Great Lakes Angler Diary

Resource Page

Record your catches with Great Lakes Angler Diary and help biologists learn how stocked and wild fish contribute to the Great Lakes and their tributary streams.

Michigan River Steelhead Program

Did you ever wonder if steelhead in your favorite river are mostly stocked or mostly wild?

Now you can contribute catch info to Michigan Sea Grant to help us find out. All you need to do is:

  • REGISTER at or download the GL Angler Diary app for IOS or Android
  • RECORD every river fishing trip that targets steelhead, including skunk trips
  • MEASURE each and every steelhead caught
  • CHECK for fin clips and other marks

At the end of the season you will be asked to take a short survey and verify that your information is complete. Providing accurate measurements to the nearest quarter inch is very important, but if it is not possible to measure a steelhead that is caught and released it is acceptable to estimate the length as <15 inches, 15-19 inches, 20-24 inches, 25-28 inches, or 29 inches and above.

This video provides a quick overview of the program and instructions for data entry on Apple devices:

Catches can also be entered on other mobile devices and computers, as described in this tutorial:

Volunteers will have the chance to connect with biologists and other steelhead anglers on periodic Zoom meetings. By registering for this program you will also sign up for meeting notifications, updated results, and other educational resources like these:

Big Lake Salmon and Steelhead Program

This program replaces the Salmon Ambassadors program, which enlisted anglers to collect data on over 10,000 stocked and wild Chinook salmon from 2013-2020. Many stocked Chinook salmon present in the Great Lakes are still marked with an adipose fin clip, but those from the 2020 year-class were not marked.

Although interpretation of fin clips is no longer as straightforward as it once was, we still welcome big lake data for all salmon and trout species, with special emphasis on steelhead. To participate:

  • REGISTER at or download the GL Angler Diary app for IOS or Android
  • RECORD every big lake fishing trip taken May-September
  • MEASURE each and every steelhead caught
  • CHECK for fin clips and other marks

Printed data sheets will no longer be accepted by mail, but you can print the data sheet below to record catch information while on the water. See videos above for details on entering data with the iOS app or


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.


These programs would not be possible without the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Mass Marking Program and the contributions of Michigan Department of Natural ResourcesWisconsin Department of Natural ResourcesIndiana Department of Natural ResourcesIllinois Department of Natural Resources, and Wisconsin Sea Grant.

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