Internet Annual Recreational Catch (iARC) Survey

The iARC survey is an annual online survey that collects catch records written on the sport fishing licences of 20,000 randomly selected fishers. Using the responses, the department is able estimate recreational catches of Halibut, Lingcod and Chinook Salmon, and average weights of Halibut, by month and management area. Comparisons of these catch estimates with those from the iREC and creel surveys allow improved finalized catch estimates to be developed.

"Your catch counts"

As a sport fishing license holder for Pacific tidal waters, you belong to a community that shares responsibility for BC’s recreational fishery. When you count and report your catch you are helping to manage and protect the sustainability of the recreational fishery. Your catch information, combined with the reports of thousands of other sport fishers, is helping DFO to meet mandatory, domestic and international requirements to monitor the recreational fishery.

Participation is mandatory

As of April 2013, a condition of licence on Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licences requires that licence holders provide information on their recreational fishing activity and catch to DFO representatives when requested. Thus, responding to the survey is a condition of your fishing licence.

Who is included in the survey?

The survey participants are randomly selected from Pacific tidal waters sport fishing licence holders including annual and term licences, and resident and non-resident licences. Juvenile fishers (under the age of 16) are not included; however, adult participants are asked to provide catch records of any juvenile licences of children in their household. Licence holders can only be selected once for each licence they hold.

Who is conducting the survey?

The survey is being conducted for DFO by EKOS Research and Associates, an independent consulting company that specializes in survey delivery.

How is the survey being conducted?

The survey selection process is entirely random, with a new group of licence holders randomly selected each survey period.

You will receive a personalized, private access link to the survey. Contact information provided by DFO to EKOS will be kept securely and used only for the purpose of conducting this survey. Individual survey responses will remain strictly confidential and will be protected in accordance with the provisions of the federal Privacy Act.

What information will you be asked for?

The survey asks you to provide any catch records on your licence and any licences of children under the age of 16 in your household. To ensure the accuracy of the information entered, respondents are asked only to provide catch records if they still have the licence available to refer to when completing the survey. If you have already discarded your licence(s), you can indicate that in the survey as well.

Some results from past surveys

In April 2014, 2015 and 2016 similar surveys were conducted for the 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 licence years, respectfully.

In 2015 and 2016 the survey asked only about retained halibut catch records:

In 2015, the survey asked about retained Chinook salmon, lingcod and halibut catch records:

Contact DFO’s sport fishing survey team

If you have further questions or comments, you can email DFO’s Sport Fishing Survey Team.

Further information regarding recreational fishing in the Pacific Region

Further information regarding recreational fishing in the Pacific Region is available at DFO’s BC Sport Fishing Guide website.

Privacy Notice to Holders of a Pacific Region Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence