Survey for recreational effort and catch

Instructions on how to fill out the ongoing monthly internet survey for collecting information on fishing effort and catch.


Internet Recreational Effort and Catch (iREC) reporting program

Welcome to the Internet Recreational Effort and Catch reporting program. This program collects information on recreational fishing activity in tidal waters from thousands of participants, who each report on their fishing activity and catch for a single month. Over 95% of all licence holders are selected each year to provide an iREC report or an internet Annual Recreational Catch (iARC) report.

Completing your report helps to sustainably manage our shared fishery resources. It is also a condition of your tidal waters recreational fishing license to provide your fishing information through this reporting program. Even if you didn't fish at all or did fish but didn't bring home any catch, you are still required to complete your report.

When buying your licence, you will be informed whether you have been selected. Look at the bottom of your licence to determine for which program your licence has been selected. There you will find details on completing your report, including your access ID and the closing date of your program.

The department will also send emails reminding you to complete your report. The emails will include a direct link to the online reporting site. It is important that your current email address is entered in your DFO licensing system account, so you will receive these reminders.

To complete your iREC report, please follow these step-by-step instructions. To start your report, logon using the information provided at the bottom of your licence or click on the link provided in one of your reminder emails. If you did not fish during your reporting period, please click the blue "I did not fish tidal waters recreationally…" button below. This option is only available when your reporting period is finished.

If you wish to return to the program and complete it at a later time, you may select the red "Close Current Session…" button.

If you fished during your reporting period, select the green "Continue to report fishing and to complete your report" button.

A calendar will appear. Please select the dates on which you went fishing. You may select multiple dates, or you can add additional dates later.

Note that your calendar will only show the month for which you have been selected to report, and will only allow you to report for dates in your reporting period. Once selected, you cannot remove dates from this window, but if you wish to remove dates, you will find the option on the report dashboard. Choose "Save".

This will open your report dashboard. Here, the entries for each date you fished will be listed. You can add additional dates using the "Add Date" button. Using the green "Add an Area" button, record each area where you fished on a given date. You can use a map to choose an area, or pick from a list. On the map, zoom in on the area you fished, select the area and click on the green button in the upper left corner to confirm and continue.

This returns you to the report dashboard. Enter all the areas you fished on each date. Use the blue buttons to select all of the fishing methods you used on each date in each area. Once a method is selected, an orange button will appear that allows to you complete the catch report for this date/area/method combination. Click this button.

A new screen will open, where you can enter details about your fishing event. In this box, add the number of children with Juvenile fishing licences, for whom you are responsible and who fished with you. You will be reporting their catch along with yours. If you select "Angling from Boat", please record if your fishing day originated from a sport fishing lodge. Also, please record if you fished with a paid guide. This information is not requested for other fishing methods.

If you selected "Shellfish trapping from Boat", please record which types of traps you checked. Then, select the green "Save and continue to next page" button. On the next page, please enter the number of each type of fish or shellfish caught by you and the children fishing with you for whom you are responsible. Do not record fish caught by other adults in your group. You do not need to enter "0" for any species you did not catch. Scroll down the list until you find the species you caught.

You may enter multiple species of fish. For information on species identification, please follow the links provided at the top of the page. Also, some species have information buttons which, when clicked, provide more information about the species. For example, for Chinook and Coho, an illustration appears that shows the difference between hatchery-marked and wild salmon.

Please enter the number of fish you kept and the number that you released for each species. When completed, please scroll down and select the green "Continue to Review and Confirm page" button.

The catch form with the numbers you provided is now displayed again. Please ensure your entries are correct. You may make corrections on this form. Once correct, please scroll down and select the green "I have reviewed my responses, continue" button. You will not be able to change your catch information for this report after you select this button.

You will now return to Your Report Dashboard. You can now complete catch reports for any other fishing events.

You may also add further dates by selecting the green "Add Date" button. You may remove dates made in error from this page by selecting the red "Remove…" button.

If you have no further dates or details to report at this time, please select the red "Close current session. I will return later to complete my report" button.

Once the month is finished, please return to the program before the closing date and add further reports or confirm that all your fishing information has been provided for the month. If you are completing the report after the month is finished, and you have no further information to add, you may select the green "I have completely reported all of my fishing information for my reporting period" button. This option is not available until all the reports that have been started are completed.

A pop-up box will ask you to confirm that you have entered all fishing information for reporting period. Click "OK".

This is the last screen where you can enter information. You can add comments about your fishing activity or the program here if you wish; they are not required. If you have questions, email us using the link provided.

Once completed, please select the green "Complete report…" button.

Thank you for your cooperation. This information allows Fisheries and Oceans Canada to estimate recreational fishing effort and catch, which helps to ensure a vibrant, sustainable recreational fishery into the future.

For more information on the iREC reporting program, please visit