PA Steelhead Association Fishing Survey

Originally published August 2022 in West County News . . . as of March 2023 Ari Capotis declined re-nomination to the PSA Board of Directors. She currently serves as a general member.

PA Steelhead Association Fishing Survey

By Christopher Larson and Ariadne Capotis, PA Steelhead Association Board Members

The PA Steelhead Association (PSA) sponsors a Steelhead Fishing Survey, and we are asking everyone who fishes for “Steelies” to participate.   The survey gathers information to track the quality of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Steelhead fishery and to look at the demographics of the angler population.  The survey can easily be loaded onto your cell phone and/or home computer and takes no more than 2 minutes to fill out.

Information the survey gathers includes the date you fished, where you fished (just the creek, your spots are safe), how many you caught, your age range, gender, how you rated your experience, a comment section, and whether you desire to participate in a raffle for free PSA apparel or not. We do ask for your email, but do not share that information. We use emails to identify how many unique survey submitters are participating.  We may receive 100 surveys, but without email addresses we have no way of knowing how many different individuals submitted those surveys. Two anglers may have submitted fifty surveys each (2 unique survey submitters) or twenty anglers may have submitted five surveys each (20 unique survey submitters).

We have gathered almost 400 surveys for the 2021-2022 fishing season so far. We will share information that we have compiled from the survey data at the end of the season with the PA Fish & Boat Commission.  This survey will be useful for assessing the overall health and public sentiment of the fishery from year to year, but it also allows us to identify individual Pennsylvania Lake Erie tributaries with declining fish returns that may warrant further investigation. 

The comment section of the survey is open to any angler observations or suggestions and may provide the most useful feedback in the entire survey. A wide range of comments are entered, including great fishing experiences, poor fishing experiences, snagging observed, poor stream etiquette by others, crowded conditions on the streams, shortage of Waterway Conservation Officers to enforce regulations, catch and release advocates, the need for more easements, Steelhead fin clips noted, etc.Thereare positive comments, but many anglers took this section as an opportunity to provide constructive criticism, which is greatly appreciated. This information will be shared with the PA Fish & Boat Commission.

To make this survey useful we need as many entries as possible to make the information reliable.  Even if you did not catch a Steelhead (or Brown Trout), we ask that you still fill out a survey. You can access the survey by scanning the QR code displayed below with either a QR Code Reader or your iPhone’s camera. You can also access the survey via the internet at:  Once you open into the survey you can save it on your phone for future submissions.  A survey link is also available on the PA Steelhead Association Facebook page. Thank you for your participation! Tight lines!

The PA Steelhead Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to enhance and preserve the Lake Erie Steelhead fishery in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

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