So I have been doing some investigating

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  1. #1
    Senior Member CaptBobBryant's Avatar
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    So I have been doing some investigating

    And it has grown into a full scale data analysis and possible white paper (I will post here when the draft is ready).
    I have been spending the last few months pouring over the MRFSS/CHTS, which is the survey that produces the participation and effort estimates, that ultimately go into the catch models.

    Under the new MRIP system NMFS is still using the outdated and what I believe is just plain wrong MRFSS/CHTS (Still "FATALLY FLAWED") telephone survey of participation and effort.
    The CHTS (Coastal Household Telephone Survey) is produced every 2 months and provides NMFS with the participation and effort variables they use to produce catch analysis.
    Now please keep in mind that year over year there are about 1 million recreational licenses sold in Florida and for any given year there are about 1.5 to 1.75 million licensed anglers in the state.

    I pulled data from NMFS' MRFSS/CHTS and the 1991 to 2006 US Census Bureau Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation Reports (links to the full report provided and to query the NMFS data simply follow their link and query Effort and Participants from 1991 to 2010).

    Since the US Census report only comes out every 5 years, I used the MRFSS/CHTS 5 year running averages to perform my comparison (this gave NMFS the benefit of a doubt, but they need all the help they can get).
    The statistical magic performed paints a very different picture than the ever increasing out of control recreational effort created by NMFS and if accurate, means that our catch effort has been overstated by some 150% in some cases to well over 400% in others.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can see that with a tiny bit of smoothing the data seems to fit a more rational patterns. Any time you see a data set showing extremely wild variations in data, you should suspect that something is wrong. Now even the smoothed data shows higher than expected results as it relies on the underlying raw data, but by dampening the high variability we can see the over all slope of the line is fairly consistent and this can be measured by other variables such as tackle and license sales, plus tourism data, all of which point to a much lower estimate than is reflected here.

    I postulate a few theories on why the NMFS data does not seem to fit the mold of reality.
    The first is that MRFSS/CHTS was designed in 1979 and has undergone few if any modifications to account for the changes in coastal demographics or technology.
    The CHTS only uses land based lines in coastal counties.
    Secondly there is too much randomization in a study like this. As I posted in a previous thread, trying to produce a study on effort and participation from a larger population without filtering out noise (like asking a room full of women about menses and then saying that a certain percentage of both men and women menstruate is a bad model).

    What caught my attention the most was not the actual estimates, but moreover how those estimates changed between years and waves.
    One possibility is the way in which the sampling is randomized. For instance in Pinellas county approximately 321 land line phone numbers are selected and they need 32 to be answered after at least 5 attempts.
    Now if in the sample there are 32 random samples that are heavily loaded with fishing participants then that survey will show a higher than expected participation result and should they get 32 widows who have never touch a fishing pole, then you can see that the sample would have below expected results. This I believe accounts for the wild swings we see in the data and as NMFS uses fill in data the errors continue to propagate.
    Notice that in the very first CHTS years, the estimate is fairly close to 1.5 million resident anglers , but that the overstatement of visiting anglers throws the whole data set out of whack. Since the errors are continually propagated one wave and one year to the next, the sampling continues to grow, until something forces it to crash (such as a severe natural disaster or the economic meltdown or a statistical correction).

    I am not 100% convinced that the US Census Bureau report is solid enough to be the basis to make real estimates, but I do believe it provides a solid baseline to validate NMFS' estimates. One thing I am certain of thought is that there are not 3 to 4 million uncounted anglers in Florida and even accounting for under 16 and over 65 and active duty military, that the real estimate of annual participation can be mathematically tied to the number of active licenses int the state with a factor of about 1.75 to 2.5. The maxima/minima I use are the number of active licenses (lower bound) and 3 times the active licenses (upper bound) which returns a number between 1.5 million and 4.5 million.


    To query NMFS Data
    http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/recr...ies/index.html

    To see the 1991 to 2006 Full Census Bureau reports (I used the Florida Reports only) Tables 8, 9 and 10 provide Saltwater angler data.
    http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/fishing.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mackeral Snatcher's Avatar
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    Bob. you know me and I am NOT trying to be a wise azz but who do you hope to be able to get to pay attention?
    Who is this data gonna go to? We already know NOAA and NMFS will totally ignore or dismiss it.

    I appreciate all the effort you put into this, you have much more patience then I.( not to mention smarts)
    Last edited by Mackeral Snatcher; 03-05-2012 at 11:54 AM. Reason: to insert Not
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.

  3. #3
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    I think if we continually submit this type of information to the feds, "on the record", and they continue to ignore it, that it could build a legal case for their actions which are resulting in substantial damages to coastal communities.

