FACTS Charter Reporting

​Spend more time being a waterman and less time reporting.

E-Reporting with FACTS allows charter captains in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and tributaries to submit harvest reports directly to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources electronically on the day of harvest. The FACTS mobile web application makes it possible for captains to have 24/7 access to their harvest records, provide fisheries managers real-time harvest information, and could help to manage your business. You can report on your desktop, tablet, smartphone, or through the call center.
E-Reporting Sign Up Button

Program Update - May 28, 2020Due to the executive order by Governor Hogan, the E-Reporting with FACTS in-person Charter training sessions have been cancelled. The E-Reporting Team is working remotely and appreciates your patience as we continue our outreach and training efforts. Online and video training options for new Charter users are available and take less than thirty minutes to complete. Please use the E-Reporting Sign Up button to learn more about the pilot program and get started with FACTS. 

Available Training Options: 
  • Online TrainingThis tutorial takes about 30 minutes and covers everything you would hear at an in-person Charter training session.  It is a self-paced combination of brief videos and information that lets you get the most out of your FACTS account. The link to the training will be emailed to you by the E-Reporting Team.
  • Fast FACTS Video - This brief program overview is about 10 minutes long and covers just the basics for the FACTS Charter program. It is designed to help get people started with FACTS and then we'll offer in-person training at a later date when circumstances allow. The link to the supporting Training Documents is available on our website and the Fast FACTS video link will be emailed to you by the E-Reporting Team..​
  • Mentoring - Know a FACTS user? See if they can show you the basics and we'll provide the training support with the Training Documents and program videos. Please be safe and observe appropriate social distancing requirements when working with others. 

​​​​​​​​​​NOTE:  All program participants need a DNRid in order to have a FACTS account.  If you need a DNRid, please use the COMPASS Tutorial to sign-in and create an account in the COMPASS licensing system​ to have one assigned to you.
​​​​​​​​​​Why aren't recreational anglers using FACTS in Maryland? 
With the department's pilot program for the for-hire fleet successfully launched, we've heard some questions about why the recreational fishery is not able to use the system. Beyond the budget limitations of funding such a program, the Maryland licensing requirements make it more difficult to implement any census, including a real-time reporting system for such a large and changing population of recreational anglers.  View this Handout​ to learn more​


Charter Pilot End of Season Update 
and Program Feedback

Woman holding Tautog

The for-hire pilot using the FACTSTM electronic reporting system has been designed as a comprehensive and verifiable real-time reporting program. During the 2020 season, 300 charter vessels operating in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay waters were listed as being part of the pilot. Between May 1 and December 31, 2020 a total of 13,510 trips were reported by captains using the system. Trip information submitted by program participants shows that striped bass represented 50% of the total count of species Kept during the season. The next most commonly reported species were:  spot (30%), white perch (15%), and bluefish (2%).

To help assess the overall success of the pilot’s first year, two feedback surveys were distributed to program participants. These voluntary surveys gave captains the opportunity to provide feedback about their experience using the system. The Mid-Pilot Survey was sent in September and the End of Season Survey was sent in December. The results of both surveys were reviewed by the E-Reporting Team and the core group of volunteer captains. While the overall results of the survey were positive (preferred to paper reports, good customer service and helpful business tool), requests to simplify the End Hail process were also heard. The development team is working on new ways to streamline the hailing process and improve the user experience. To provide additional information about program requirements, and how to avoid common reporting mistakes, a new Myths Busted flyer is available and will be distributed to all Charter Pilot participants.

Part of the success of the program depends on the required harvest verification done by Roving Monitors and Onboard Observers. The challenges presented by COVID-19 restrictions initially delayed the sampling activities of the monitors. However, by early summer both groups of harvest verifiers were active in the field. While the Roving Monitors were able to meet many of the program participants at the dock, there continued to be a need to ensure that the Estimated Landing Time and Location being reported in participant End Hails were accurate. In addition, while vessel capacity was sometimes a factor, it was frequently difficult to schedule an Onboard Observer to conduct the required real-time verification of trip activity. The development team will continue working with industry, to help find ways to improve the ability of the Onboard Observers to book trips with program captains.

Updates about the progress of the program will continue to be provided during the term of the pilot. If you have feedback and or suggestions for the FACTS program, please contact the E-Reporting Team:  FisheriesEReporting.dnr@maryland.gov.



        Get a head start! 

Sign up to be contacted by the E-Reporting Team 
and receive more information.

Missing harvest reports? Get a harvest report checkup and submit any missing reports prior to joining the program. You can print blank copies of all the required harvest reports online. Please contact the commercial harvest reporting group at​ FisheriesHarvestReport.dnr@maryland.gov​ or 410-260-8301 for assistance.

Have a TFL or other finfish license? If you are interested in joining the FACTS program for your Blue Crab and/or Finfish reporting, contact us today to get started. You’ll be able to report all your harvest activity online and use the program’s special flexibilities. There are several options for learning how to report electronically and we can help you find the way that works best for you.​

For more information, contact the program coordinator,
Stephanie Richards,