Biologists seek data from anglers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — As the open-water fishing season begins in Michigan, state biologists are asking anglers to share information about their catches.

The Department of Natural Resources is assigning creel clerks to boat launches and piers around the state. They’ll survey anglers about matters such as trip length, target species and the number and type of fish caught.

In some cases, they may ask to measure or weigh fish and take scales or other body parts for aging.

Fisheries biologist Tracy Claramunt said the data will help managers keep the state’s fish populations healthy. Accurate participation data is important, because the DNR uses it to figure out approximate harvests.

It’s part of the DNR’s Statewide Angler Survey Program, a long-term monitoring effort that tracks recreational fisheries and harvest in Michigan waters.