The International Game Fish Association and Columbia University have partnered to develop a new iPhone App, called the IGFACatchLog, that allows anglers to contribute to fisheries data collection efforts. The IGFA is currently offering anglers an opportunity to test it, with some incentives, including the opportunity to win a LifeProof case, Costa sunglasses, and more.
A unique feature of IGFACatchLog will be a visual recognition component, developed by computer scientists at Columbia University, which will help anglers identify a fish from an iPhone photograph. Researchers at Columbia have pioneered similar visual recognition systems for plants through projects like the Leafsnap app.
The basic application will be modified from the existing IGFA app, IGFA Mobile, and allow anglers who want to participate in research and management efforts to do so quickly and easily. While the data collected will contribute to specific fisheries research and management efforts, a companion angler catch log will allow users to store complete details of their catches for their own use or to share with others if they so desire.
"As evidenced by the popularity of IGFA's current app, anglers are thirsting for opportunities to catalog their catches in an easy- to-use application," remarked IGFA Conservation Director Jason Schratwieser. "Adding the capability to easily share much-needed catch data will also help improve recreational fisheries."
The initial pilot area for testing this app will be the nearshore marine waters of Everglades National Park in South Florida. Anglers who fish this area between April and December are encouraged to apply to be part of the testing team at www.igfacatchlog.org. Project personnel will also be consulting with state and federal data managers along the Atlantic seaboard to determine elements and features of the app that might be helpful in other areas where angler generated data might be useful.