Record your catch and share information with Michigan State University to help us better understand the contribution of stocked and wild fish to your favorite waters.
The Great Lakes Angler Diary was developed by Brenton Consulting, LLC, with funding from Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, and Detroit Area Steelheaders.
The purpose of this app is to allow anglers to record their catches and share information with biologists. At a minimum, anglers are asked to record the following for all steelhead (rainbow trout) caught during the fishing season:
- Length (to nearest quarter inch)
- Fate (kept or released)
- Sex (male or female)
- Fin clips
Fin clip information can help to determine whether a fish was stocked, and in some case where a fish was stocked. Information collected by app users will help biologists understand how stocked and wild steelhead contribute to fisheries around the Great Lakes and in streams.
Other fish species can also be recorded using the app, as well. Information on Chinook salmon is also particularly important because Chinook salmon stocked in U.S. waters of lakes Michigan and Huron prior to 2020 were marked with an adipose fin clip.
The Great Lakes Angler Diary app also includes a help menu that teaches anglers how to identify trout and salmon species, how to identify and interpret fin clips, and how to correctly measure fish.
When you register to use Great Lakes Angler Diary, you will be asked to generate a user profile consisting of your e-mail address, name, home water where you fish most often, and whether you typically fish for steelhead in streams or trout and salmon on the big lake.
This information will be shared with app developers and MSU Extension, along with a unique Volunteer Number that will be associated with your profile. To protect the confidentiality of your data, your name and e-mail address will not be stored with the catch and trip details that you record while using the app. The Volunteer Number will be the only identifier within the catch and trip database.
Catch and trip details will be downloaded periodically by MSU Extension and stored separately from records that link your Volunteer Number to your name and e-mail address. When you first register for the app, MSU Extension will receive notification linking your name and e-mail address to your Volunteer Number. This will allow project personnel to contact you if there are any questions about your data reporting.
Registration for the app will also enroll you in a mailing list for a periodic survey that is necessary to validate the completeness of your data. These surveys also offer a great opportunity to record your opinion on fisheries management issues and evaluate app performance.
This app does not record any location data or other information beyond what you voluntarily provide on data entry screen. Your data will be de-identified and analyzed by MSU Extension and Michigan Sea Grant personnel to provide information on Great Lakes fisheries. De-identified data will be provided to other agencies engaged in fisheries management in the interest of increasing our understanding of fisheries trends – but other agencies will NOT have access to any of your personal information.
Your information will not be sold or provided to any third parties. In fact, your use of the app does not obligate you to share any data. The periodic surveys from MSU Extension will ask for your consent to share data from the previous season. If you decline or do not complete the survey, we will not analyze your catch data or share de-identified data with other agencies.
We hope to provide an easy way for you to contribute to Great Lakes fisheries science, and we will make every effort to safeguard the confidentiality of your personal data and catch history.