AGFC fishing for anglers’ views: Press Release

      Ask some anglers about their latest trip and you may hear stories of fish so large even the photos weighed five pounds, but the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is asking for some honest feedback in a new mail-in survey being mailed next week. The survey will help identify trends in angling and areas where the resource can be managed more effectively for the benefit of all Arkansans.

Jason Olive, assistant chief of the AGFC Fisheries Division, said this is the first survey of this kind done in Arkansas since 2000.
“We’re sending out 10,000 surveys to randomly selected Arkansas residents who purchased a license in 2016,” Olive said. “We sell around 375,000 licenses per year, so the odds of any individual getting one will be pretty small.”
With only about one in every 40 anglers receiving a survey, some anglers may ask how the results could be correct, but Olive explains that when done in a scientific manner with randomly selected participants, the results from the sample size will reflect the overall population’s answers extremely well.
“As always, we will have public comment periods later this year for suggestions and input from avid anglers,” Olive said. “This survey is meant for all anglers, no matter if they fished one day or 100. Everyone’s input is critical to paint the whole picture of what the public wants and how we can improve how we serve them.”
Ben Batten, AGFC assistant chief, also pointed out that the survey is being conducted by an outside contractor to ensure that the process is handled as scientifically as possible, without any influence from AGFC staff. “It’s important on these sorts of surveys that we use an outside organization, so that we remain open-minded about any possible outcomes,” he said. “And using an outside organization that has a good history with these sorts of surveys adds a much higher level of credibility to the results.”
Mississippi State University was chosen among bids submitted earlier this year to complete the survey work. No in-state agencies or organizations submitted a bid. “MSU has vast experience in this field, conducting these types of surveys for Mississippi, Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, and will do an excellent job,” Batten said. “But don’t be surprised when you see a Mississippi State logo on the envelope.”
Batten says the survey is the first of three that will be conducted in the next few years to gauge trends in angling and better understand what anglers want when they visit a lake, river or stream in The Natural State.
“This isn’t just about bass anglers or trout anglers or crappie anglers,” Batten said. “This is about everyone who wets a line in Arkansas, so even if you only went bream fishing once with friends last year, taking 10 to 15 minutes to fill out this survey will help us learn how to make that experience better next time.”