Fish tales will help research

Tales about "the one that got away" will provide valuable data for managing fisheries resources, thanks to a new initiative involving CFANS researchers, the Department of Natural Resources, and the app company iFish.

iFish Forever allows anglers to anonymously share their catch in support of research and responsible management. Users take their smartphones fishing and hit the "Caught One!" button for each catch. The app asks for the species, length, and whether the angler kept the fish. Until now, that information has come from interviews with anglers conducted on the water or at an access point. Because of staffing costs, the surveys are expensive to conduct, which has limited the amount of data available to researchers and managers.

"As a result, we know surprisingly little about our fisheries resources beyond the most popular lakes," says Paul Venturelli, assistant professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. "iFish Forever addresses these limitations by engaging anglers as part of the solution."

iFish MN is free for both Android and Apple smart phones. For information, visit www.ifishforever.com.