The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) has developed an app that allows anglers to contribute their catch data.
The CRCL-Fish for Data app is a way for anglers to connect their fishing experiences to the changing environment and contribute data that helps explain those connections.
It is no surprise to anyone who spends time on the coast that things are changing — wetland habitat is becoming open water, storms are causing greater flooding, and as we are opening the Bonnet Carre spillway for an unprecedented second time in the same year, it is quite clear that shifting weather patterns are changing the environment and how we interact with it.
Talk to a longtime Louisiana angler about their experiences fishing and you’d be hard-pressed not to hear stories of how fishing is changing.
It’s becoming more and more difficult to make a limit of specks in some areas while many more reds are being landed in other areas.
Changes in species, size and effort are linked to changes along the coast.
The data app is a way to document anglers catches in a manner that we can analyze to gain a better understanding of our changing coast.
An angler simply has to download the app; upload a picture from the next fishing spot; and provide the number, species and size of the catch.
Create a personal log book
The app provides the angler with all available environmental conditions related to the time and location of the catch (tide, salinity, wind, temperature, pressure, etc.), and it creates a personal “log book” — no sharing of your fishing spots — that can be referenced when deciding where to target on their next trip.
Over time, the data that anglers contribute to this effort can help tell a more complete story of how fishing is affected by changes like increasing land loss in some areas, projects that rebuild marsh and restore the banks of bayous in other areas, changes in weather patterns, and other events like hurricanes and oil spills.
If you love fishing in “Sportsman’s Paradise” then you should have this app on your phone to contribute this valuable data that will help us all gain a better understanding of how our fishing is changing as the coast experiences change.