Frequently asked questions about the Internet Recreational Effort and Catch (iREC) Survey

Click on a question to see the answer.

The rationale for the survey

  1. Why is DFO conducting this survey?

    Because this survey will provide essential catch and effort statistics for months, areas, and types of fishing for which other survey methods would be prohibitively expensive and/or impractical to conduct.

  2. Why should I participate in this survey?

    This survey is a new approach to quickly and inexpensively collect recreational catch and effort data. It relies on a shared commitment from the users of the resource to report their catch and effort so our fisheries can be managed to provide the best sustainable opportunities possible.

    Condition of licence requires survey participation. Your Tidal Water Sport Fishing licence includes a condition of licence which requires you to provide information to DFO about your sport fishing activity when asked. Selection for this survey is considered an information request from DFO.

  3. Why do I have to do this survey again?

    This survey is conducted monthly, to allow DFO to estimate total recreational fishing catch throughout the year. However, as of April 2014, you can only be selected once for each licence you hold.

  4. Can I get paid to complete the survey?

    No, there is no compensation for completing the survey, which is expected to take only five or ten minutes for most fishers.

    This survey is a new approach to quickly and inexpensively collect recreational catch and effort data. It relies on a shared commitment from the users of the resource to report their catch and effort so our fisheries can be managed to provide the best sustainable opportunities possible.

  5. Why does DFO not just interview fishers instead?

    DFO is continuing with creel surveys which involve DFO staff gathering similar information directly from fishers at boat ramps. However, creel surveys can be very costly and are not always practical for accessibility reasons.

    By using catch information gathered with both the on-line survey and creel surveys, we are able to achieve a better estimate of total catch by recreational fishers.

  6. How will my information be used?

    Your fishing activity and catch information, combined with that of thousands of other respondents, will be used to estimate monthly and total recreational catch and effort statistics, by area, type of fishing, and species.

  7. Why are you sending me unsolicited email messages about a survey and are these email messages permitted under Canada's new antispam legislation?

    We are sending you email messages to collect information regarding your fishing activity which you agreed to provide when you purchased your licence (see the condition for provision of information on your licence). The emails you receive regarding this survey from DFO and PRA Inc. are permitted under Canada’s anti-spam legislation because they are not spam as defined by this legislation. Specifically, they have no commercial purpose and their intent is “to provide notice of an existing or pending right, legal or juridical obligation, court order, judgment or tariff” as stated in Section 3(c) (ii) of the Electronic Commerce protection regulations. More information about Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation.

  8. The Consultants

  9. Who is PRA?

    PRA Inc is an independent consulting company that has been contracted by DFO to conduct this online survey and contact you by email.

  10. Why has DFO contracted PRA to conduct this survey?

    Because PRA is very experienced with designing and conducting online surveys.

  11. Why was a private consulting company, PRA, given access to my email address?

    PRA has access to your name and email address so they may deliver the survey to you.

    PRA has certified that it will only use the information for the purpose of contacting you regarding this survey, and will delete your email address when no longer needed for this survey.

  12. Technical issues

  13. Why are you asking me about my fishing catch at the beginning of the month?

    Because we want you to know that you can log onto the survey throughout the month and enter your catch effort information after each fishing trip.

    Also, we want you to keep the survey in mind when you fish throughout the month.

  14. Why are only a few days of the month available to report on for the survey month?

    The days available for reporting are updated as the month progresses to prevent inadvertent reporting for dates that have yet to occur.

  15. How do I complete the survey if I don't have a computer?

    Please use a friend’s computer or use a public access computer (for example, at a library).

    It must be completed on a computer.

    We are unable to provide the survey by mail.

  16. How do I complete the survey if I am not computer literate?

    Please ask a friend or family member who is computer literate to help you.

    The survey must be completed on a computer.

    We are unable to provide the survey by mail.

  17. What if the link does not work?

    To access the survey PRA will send you an email containing a personalized URL link.

    If you’re having trouble using the link provided by PRA, copy and paste the entire link as found in the email into your browser. Make sure there are no breaks or omissions in the link.

  18. How do I know if my survey has been submitted?

    When you see the screen “Thank you, your responses have been recorded” you can be sure that your survey information has been submitted.

  19. Why does this survey take so long?

    The survey should take five to ten minutes for most respondents or somewhat longer for more active fishers.

    Because the survey is very detailed, but it must be for the purpose it is intended, which is to estimate catch of many different species by different fishing methods.

  20. What do I do when I am receiving survey emails for someone else?

    If possible, we would appreciate it if you could provide their unique survey link to them.

    We are unable to provide the survey by mail.

  21. How many emails will I receive regarding this survey?

    You will receive 2 emails from DFO and 1-3 from PRA.

    PRA will send an email with your unique survey link and 1 or 2 reminder emails after the survey month. If you visit the survey after the end of the month for which you have been surveyed and check off “I have already entered all of my fishing information for “month”, you will not receive subsequent reminders.

  22. I have a term licence that straddles two months, but I can only enter information for one month. How do I report all of my fishing?

    Please only report on your fishing activity on the dates within the month you have been surveyed for. For example, if you had a 3 day licence active from June 29 through July 1, and you were surveyed for June, only report on your fishing activity for June 29 and June 30.

  23. What to report?

  24. What if there are other adults in my fishing party? Do I report catch by everyone fishing in my party?

    No, this survey only requires your individual catch and that of any juveniles fishing with you.

  25. What if I don't know which Management Area I fished in?

    Use the map provided in the survey to determine the area(s) you fished.

  26. Why do I need to include catch from juvenile fishers (children under 16 having a Juvenile Licence) that fished with me?

    Because we need to estimate total catch and effort, including that by juveniles, but it is inappropriate for us to contact juveniles directly.

  27. What if I did not fish during the month I was asked about?

    Please complete the survey anyway. Information on the fraction of fishers that did not fish is important to ensure the statistics calculated from the survey responses are accurate.

    Simply access the survey from the survey link in the reminder email you will receive after the end of the month and indicate that you did not fish on the first page of the survey.

  28. What if I fished but did not catch anything during the month I was asked about?

    Please complete the survey anyway. Information on the fraction of fishers that did not catch fish is important to ensure the statistics calculated from the survey responses are accurate.

  29. What if I do not plan to fish because I'm out of the province or sick or ...?

    At the end of the month, please indicate that you did not fish during the month by accessing the survey from the survey link in the reminder email you will receive.

    This allows us to correctly log your response and addresses the possibility that unplanned fishing occurs during the month.

  30. What if I have reported my catch in a logobook or to a creel surveyor; do I still need to report it on the online survey?

    Yes, regardless if you have provided this catch information through another means, we require that you report your complete personal fishing here as well.

  31. What if I prefer to do the survey for another month instead of this one?

    If you are not selected for a particular survey, it would not be appropriate for you to complete it.

    The survey is based on a random sample of all people licenced to fish in a given month. The random sampling is required to ensure the survey results can be used to estimate total catch.

  32. Why are you asking me about fishing in months when I don't fish?

    People fish in all months of the year. It is important to DFO's catch monitoring programs to estimate recreational fishing catch and effort in all months, which this survey does.

  33. Why am I being asked about fishing when fishing is closed?

    Although fishing for certain species may be closed during the month for which you have been surveyed, fishing is open for many species. The survey asks for your catch and effort for a wide variety of species. For example, when fishing for Coho salmon or halibut is closed, fishing for Dungeness crab or black rockfish may be open.

Additional information about the survey is available online or by contacting DFO’s Sport Catch Survey team.