1. I heard about iSnapper a few years ago, is this the same program?
iSnapper was previously piloted in the for-hire fishery to determine if electronic devices could be used to accurately collect recreational data. The program was an overwhelming success, and it was not intended to inform management (i.e. a demonstration project); although, some of those data were used in the assessment process. The next logical step was to refine the program for near real-time data collection and include the private recreational sector to provide data for management. To do this, iSnapper was redesigned based on lessons learned and extensive input from anglers. The new streamlined reporting app also includes additional features for anglers to easily enter data an a fun and user-friendly “app ecosystem.”
2. I don't have time to fill out a whole long survey about what I caught. How long will it take?
iSnapper was designed with the fisherman in mind. Submitting a trip takes no longer than 5 minutes, with the average submission time between 2-3 minutes. We suggest signing in and having a fellow angler start and complete the catch while idling to the boat ramp or marina – it’s that simple.
3. I don't have a smart device, can I still report my catch?
While iSnapper was designed to be used primarily by individuals with smart devices, we do offer an online site where you can enter your catch from a desktop computer. Please visit www.iSnapperonline.org to register and begin reporting your catch.
4. What devices does iSnapper work on?
iSnapper is compatible with iOS 7 or later and is optimized for the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus. For Android devices, iSnapper requires 3.2 and later. Make sure your device is running on the latest operating system for the best performance. For older devices, major changes to the previous operating systems prevent the app from working. If the app does not run on your device, you can still use the online reporting site to record your catch.
5. Do I have to have service to for the app to be functional?
No, the features of the app are fully functional out of service areas. To start a new trip or to submit/finalize trips you do need to have some type of cellular or internet connection. However, once you start a new trip you can add a catch throughout the day without cellular service or simply wait until you are back in network range to fill in your catch. If you forget to start a trip, you may start a new trip and enter data when back in a coverage area, but be sure to change the start time to accurately reflect what time you left that morning.
6. I don’t have a boat but want to participate, can I?
The app and State data collection system are set up for only one data entry per trip at the “boat-level” (i.e., total number of anglers and fish captured by each boat). The data entry angler is typically the boat owner or designated person for data entry. To become a registered iSnapper user, you must include the vessel registration numbers during the sign up process for validation purposes. However, if you are fishing with a private angler (e.g., a friend or family member) on their boat, you can create an account with their permission and log the catch for the boat (only one per boat is accepted).
7. Is iSnapper mandatory?
No, iSnapper is not mandatory. However, we do encourage as many anglers as possible to report their catch so that researchers can generate the most comprehensive data possible to help with management decisions. Private recreational catch is a major source of uncertainty for fisheries managers, and as a result large buffers are applied during the stock assessment process that reduce season length. Any additional data gathered can reduce this uncertainly and potentially improve access to the fishery.
8. I’m fishing on a charter or party/headboat, do I need to report my catch?
No, if you are fishing onboard a for-hire (i.e., guide, charter vessel) or party/headboat, then the for-hire captain should enter the catch. Party/headboats have a long-term data collection system, where these data are collected separately from private angler reports.
9. I have a US Coast Guard registered vessel but no vessel registration numbers, can I still use iSnapper?
Yes, you can still register and use iSnapper, however we will need to assign you vessel registration numbers. You will also have to tell TPWD creel surveyors this unique registration number when they interview you about your catch. To receive your vessel registration number, please email us at iSnapper@sportfishresearch.org
10. I fish in another state, is this app only for Texas anglers?
No, any anglers can use the app, and it was designed to work throughout the Gulf. All known boat ramps and marinas used in the Gulf are included in the “marina” section. Although Texas Parks and Wildlife is a partner on this project and has adopted iSnapper as the State data collection app; some states are developing state-specific apps and other data collection programs. Anglers should check with your state’s fisheries management office to verify what particular data collection programs they are using or may be requiring.
11. How are you going to validate the data?
The data collection will go through a rigorous data validation process to ensure the app is collecting the most valid and reliable data possible. The app requires vessel registration numbers, so we can cross-validate the data submitted with reports from creel stations and other validation methods. Please volunteer for Texas Parks and Wildlife angler creel interviews at marinas and boat ramps, as this will help ensure we are collecting the best data possible.