In this project, researchers and the local fishing community jointly developed statistically rigorous protocols for using volunteer anglers to collect fisheries management data. The test-bed for this citizen science/collaborative fisheries project was to collect baseline data for four of the new central coast marine protected areas (MPAs) and their associated reference sites. The project hinged on the volunteer participation of hundreds of experienced recreational anglers who caught and released fish in the survey sites for set periods of time and with standardized gear. With this high level of community support, scientists were able to identify, measure, and release almost 8,000 fish in a three-month period, some of which were tagged. From a scientific perspective, the species compositions, lengths, and relative abundances provide a snapshot of the region's groundfish in 2007. These baseline data can be used to monitor the health of MPAs to compare with future ecological changes. The tagged fish in the region have the potential to add to what is known about local fish populations, growth rates, movement, and home range sizes of key species. Such information can be beneficial to federal and state stock assessments. Researchers believe that stakeholder collaboration in the MPA monitoring project enhances local support for the state’s conservation plan. The value of this, they say, cannot be over-stressed.