APAIS Program The NOAA Fisheries Marine Recreational Information Program’s Access Point Angler Intercept Survey (APAIS) is the primary method used to collect recreational saltwater fishing data on the Atlantic Coast. Rhode Island Marine Fisheries staff have been conducting the survey since 2016. Prior to that, a subcontractor selected by the federal government conducted the survey. The change to state conduct of the survey was prompted by the fact that states prior to RI that had taken over APAIS saw measurable improvement in the quality of the data generated from the survey. The public’s perception of the survey in these states also improved as a result of the new local flavor of the MRIP survey. If an Angler is selected by one of our interviewers, they are asked a short list of question about their fishing practices and demographics. The demographic information is used to validate the results of the survey. The information collected during an interview is not shared with any person or organization not involved in the survey. Any data derived from these interviews is provided to the general public, it is presented in a manner that removes any specific information related to the angler. The program begins every March and run until December 31 annually. The goal is to complete over 589 assignments from shore, private/rental and charter boat modes. This doesn’t include the additional 50 at sea-intercept sampling assignments, which will be carried out during the same time period. The RIDMF is vested in increasing the quality and quantity of the data collected from our important recreational fisheries, and committed to improving our outreach with our recreational saltwater community. Staff hired and trained by RIDMF to be out in the field in direct contact with the recreational fishing community should help achieve our goals by fostering more acceptance of the survey. The Fisheries Interviews are listed below. If you see them out there feel free to say hello and participate in the recreational survey. Together we can become true partners in the collection of this critical marine recreational fisheries data. Better data, Better fishing. Mike Bucko I was hired by RI Marine fisheries in October of 2015 as the lead Biologist for the APAIS in RI. Prior to that, I served for over a decade as the Rhode Island Advisor to the ACCSP and sat on the Recreational Technical Committee. Additionally, I operated my own fishing tackle and reel repair in Fall River MA for 39 years. I graduated from UMass Dartmouth with a BS in Physics. Some of my hobbies include shore fishing in Rhode Island, cooking and weather forecasting. Nathan Andrews Growing up in the Ocean State, I have always been drawn to the water. I have served as an APAIS Fisheries Specialist since 2016. I supervise all field staff on the program and oversee the training of all seasonal staff, specializing in Charter boat and Headboat modes. I am also a MRIP Vessel Representative and FHTS Coordinator. The data collected by our fisheries technicians is vital to fisheries management and helps formulate recreational fishing harvest data, fishing effort, and a socio-economic profile of the constituents utilizing our fishery resources. Thus, playing a key role in fisheries regulations and stock assessment. My background is in Marine Biology, and I graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2015 with a BS. I am an avid surfcaster, and as such, this data collection is crucially important to me both as a scientist and an angler. So, if you see me or one of our staff out in the field, take a moment to let us talk to you about your recreational fishing habits and let us measure your catch! Your Fishing Counts! Mackenzie Gendron As a Fisheries Specialist for the APAIS Program I help coordinate trainings for the seasonal staff members and help run the For- Hire Telephone Survey. I have been with the Rhode Island APAIS Program since 2018. I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Marine Biology. I am very passionate about protecting our oceans. With the data that we collect in the field we can help create management plans and regulations that will help RI have a sustainable fishery for years to come! Ashley Smith I am currently a junior at the University of Rhode Island majoring in Marine Affairs and minoring in Marine Biology. Growing up in a military family, my love for the ocean and marine life formed through my experiences of visiting the ocean in different parts of the world and different cultures that have a relationship with it. I love to spend every moment I can at the beach, whether I am swimming, beachcombing, or just observing the marine life, it is certainly the place where I’m happiest! I joined the APAIS program to further my knowledge of marine species and gain experience in my field of study, as well as see more of beautiful Rhode Island. Rebecca Doughty I currently am studying Offshore Wind Energy at UMass Amherst with an interest in fisheries representation during a wind farm’s stakeholder engagement process. I joined the APAIS program to interact with local anglers and gain hands-on experience learning about Rhode Island’s coastal fisheries. In my spare time, I’m either rock climbing, beach combing, or hiking around New England! Alexandria Briere I am currently a senior majoring in Biology and minoring in Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island. Living in inland Connecticut for my whole life, I didn’t get the chance to experience the ocean as often as I would have liked to. Now that I live in Rhode Island, I take every chance to go to the beach and to be by the ocean. I joined the APAIS program so that I can get familiar with handling different species of fish and gain useful experience in my field of study. Kevin Giordano I am a senior marine biology major at the university of Rhode Island and plan on staying here in Rhode Island to pursue my masters. Some of my hobbies include fishing, hiking, and beach going. I greatly look forward to meeting new people in the field and helping protect marine life. Nathan Brown My name is Nate, and I will be in the field at popular fishing spots throughout the summer and fall months to talk about your fishing. I have backgrounds in natural resource management and aquaculture so if you have any questions regarding these topics, or just Rhode Island fishing in general, please feel free to ask! Matthew Rock My name is Matt Rock. I am pursuing and B.S. in Environmental Biology from Providence College with a minor in Computer Science. I have spent the last two years studying the effects of pollution resistance on fish living in New Bedford Harbor. It was during my research that I discovered how much I enjoyed fieldwork and data collection, this led me to join the APAIS program. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, tide-pooling, and playing Pokémon!