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February 19, 2004

DEP Launches New E-Fishing Log Program

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife has just launched a new E-Fishing Log Program that will allow anglers a chance to provide their input on various freshwater fisheries programs online at The survey will allow freshwater fishermen to log in their fishing locations, target species and successes as well as evaluate existing programs and help identify new ones.

“Through the information provided, the Division will be better equipped to make decisions that are angler-based regarding stocking and management efforts in New Jersey’s lakes and streams,” said Division Director Martin J. McHugh. “We want to make the most of the fishing license dollars generated in a way that satisfies our constituents while still utilizing the framework of professional management.”

“The E-Fishing Log Program is a more technologically advanced variation of the traditional logbook or creel survey. It is less labor intensive and more time-efficient than how we’ve gathered information in the past,” said Division Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries Chief Lisa Barno. “The possibilities for utilizing this new information are boundless.”

Traditionally, biologists have conducted creel surveys where they talked to anglers at a lake or stream and found out what they were catching. Information from creel surveys has been used to determine what species and sizes of fish should be stocked and to help set season, size and bag limits. The biggest drawback to conducting creel surveys is that they require a great deal of staff-time and therefore limited to a few water bodies where critical management information is needed.

Another method of data collection is the use of fishing log books. In this method, log books are given to participating anglers who record information on their fishing habits and on the fish they catch. Log books are not labor-intensive, but do require the distribution and collection of books as well as data entry. As with creel surveys, log books are usually used to answer management questions about a particular fish species or body of water.

The E-Fishing Log Program is a modern variation of these methods. Since the angler provides the information in an electronic format, large amounts of data can be collected effortlessly. With this new system, it will be possible for a biologist to retrieve information on any particular water body or species allowing the Division to see how anglers are utilizing the resource. Anglers are encouraged to log in often and should realize that any information provided is extremely useful, whether the fishing trip was a success or not.

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