The Great Lakes region is so expansive that it’s hard for fisheries researchers to cover all of it. But, thanks to the modern smartphone technology many have at their disposal today, scientists are finding new ways to study places without ever actually being there. The predominant way is by utilizing citizen scientists, or volunteers, which are commonly anglers for fisheries studies.
In one recent push of this kind, researchers with the Michigan Sea Grant have led the development of Great Lakes Angler Diary, a web application that allows fishermen around the Great Lakes to share useful information on the fish they catch.
Great Lakes Angler Diary allows fishermen to enter information on length, fin clip and the locations of salmon and trout, as well as metrics on walleye, muskie and sturgeon. The app also supports recording information on lamprey wounds and uploading photos.