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Trout underwater

Fish Angling Pressure Surveys

The statewide angling use surveys are conducted by mailing a questionnaire to a random sample of resident and nonresident licensed anglers for each month of the year.The surveys estimate angling use in number of "angler days". An "angler day" is one fisherman fishing one body of water for any amount of time on a given day. Results are tallied and presented in the reports found here.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has conducted statewide angling mail surveys for more than 50 years.

Bishop (1959, 1960, 1961) conducted the first recorded mail survey of fishing pressure on a statewide basis for Montana from 1958-1960. In 1968, Holton (1970) again initiated the statewide angling pressure mail survey. Holton (1971) conducted another statewide survey for the 1969 license year. No results were reported because it was felt they were too high due to sampling problems.

In 1975, Gaffney (unpublished data) conducted a statewide survey of angling pressure by mail. An attempt was made to continue that statewide survey in 1976 using the 1975 mailing lists. This did not provide adequate samples for nonresidents, so only resident pressure was obtained. The surveys were started again in 1982 and run for four consecutive years (McFarland, 1989). In 1986, the surveys were again canceled for lack of funding. In March 1989, the statewide angling use mail survey was again reinitiated, and has been conducted on a biennial basis since that time.