Most of the surveys will take place at places where anglers on the Ohio tend to congregate - at fishing piers just downstream from navigation dams, and at boat ramps.
"We want to concentrate the effort where the heaviest fishing pressure is, and that's at the tailwater fisheries below the locks," O'Bara said. "The clerks probably will be there more than they are at the boat ramps. We definitely plan to hit all the boat ramps at least once, but we'll be hitting the tailwater fisheries several times apiece."
After anglers answer the field survey, they will be put on a list and will be mailed a more detailed two-page survey. O'Bara said participation in either portion of the survey is voluntary.
DNR officials plan to incorporate the information into future Ohio River fish-management plans.
"For example, if anglers tell us they have a lot of interest in fishing for a species we haven't intensively managed in the past, we might want to start managing that species a little more," O'Bara said.
"Or, if we find that harvest rates on a certain species are too high for the resource to bear, we might want to change the creel limits a little."
Agency planners will keep in mind, however, that the survey is - as O'Bara puts it - "a one-time picture."
"We have to take into account all kinds of things, such as weather patterns and river conditions," he explained. "If it rains for three straight months and nobody's out fishing, that's going to affect the survey. We'll need to take those things into account when we're deciding what to do with the survey data."