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April 18, 2002


For more information contact:
Al Ivany at 609-984-1795

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife, anglers fishing the Delaware River and East Branch Delaware River for shad, striped bass and other game fish may have an opportunity to contribute to the management of those species through participation in a multi-agency angler survey. The survey is designed to provide catch and harvest information on 380 miles of the river, from Downsville, New York (located on the East Branch) downstream to the I-295 Delaware Memorial Bridge.

"We're pleased to be a part of this cooperative fisheries survey," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "A truly comprehensive study of the Delaware River was sorely needed and now fortunately, will become a reality with the cost-sharing efforts of the member states. In addition, an extensive survey of recreational fishing on the Delaware will provide essential catch information necessary to meet mandates of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's shad and river herring management plan."

States within the Delaware River Basin Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative (Cooperative) are funding the survey. Members of the Cooperative include the states of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, and two federal agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. Liaison members include the National Park Service and the Delaware River Basin Commission. Member agencies work together to consistently and comprehensively manage fisheries resources throughout the Delaware River basin.

Specific survey objectives are to determine the amount of recreational fishing activity that occurs on the Delaware River, when and where it occurs, and the species and numbers of fish caught and kept. Two species that will receive special attention in the survey are American shad and striped bass. However, the survey is designed to provide information on all species that recreational anglers pursue.

The environmental consulting firm Versar, Inc. has been selected by the cooperative to carry out the survey. Versar has a national reputation for conducting a wide range of high-quality fisheries and environmental studies and has conducted numerous studies in the Delaware River watershed for a variety of clients, including the Delaware River Basin Commission, the states of New Jersey and Delaware, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The firm has developed a statistically rigorous survey that combines the use of an aerial survey to count the number of anglers that fish on the river and a ground survey where anglers are interviewed at representative sites along the river. A total of 82 angler access sites along the river have been selected by Cooperative members to be included in the survey.

Angler cooperation with creel survey agents, by providing information, will help ensure that the agencies responsible for managing the Delaware River's fish stocks are working with timely and accurate information. All information gathered from individual fishermen is confidential.

The survey began in mid-March and will continue through October.