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MERCI 3.0 Quick Guide

On the lower and mid-Fraser River, the Management and Evaluation of River Catch Information (MERCI) software system has been used successfully since 1998 to manage roving and access site catch monitoring data for select First Nations chinook and sockeye salmon fisheries (Pinkham and Alexander 1999). The application was designed in 1998 and uses a Visual Basic 6.0/MS Access 2003 platform for data management and automation of weekly catch statistics. Enhancements to the original version included better data-entry verification and streamlining, interface improvements, database security and integrity improvements, improvements to catch estimation algorithms including the provision of confidence limits, and a prototype Excel reporting feature. This software was developed in parallel with significant refinements to the multi-stage aerial-roving-access creel survey used between Mission and Kelly Creek on the Fraser River (Alexander 1998, 1999, 2002a/b, 2003). The survey program provides estimates of weekly catches (including precision) of chinook and sockeye salmon in First Nations set and dip net fisheries operating over approximately 220 km of the Fraser when mandatory landing sites are not used for catch census.

This MERCI 3.0 quick guide will help you generate bootstrap simulations in the MERCI software.  For this guide, we assume that the user has (1) installed MERCI, and (2) has a MERCI-compatible database.  For a more comprehensive coverage of the capabilities of the MERCI software package, please refer to the MERCI User's Manual and training course documentation.    

Step 1: Load the database of interest

Open the File menu and select Open Database to select the file of interest.  Alternatively, click on the folder icon on the top left of the toolbar.  

Step 2: Run estimate tool

Under the Run menu, click on Estimate to begin a bootstrap calculation.  Alternatively, press "F5" to run.  

Step 3: Create a new bootstrap estimate

On the MERCI - Estimation Assumptions window, click on New and give your estimate definition a name.  In this example, we have named the estimated definition "ESSA bootstrap 2011-07-31 to 2011-09-04".  

Step 4: Set the scope of the bootstrap estimates.  

To set the scope of the bootstrap estimates, select parameters from the relevant Scope tabs - Area of interest, Gear of interest, Species of interest, or Dates of interest.  Within each tab, select the sub-unit of interest.  In this example, we have selected "Chinook" and "Sockeye" as Species of interest.  

Note: for Dates of interest, MERCI PET will only handle bootstrap estimates where the "Weekly estimates" option has been selected (and not where "Aggregate survey data over time" has been selected).  

Step 5: Generate a bootstrap simulation

In the General section of the MERCI - Estimation Assumptions window, select the Estimate type: Bootstrap: BC percentile confidence intervals.  

Step 6: Specify the number of bootstrap replicates to perform

Click the small button with [...] beside the Estimate type box.  A small pop-up window will appear, allowing you to specify the number of bootstrap replicates to perform for each combination of sub-units.  A standard number of bootstrap replicates to perform is 10,000.  Click OK.

Step 7: Perform Bootstrap Calculations

Back on the MERCI - Estimation Assumptions window, click Apply All to save all the changes to the estimate definition.  To perform the catch, CPUE, and effort bootstrap calculations, click the button Perform Catch Calculations.  Once the bootstrap simulations are complete, a pop-up window will open indicating that the estimates are complete.   Click OK.  Another window will open prompting you to compact the database.  Click Yes

You now have a MERCI database containing bootstrap estimates that can be used with MERCI PET.