    One thing is clear - they have willfully and purposely developed a system that promises to produce results that they can manipulate at will. Random phone calls in this, the 21st century (?), the "information age" marked by instantaneous data transmission across smart phones, smart tablets, and the internet, is beyond ludicrous.

    Developing a system for our fisheries modeled on other already successful systems, such as the federal duck stamp which provides viable, accurate data regarding how many duck hunters there are, would not allow them to manipulate the data to fit their pre-determined outcome.

    Capt. Thomas J. Hilton

  4. #4
    Senior Member CaptBobBryant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackeral Snatcher View Post
    Bob. you know me and I am trying to be a wise azz but who do you hope to be able to get to pay attention?
    Who is this data gonna go to? We already know NOAA and NMFS will totally ignore or dismiss it.

    I appreciate all the effort you put into this, you have much more patience then I.( not to mention smarts)
    The NRC in 2004/2005 bashed the CHTS, NMFS did not change this.
    It was part of the Congressional mandate to fix especially this part.
    They did not
    I will give it to congress and let them deal with it, plus I will asked that NMFS be forced to rerun all their models using controlled estimates with the US Census as baselines.

  5. #5
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    One method that sometimes gets results is to have an organization or larger entity make contact with a senator, like Bill Nelson, and ask him to formally request (prepared by staff) a thorough response to your findings. NMFS and crew will not ignore such a request from a senator.

  6. #6
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    Bill Nelson - your kidding right??


    Bob in my post a few days ago you were in my thoughts with those quotes. No matter how times its pointed out sea level has been and still is rising at 2mm a century or less they still blabber on a about 3M and inundating half the world, and they have real measurements to work with. We all know your right though and good luck with it, I think all will change after Nov, they may listen to you.
    Last edited by Eggsuckindog; 03-05-2012 at 08:49 PM.
    1976 SeaCraft master Angler - Merc 200 XRi

  7. #7
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    Capt. Bob deserves kudos for exposing NOAA's attempt to "hide the decline" yet again! Same players same game Dog and serious money at stake for some.

  8. #8
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    Bob,

    When you get your stats done, send them, don't email, print out and mail to the following members of the House Committee on Natural Resources:

    HON Doc Hastings, Chairman, House Committee on Natural Resources
    HON Don Young
    HON John J. Duncan
    HON Louie Gohmert
    HON Rob Bishop
    HON Doug Lamborn
    HON Rob Wittman
    HON Paul Broun
    HON John Flemming (***Chairman Subcommittee of Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs - they own NOAA purse strings)
    HON Mike Coffman
    HON Tom McClintock
    HON Glenn "GT" Thompson
    HON Jeff Denham
    HON Dan Benishek
    HON David Rivera
    HON Jeff Duncan
    HON Scott Tipton
    HON Paul Gosar
    HON Raul Labrador
    HON Kristi Noem
    HON Steve Southerland II
    HON Bill Flores
    HON Andy Harris
    HON Jeff Landry
    HON Jon Runyan
    HON Bill Johnson
    HON Mark Amodei

    I know it's a few stamps (maybe tax deductible ) but sending personal mail will get through the staffers to the Congressmen. Use good paper as well ;)
    Last edited by Typiclese; 03-06-2012 at 09:44 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CaptBobBryant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typiclese View Post
    Bob,

    When you get your stats done, send them, don't email, print out and mail to the following members of the House Committee on Natural Resources:

    HON Doc Hastings, Chairman, House Committee on Natural Resources
    HON Don Young
    HON John J. Duncan
    HON Louie Gohmert
    HON Rob Bishop
    HON Doug Lamborn
    HON Rob Wittman
    HON Paul Broun
    HON John Flemming (***Chairman Subcommittee of Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs - they own NOAA purse strings)
    HON Mike Coffman
    HON Tom McClintock
    HON Glenn "GT" Thompson
    HON Jeff Denham
    HON Dan Benishek
    HON David Rivera
    HON Jeff Duncan
    HON Scott Tipton
    HON Paul Gosar
    HON Raul Labrador
    HON Kristi Noem
    HON Steve Southerland II
    HON Bill Flores
    HON Andy Harris
    HON Jeff Landry
    HON Jon Runyan
    HON Bill Johnson
    HON Mark Amodei

    I know it's a few stamps (maybe tax deductible ) but sending personal mail will get through the staffers to the Congressmen. Use good paper as well ;)
    Yes that is the plan. I am also making contact with a couple of non-aligned fishery folks and statisticians to review my analysis as well.
    I am doing a special report for North Carolina and Mass to send to Jones of NC and Brown and Frank of MASS.

    I find it very strange and interesting that our state Reps and Senators in DC, have little time for our silly sport; although it does bring in billions annually and support 100,000 jobs.

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