Frequently asked questions about the Internet Recreational Effort and Catch (iREC) and internet Annual Recreational Catch (iARC) Reporting Programs

The rationale for the iREC and iARC Reporting Programs

  1. Why is DFO conducting these programs?

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

  2. Why should I participate in these programs?

    These reporting programs are a new approach to quickly and inexpensively collect recreational catch and effort data. They rely 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 program 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 (see section 61 of the Fisheries Act). Selection for either of these programs is considered an information request from DFO.

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

    Each licence you hold will probably be selected either to complete only one monthly iREC report, or the annual iARC report. If you purchased more than one licence in the season, such as two 1-day licences, you will likely have to report for each licence.

  4. Why does DFO not just interview fishers instead?

    DFO does interview fishers in “creel” surveys throughout the Pacific region. These surveys involve DFO staff gathering catch and effort information directly from fishers at boat ramps. However, creel surveys are costly and are not always practical for various reasons.

    By using catch information gathered through the online reporting program and creel surveys, we are able to achieve a better estimate of total catch by recreational fishers.

  5. 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.

  6. Why are you sending unsolicited email messages to me about a reporting program and are these email messages permitted under Canada's anti-spam legislation?

    We are sending email messages to you 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 these reporting programs 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.

  7. The consultants

  8. Who is PRA Inc. and why is it conducting these reporting programs?

    PRA Inc. is an independent consulting company that has been contracted by DFO to conduct these online reporting programs and contact you by email. PRA Inc. has extensive experience designing and conducting online surveys.

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

    PRA Inc. has access to your name and email address so it may deliver the reporting program to you. PRA Inc. has certified that it will only use the information for the purpose of contacting you regarding this reporting program and will delete your email address when no longer needed for this program.

  10. Technical issues

  11. Why didn’t I get an email regarding my participation in the iREC or iARC reporting program?

    You should have received an email if you were selected for either the iREC or iARC reporting program and if DFO has a current email address for you. Confirm that your licence was selected for a reporting program- if selected, there will be program information beside the “my catch counts” logo near the bottom of your licence. Also, please ensure that the email address in your DFO licensing system account is correct.

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

    We send emails prior to your reporting period to remind you of your program participation and provide information that will make it easier for you to complete your report.

  13. Why are only a few days of the month available to report on in the iREC reporting program?

    The days available for reporting are updated as the month progresses to prevent inadvertent reporting for dates that have yet to occur. Also, the program calendar does not allow selection of dates outside the period when your selected licence is valid in the month of the reporting period.

  14. How do I complete my report if I don't have a computer?

    Your report can be completed on a smart phone or other device connected to the Internet as well as a computer. Otherwise, please use a friend’s computer or use a public access computer (for example, at a library) with a secure Internet connection. We are unable to provide the reporting program by mail.

  15. How do I complete my report if I am not computer literate?

    Please ask a friend or family member who is computer literate to help you. Note that your report can be completed on a smart phone or other device connected to the Internet as well as on a computer. We are unable to provide the reporting program by mail.

  16. How do I access the reporting program?

    There are two ways to access the reporting program:

    • Use login information provided near the bottom of your licence.
    • Click on the link provided in the reporting program emails you receive from DFO and PRA Inc

    If you are using the hyperlink provided through these emails, click on it or 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.

  17. How do I know if my report has been submitted?

    When you see the screen “Thank you, your responses have been recorded” or “Thank you for completing the reporting program” you can be sure that your report has been submitted.

  18. How long does it take to complete a report?

    The iREC and iARC reporting programs should take five to ten minutes to complete for most respondents or somewhat longer for more active fishers.

    The iREC reporting program must be detailed in order to support estimation effort and catch of many different species by month, area and fishing method.

  19. What do I do if I am receiving iREC or iARC reporting program emails on behalf of someone else?

    If possible, please provide their unique access link to them.

    We are unable to provide the reporting program by mail.

  20. How many emails will I receive regarding the iREC or iARC reporting program?

    If selected, you will receive a welcome and a thank you email from DFO. You will also receive one or two reminder emails from PRA Inc. after the month of the reporting period if you have not yet completed your report.

  21. I have a term licence that straddles two months, but I can only enter information in the iREC reporting program for one month. How do I report all of my fishing?

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

  22. What to report?

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

    Use the map provided in the iREC reporting program or the DFO Management Area – Pacific Region website to determine the area(s) where you fished.

  24. Why do I need to include catch from juvenile fishers (children under 16 having a Juvenile Licence)?

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

  25. What if I did not fish during the period I was selected for?

    Complete your report anyway. Information on the fraction of fishers who did not fish is important to ensure the statistics calculated from the program responses are accurate.

  26. What if I fished but did not catch anything during the period I was selected for?

    Complete your report anyway. Information on the fraction of fishers who did not catch finfish or shellfish is important to ensure the statistics calculated from the program responses are accurate.

  27. What should I do if I do not plan to fish for finfish or shellfish during the month that I was selected for the iREC reporting program?

    After the end of the month, please indicate that you did not fish during the month by accessing the iREC reporting program with the access link in the reminder email you will receive.

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

  28. If I have reported my catch in a logbook or to a creel observer, do I still need to report it to the online reporting program?

    Yes, even if you have provided this catch information through another means, we require that you report all of your personal fishing information for the reporting period to the program as well.

  29. What if I prefer to report on a different reporting period (i.e. month) instead of the one for which I was selected?

    If you are not selected for a particular period, it would not be appropriate for you to report on it.

    The reporting program is based on a random sample of all people licensed to fish in a given month. The random sampling is required to ensure the program results can be used to estimate total catch and effort.

  30. Why was I selected for the iREC reporting program for a month when I do not fish?

    People fish in all months of the year and we don’t know when you fish. Your completed response is important, whether you fished or not, to ensure the statistics calculated from the program responses are accurate. DFO's catch monitoring programs estimate recreational fishing catch and effort in all months.

  31. Why am I being asked to participate in the iREC reporting program about fishing when fishing is closed?

    Although fishing for certain species may be closed during the month for which you have been selected, fishing is open for many species. The reporting program 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 Lingcod may be open.

Contact us

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