer may be asked a few questions about their experience once they come off the water.
That’s because another angling “creel” survey is underway on the state’s largest water body. The data-gathering, face-to-face surveys, which take place every three years on Fort Peck, are being based at various marinas and boat ramps around the reservoir. They’ll continue through the end of September, said Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Fisheries Biologist Heath Headley.
“The creel clerks, who are contracted by FWP, will be stationed near the boat ramps for the most part,” Headley said. “If there’s a fish-cleaning station in the area, then they’ll be stationed there. They’ll be visiting with boat anglers, as well as people who are fishing from the shore.”
The contracted creel clerks are asking anglers a variety of questions about their day’s fishing. The clerks may also ask to measure any harvested fish.
Headley said that detailed information gathered from these personal surveys helps FWP better manage fisheries resources by providing information on fishing pressure, as well as such things as size of fish harvested and angler catch rates, which reveal how long it takes people to hook a fish.
Other survey questions involve the species being targeted, as well as details about where anglers are from and the general areas where they fished.
This year’s creel survey is being conducted in conjunction with other FWP crews that will be running check stations on the reservoir while searching for an array of aquatic invasive species that might be hiding on boats and trailers.
“We’d like to thank all anglers for their cooperation during these surveys and wish everyone the best of luck fishing this summer,” Headley said.