Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) Summary

Survey Methods

Estimates generated from the APAIS, FHTS and FES surveys include: total numbers of fish caught, released and harvested; weight of the harvest; total number of angler trips; and number of people participating in marine recreational fishing. In 1996, Maine DMR assumed responsibility for conducting the MRIP field component in Maine, giving us the ability to increase the number of angler interviews collected beyond the NMFS requirements. This in turn has given us a significantly improved database that generates more precise estimates.

Three fishing modes are targeted during field intercept assignments: shore, private/rental boats, and charter/head boats (the latter two are also referred to as "for-hire" boats). Water access sites at which recreational fin-fishing occurs are assigned activity pressure ratings and are then randomly selected each month for interview collection assignments. The frequency of site selection is based on the relative fishing activity estimated to exist at each site in a two-month block or "Wave" (May/June, July/August, September/October).

Notes on effects of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic on fishing and sampling activity in 2021: As a result of continued virus transmission risks, DMR delayed APAIS head boat ride-along sampling until July 1st. Measuring harvested fish while on fishing access site assignments was also conducted according to each sampler's exposure comfort levels and options available for transfer of the catch from angler to sampler and back, as well as angler's willingness to allow another person to be in close contact with their catch.

Some 2021 data highlights

Numbers of interviews

During Maine's May 1 - October 31, 2021 sampling season, 272 of 273 drawn fishing access site assignments were completed, producing 1,243 angler interviews from boat launches, marinas, docks, beaches, jetties, breakwaters, etc. from Kittery to Eastport. Specifically by fishing mode, 377 shore anglers, 724 private and rental boat anglers, and 142 anglers fishing from charter boats were interviewed.

How many fishing trips did anglers make in Maine in 2021?

Preliminary estimates show anglers made 1,738,944 individual fishing trips. The following graph offers a picture of the 7-year trend in effort by mode.

Graph of counts of fishing trips in 2015 to 2021, highest in 2020, and most trips from shore, next from private boats

Individual saltwater fishing trips in Maine from 2015 through 2021 by mode.

For More Information

If during the course of the fishing season you encounter DMR staff in the field, please allow us a few minutes of your time to answer some questions about your fishing trip. Thank-you!