This summer, ADFG is running the pilot program for its freshwater electronic logbook, to much reported success.
Getting the Info
The logbook itself collects information the Board of Fish and the NPFMC use to make allocation and management decisions for Chinook salmon, rockfish, lingcod, and halibut. Typically, guides complete paper logbook pages and send them in to ADFG to review. Over the course of the next month or two, ADFG staff enters the logbook information into their data system. In the case of saltwater logbooks, pages are scanned in; software is applied to recognize, extract, and categorize the information; and staff review unrecognizable sections. Freshwater paper logbooks are scanned and manually entered (for the moment).
ADFG hopes an electronic reporting option will streamline reporting and data entry, and be less burdensome on guides. Participants in the freshwater testing and pilot programs downloaded an electronic logbook application to their smartphones, which they use to enter all logbook information over the course of the guided excursions. The program does not require internet connectivity to use; it only requires a connection to upload information. In response to guide feedback, ADFG wants to eventually update the application for even easier use. One of the possibilities includes retaining information for specific guides, clients, or fishing locations within the application so that it can be entered with only a few key strokes.
When saltwater testing of the application begins over the fall, participants will complete both the paper logbook and the electronic application on either a smartphone or tablet. 2017 will see the beginning of the saltwater pilot program, where participating guides can opt to only use the electronic application. For those of you interested in electronic reporting, a few extra minutes of your time means accurate information is available a month or two earlier than it is currently available. In the long run, this is great for our fisheries. Furthermore, by participating in testing or the pilot program, you can make suggestions and help advance this application for your own ease of use.
If you would like to participate in the testing or pilot program, e-mail SEAGO at firstname.lastname@example.org.