The Great Lakes Angler Diary program needs volunteers to test, improve app.

The Great Lakes are enormous. They cover 94,000 square miles and contain roughly 6 quadrillion gallons of water. With so much water to cover, scientists are increasingly interested in using “citizen science” to fill in knowledge gaps. Thanks to the widespread availability of mobile technology, many anglers are already equipped with high-tech hardware necessary for recording quality data. All they need is appropriate software to guide and organize their efforts.

This is where the Great Lakes Angler Diary web-based app comes in. The app builds off the success of the pen-and-paper Salmon Ambassadors angler science program, which enlisted anglers in recording length, location, and fin clip information on stocked and wild Chinook salmon.

The Great Lakes Angler Diary app does all that and more. In addition to enabling anglers to enter data on Chinook salmon, the app includes:

  • Length, fin clip, and general location recording for all Great Lakes salmon & trout.
  • Data entry for walleye, muskie, and sturgeon.
  • Option to record info on lamprey wounds.
  • Optional photo uploading to verify species identification, fin clips, and wounds.

In its current form, the Great Lakes Angler Diary is geared toward collection of data, but angler feedback during the 2016 fishing season will be used to guide future development of additional features. App developers are looking for anglers who:

  • Fish regularly on the Great Lakes or connecting waters.
  • Target a variety of trout and salmon species, muskie, walleye, or sturgeon.
  • Enjoy using technology and experimenting with new products.
  • Have an interest in sharing data with scientists to improve Great Lakes fisheries management.

If this describes you, then e-mail to register and receive a Volunteer Number needed to log into the site. Visit to log in after you register. Registered users will be contacted up to three times over the course of the fishing season and asked to provide answers to short surveys designed to improve the existing app.

The Great Lakes Angler Diary is being developed by Brenton Consulting, LLC, with funding from Detroit Area Steelheaders and guidance from Michigan Sea Grant.