Have you ever wanted a “one-stop shop” to keep track of recreational fishing trips and catches? The Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife (RIDFW) in conjunction with the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP) offer the voluntary eLOGBOOK application of the Standard Atlantic Fisheries Information System (SAFIS) for just that purpose! As of February 2013, 212 Rhode Island anglers are already registered for the program, but that number consists mainly of party and charter boat captains since reporting is required for any tautog-dedicated party/charter trips. Now, RIDFW would like to spread the word to all recreational anglers.
So, what exactly is eLOGBOOK? eLOGBOOK is an online tool available to Rhode Island anglers that can track trip level data as well as provide summary reports. This program offers a simple way to maintain trip level information all in one place; anglers can enter data on kept and released fish, catches used for bait and for consumption, and which gear types were used to catch individual species. Anglers are also able to view and download their trip reports and view graphical summaries of the average lengths of species, number of fish caught per month, and number of fish caught per species. Other programs and methods can be used to view and summarize the data once the trip reports are downloaded from the website.
The data submitted by anglers remain completely confidential, and only RIDFW staff are able to view the data. This program is a highly valuable tool for management and provides an opportunity to characterize Rhode Island’s recreational fisheries. Specifically, the data collected by this program provide a census for the tautog party/charter fishery, support for assessing minimum size limits and bag limits for scup and fluke, and the ability to characterize discards. The RIDFW encourages eLOGBOOK participation to help enhance the understanding of Rhode Island’s recreational landings.
Any angler who would like to use this program and provide data for recreational fisheries management can register for the system! A link to the website can be found on the RIDFW website (http://www.dem.ri.gov/topics/mftopics.htm) under the Saltwater Recreational Fishing License heading. From the log-in screen, new users will need to choose the “Click to Register” link. A username and password will be created after registration and emailed to you, and you can then start to enter data!
Be sure to check the RIDFW website periodically for updates, an upcoming video tutorial on using the program, and detailed instructions for entering recreational trip information. If you have any questions regarding the program or would like more information, please contact Anna Webb at 401-423-1926 or Anna.Webb@dem.ri.gov.
Regulations in red are new this year.
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