Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

TWRA's Region 4 - East Tennessee

Reservoir Fisheries Management Program

Angler/Creel Survey Results


Angler surveys are a traditional method of collecting information about the various fisheries within a reservoir and provide insight concerning what fishermen catch and harvest.  Length and weight data is obtained for fish which may be difficult to collect with traditional sampling gear like electrofishing.  Economic information can also be obtained, providing insight into a fishery's relative value.

The TWRA uses "roving"(boat) versus "access point"(ramp) surveys on reservoirs because it allows for the efficient use of the creel clerk's time, provides the highest probability of angler contact, and gives precise estimates of annual fishing effort, catch and harvest.

Large reservoirs are more effectively surveyed with progressive checkpoint counts (individual interviews are obtained while in the process of making total counts of anglers in the survey area).  Clerks use an annual sampling schedule which randomly assigns areas of the reservoir and days to work.  Area probabilities are generated on a spatial and seasonal basis to improve sampling of seasonal fisheries and those days of the week more heavily fished (ie: winter walleye runs and weekends).

Creel clerks attempt to interview all active anglers (boat and bank) in the assigned work area.  When high numbers of anglers are present or the assigned work circuit is large, interview effort is paced and spread out over the entire area.  The overall objective is to completely cover the sample area while conducting as many interviews as possible within the time scheduled.

An economic survey is conducted for every person willing to be interviewed.  They are conducted randomly and only for those persons who have not been interviewed during the previous six months.  All questions regarding monetary expenditures are in reference to the previous 24-hour period and not the duration of a multi-day fishing trip.

Creel design in detail 2012 pdf (40 k)
Additional information about TWRA's creel surveys

Most Recent Creel Survey Results (PDF):

Davy Crockett
Fort Patrick Henry
John Sevier
Norris Melton Hill Fort Loudoun Tellico Douglas Cherokee Fort Patrick Henry Watauga Boone South Holston John Sevier Davy Crockett Wilbur Chilhowee Calderwood

Jason Lankford - former R4 creel clerk