Geoffrey White, Coleby Wilt, Alex DiJohnson and Sarah Rains, Access Point Angler Intercept Survey (APAIS) Team
Due to the herculean efforts of the APAIS Team of Mr. Geoff White, Mr. Coleby Wilt, Mr. Alex DiJohnson and Ms. Sarah Rains over the past two years, the collection of recreational survey data successfully transitioned from a federal contractor to the state fishery agencies from Maine through Georgia. As part of the transition, the APAIS Team worked to shift the collection program from an outdated, paper-based system that included tens of thousands of paper interview forms to an automated system, whereby data is now collected via a tablet-based Dockside Interceptor. The Dockside Interceptor has reduced data transfer from 21 days to 1 day, completely eliminating all the paper steps.
The APAIS Team also developed a Computer Assisted Telephone Interview tool to conduct the for-hire telephone survey, replacing a manual transcription process in the three states conducting the survey. The system was first deployed in North Carolina in January 2019, with the state estimating a 33% increase in efficiency and a better than 80% response rate.
These two innovative systems, spearheaded by the APAIS Team, are completely changing the complexion of recreational data collection on the Atlantic coast, resulting in more accurate and timely data with a significantly reduced workload.