While this project is experimental, we hope it will eventually yield data that will help manage fish populations and angling activities for Florida lakes. Long-term fish data collected on individual lakes (through the use of fishing diaries) can be used in a similar way to LAKEWATCH water chemistry data; it gives us hard numbers to use in identifying patterns or trends that may be occurring in your lake’s fish populations. For example, these data can yield trend analyses of catch per unit of effort (number of fish caught per unit of time). If catch per unit of effort decreases significantly over time, this could suggest a problem with the fish population that needs to be looked at more intensely. Additionally if catch per unit of effort remains constant through time then the lake and fish populations are probably fine. If diaries are kept on many lakes, data will be available for LAKEWATCH personnel to examine relationships among other environmental data and fishing data.
This diary supplies you with enough daily fishing logs to record information from 10 trips or fishing “events.” Feel free to use the Diary every time that you go out fishing, just make sure you record the name of the lake and location of the lake on the top of the individual data sheets. Once you fill all of the pages, don’t hesitate to ask for another diary or you may download more fishing logs here.
Please take time to complete the diaries as soon as possible after your day of fishing. We want the information as accurate as possible to make the results meaningful. If you forget to measure a fish, forgot your diary, forgot your ruler, etc., do not guess. Missing data from one day is better than having misleading data. Also, please record the bad fishing days as well as the good days because this information is important.
If you have any questions about the diaries, or know someone else who would like to participate in this project, please call the Florida LAKEWATCH office. Again, thank you for your assistance and we wish you many good fishing days.
Survey sheets can be turned in at the nearest water collection center, either with or without your water samples.