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The U.S. Inland Creel and Angler Survey Catalog (CreelCat): Development, applications, and opportunities

November 18, 2021

Inland recreational fishing, defined as primarily leisure-driven fishing in freshwaters, is a popular pastime in the USA. State natural resource agencies endeavor to provide high-quality and sustainable fishing opportunities for anglers. Managers often use creel and other angler survey data to inform state- and waterbody-level management efforts. Despite the broad implementation of angler surveys and their importance to fisheries management at state scales, regional and national coordination among these activities is minimal, limiting data applicability for larger-scale management practices and research. Here, we introduce the U.S. Inland Creel and Angler Survey Catalog (CreelCat), a first-of-its-kind, publicly available national database of angler survey data that establishes a baseline of national inland recreational fishing metrics. We highlight research and management applications to help support sustainable inland recreational fishing practices, consider cautions, and make recommendations for implementation.

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