Track My Fish: Engaging Recreational Anglers in Fish Tagging Programs

Monday, August 18, 2014
Exhibit Hall 400AB (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Trevor S. Avery , Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada
Julia Whidden , Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada
Danielle Quinn , Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS, Canada
Track My Fish (www.trackmyfish.ca) is an online fish tagging database and mapping tool used for the collection of recreational angler data such as fish size, numbers, and tag returns. Through both formal interviews and riverbank conversations, anglers provided three main reasons for not reporting fish tag information (1) they were not aware or did not understand fish tagging programs and accompanying methodologies, (2) there was not a standard method of returning fish tag information, and (3) they rarely received any information about their tagged fish in return. The purpose of this interactive website is to facilitate the transmission of fish tag information between anglers and researchers, with the goal of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of fish tagging programs and provide rewards to participants. TrackMyFish.ca is highly customizable and actively updated web portal and includes a mobile phone app. We invite all researchers involved in fish tagging programs to include their tag information in the database. We demonstrate this system with our Tagging Ambassador program that directly involves recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, and First Nation members in striped bass tagging. Trained Tagging Ambassadors are permitted to tag striped bass, further supplementing the database.