Roving–roving and roving–access creel surveys are the primary techniques used to obtain information on harvest of Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in Idaho sport fisheries. Once interviews are conducted using roving–roving or roving–access survey designs, mean catch rate can be estimated with the ratio-of-means (ROM) estimator, the mean-of-ratios (MOR) estimator, or the MOR estimator with exclusion of short-duration (≤0.5 h) trips. Our objective was to examine the relative bias and precision of total catch estimates obtained from use of the two survey designs and three catch rate estimators for Idaho Chinook salmon fisheries. Information on angling populations was obtained by direct visual observation of portions of Chinook salmon fisheries in three Idaho river systems over an 18-d period. Based on data from the angling populations, Monte Carlo simulations were performed to evaluate the properties of the catch rate estimators and survey designs. Among the three estimators, the ROM estimator provided the most accurate and precise estimates of mean catch rate and total catch for both roving–roving and roving–access surveys. On average, the root mean square error of simulated total catch estimates was 1.42 times greater and relative bias was 160.13 times greater for roving–roving surveys than for roving–access surveys. Length-of-stay bias and nonstationary catch rates in roving–roving surveys both appeared to affect catch rate and total catch estimates. Our results suggest that use of the ROM estimator in combination with an estimate of angler effort provided the least biased and most precise estimates of total catch for both survey designs. However, roving–access surveys were more accurate than roving–roving surveys for Chinook salmon fisheries in Idaho.
Additional publication details
Effect of survey design and catch rate estimation on total catch estimates in Chinook salmon fisheries