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Become a Volunteer Reef Angler or Diver

To help plan your next artificial reef trip, try our new and easy to use Artificial Reefs Interactive Map (link leaves DEC website). The interactive map can help you find out more about reef site characteristics, materials used, coordinates of patch reefs, and the history of deployments.

Artificial Reef Volunteer Fishing & Diving Survey

man on boat holding black sea bass
Angler holding a black sea bass, a common
fish found on New York's artificial reefs.

The Artificial Reef Program is looking for volunteer anglers and divers to record and share their catches and marine life observations while visiting New York's artificial reefs.

Information provided by the public helps us better understand the:

  • abundance of marine life on reefs,
  • species that are being encountered,
  • amount of fishing effort that is occurring, and
  • collectively allows DEC to monitor the performance of the reefs.

This data is used to enhance fishing and diving opportunities in New York's marine waters by creating more effective reefs in the future. For example, if you frequently catch or view a specific species of fish on one type of reef structure or if you have a lack of success on another type of reef material, it is important to report this information so that DEC can determine the best types of reef materials to use in the future.

How to Participate

If you visit one of New York's artificial reefs, submit your observations using the Artificial Reef Volunteer Fishing & Diving Survey (link leaves DEC website).

To submit a survey using your smartphone or tablet, download the Survey123 App (link leaves DEC website). After downloading the Survey 123 App on your smartphone or other device, download the Artificial Reef Volunteer Fishing & Diving Survey by scanning the QR code below with your device's camera. This will prompt your device to 'Open' the survey. After the survey has opened, you will be able to submit a survey using either the browser or through the Survey123 App.

QR code for artificial reef survey
Artificial Reef Volunteer Survey QR Code

For detailed instructions on how to download and fill out the electronic survey, see the Artificial Reef Volunteer Survey123 Instructions (PDF).

All the information you provide is important supplemental reef monitoring data and helps NYSDEC effectively manage and enhance our artificial reefs.

fish swimming
Blackfish (tautog) swimming on Rockaway Reef.
Photo Credit: Dan Mundy

Please include as much information as possible, including all species encountered. Even if no fish or crustaceans are observed during your trip, please make sure to still submit a log. We greatly appreciate your time and effort and look forward to collaborating with you!

For more information, contact us by emailing:

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