The sample sizes required to estimate fish length were determined by bootstrapping from reference length distributions. Depending on population characteristics and species-specific maximum lengths, 1-cm length-frequency histograms required 375-1,200 fish to estimate within 10% with 80% confidence, 2.5-cm histograms required 150-425 fish, proportional stock density required 75-140 fish, and mean length required 75-160 fish. In general, smaller species, smaller populations, populations with higher mortality, and simpler length statistics required fewer samples. Indices that require low sample sizes may be suitable for monitoring population status, and when large changes in length are evident, additional sampling effort may be allocated to more precisely define length status with more informative estimators. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2007.