After a review of different recreational catch estimate methods, Canada developed an internet / email based survey of all recreational fishing licence holders as a means of monitoring all recreational fishery strata in BC marine waters at low cost. This survey is called the internet recreational effort and catch (iREC) survey. The iREC survey requires a portion of licence holders provide a simple log of fishing activity and catch for a one month period. These reports are expanded to all licence holders resulting in an estimate of catch of Chinook and Coho salmon and all other species caught recreationally by fishing method, month, and area. The methodology was peer reviewed and accepted at a Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat meeting (CSAS) in June 2015.
When iREC estimates during low effort periods are combined with peak period creel surveys the result is estimates of total annual Canadian catch of Pacific Salmon Treaty relevant species for the first time. This iREC-creel integrated survey approach has the potential to become the catch estimation tool for the marine recreational fishery in BC. This proposal is to continue the development, operation and management implementation of the iREC survey.