Tarpon Observation Network
Help and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Access link for the Tarpon Observation Network

What does this application do?
This application allows anglers and others interested in tarpon to query their documented observations via the internet. A Google™ Maps inset and interactive table creates a means for anyone interested in tarpon to see historical or current distributions throughout Texas. In addition, the application allows authorized tarpon anglers, observers, and others within the public wanting to document their data to report information about this species, their observation locations, types of observations made, times and dates of collection, and any other relevant information such as weight and water temperature at the location.

Where can I get more information on this application or what if I have questions regarding the data and content of this site?
Information about the content of this application or other content questions will be addressed by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Coastal Fisheries Division staff. Please email your questions or comments to: tarpon@tpwd.texas.gov

How does Tarpon data display?
The tarpon observed are classified into five categories: found dead, jumped, observed rolling, caught & released, and retained. The categories are color coded and points are sized corresponding to three different size classes which are less than 3 feet, 3 feet to 6 feet, and greater than 6 feet. A Google™ Map inset and accompanying table display the results where clicking on the table record will zoom to the point or clicking on the point will highlight the appropriate table record. The application will also allow the user to produce graphs for a selected date range showing frequency/month, frequency/year, frequency/location, frequency/temperature, frequency/size, and frequency/season.

How do I query the tarpon database to show locations in the map?
Begin by selecting a circle in the Search for query — whether it is All Observations or My Observations (Requires Login). Next, under the section Search between either keep the default start date or choose your own. Note that tarpon data only goes back to 01/01/1976. Lastly, chose from three (3) Search within methods:

  1. Enter a number of miles for a radius search, click on the map to select the location or enter the lat/long by hand if you have the location coordinates and press the GO button,
  2. Select a site from a drop-down list and press the GO button, or
  3. Select a portion (or all) of the Texas Coast from a drop-down list and press the GO button.
The results of your query will display in the Google™ Map inset and in table format. The map and table are dynamically interactive, highlighting records in the table as points are clicked in the map, and zooming to points in the map as records in the table are chosen.

How do I graph a query?
Graph the observations by selecting a date range then clicking "View Graphs for Selected Date Range" under the Search between dates section. All verified observations in the database for the date range given will be graphed unless you queried for "My Observations", then your verified and unverified observations will display. The options for graphical analyses are: Frequency/Month, Frequency/Year, Frequency/Location, Frequency/Temperature, Frequency/Size, and Frequency/Season. You can print the page by clicking on the Print icon. Select the Return to Query Page to return to the Tarpon Observation Network Database page.

Why is there clutter on the map?
Clicking outside of the map area or use the Pan tool clears the screen of any clutter such as black boxes or remnants from attributes of previously clicked points.

How can I see more than one point at the same location?
First, try zooming in to the location as far as you can to separate the points as much as possible. If that does not work, click the Nearby Obs (observations) tab of the attribute box to get the Id numbers of the nearest observation points. These points will appear in the attribute tab as long as they are near the same location or within a set small buffer distance of the selected point. When Id numbers are clicked they will highlight in the table. If it is still impossible to actually see all the points at one location because they lie on top of one another, query by specific date and force the map to display only the point queried. The best way to view the data is by using the table at the top of the page. All of the information is in the table including the exact latitude and longitude.

Why does the printed map look different than what is on the screen?
The map generated by the query is what prints even if the map is zoomed, panned or switched to hybrid mode after the initial query.

How do I add tarpon records?
First, login to TPWD RIS Membership Services by clicking the Add/Edit Data (requires Login) link at the top of the Tarpon Observation Network Application. The Tarpon page will refresh and underneath your "Hello [name]" will be options from which to choose. Click on the Add/Edit Tarpon Records option in the navigational menu. The sections "Edit a Record" and "Add a New Record" will display.

Edit and Add Record form

Under the "Add a New Record" section you must enter the required information:

  1. Date (double click date so it highlights gray),
  2. Time (24 hours 0:00-23:59),
  3. Observer Name,
  4. Information Source (dropdown menu),
  5. Observation Type (dropdown menu),
  6. Latitude/Longitude (by interactively clicking on the map to the right OR entering decimal degree coordinates manually),
  7. Water Temperature (optional) and
  8. Stats on the tarpon.
  9. Click Insert and the record will be added to the database. The form will clear and the Browse and Upload Photo! buttons will activate.
  10. To upload a photo with this record click the Browse button and locate the image, then press the Upload Photo! button to join it with the record.

How do I edit or delete a tarpon record I previously entered?
Find the record you wish to edit in the table of your records. Records can be sorted by clicking on the following column headings: Id, Date, Observer, Information Source, Observation Type, Observation Details, Tagged, Latitude, Longitude, Water Temperature, Verified, Weight, Length, Location, and Comments. Click the Edit button for the record you want and it will become active, allowing you to edit the appropriate fields of the record. When done, click the Update button in the far left field. You may also Cancel your update or Delete the record entirely by clicking either button.

What if I want to add OR change an image associated with a tarpon record?
Presently, the only way to add an image or change/delete an image associated with an existing record is to delete the record and add it again. This time when you insert the record, click the Browse button when it becomes active and browse to an image and upload it with the record.

How do I save my tarpon records on my computer?
You may save your tarpon records by exporting the table after querying the records that you want to save. Below the table click on the Export Entire Table to Excel button. Then save the file to a location of your choice.

What if the map doesn't display or print properly?
The Internet Explorer browser needs to be set to show background colors. To make this setting, go to: tools, internet options, advanced tab (scroll 3/4th way down), under printing check the Print background colors and images checkbox, OK.

If your browser is Mozilla Firefox go to: file, page setup, format & options tab, check the "Print background (colors & images)" checkbox, OK.

How can I view 100% of the webpage?
If your browser is Internet Explorer, turn on the Explorer toolbar by clicking on View, then Status Bar to check mark it. The percent of zoom will show in the lower right corner of the Explorer window and you may click the dropdown list to adjust the zoom accordingly. The page displays best at 100%. In Mozilla Firefox you can use functions under the View menu by choosing either Zoom or Full Screen.

Why do I need a TPWD login?
To query the tarpon database you do not need a login. Anyone can search the database and compile maps and graphs. However, to report tarpon information you must be registered in the TPWD Membership Services system. In order to be identified as a tarpon observer with permission to enter/edit/view your own data you must create a unique login and password, and supply an email address to complete the login process. Your information will not be shared outside of TPWD.

How do I get a TPWD login?
From the tarpon page you will be directed to login and if you are new to TPWD RIS (Resource Information System) you will be directed to create an account. All you need to do is choose a user name, password, security question and answer, and provide your email address. You will be notified by email once your registration is complete. Your information will only be used to communicate with you about the program and to provide you with a unique identification in our system.

I don't think the site is working properly. What should I do?
There are a few things you may need to do to get full use of the web site.

You will need to enable pop-ups to properly view and use these pages. First you will need to determine if you are using third party software to manage pop-ups or if you are using your internet browser's built-in ability to block pop-ups.  If you are using your internet browser's (Internet Explorer) built-in ability to block pop-ups, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double click Security Center. Under Manage security settings click Internet Options, then select the Privacy tab. Under Pop-up Blocker make sure the Block pop-ups box is unchecked.

pop up blocker dialog box to show what option to uncheck

You may also elect to simply add the TPWD domain (*.tpwd.state.tx.us) to Internet Explorer's Allowed Sites under it's pop-up blocker settings (click on Tools, Pop-Up Blocker, Pop-Up Blocker Settings) rather than disabling the blocker all-together.

If you are using third party software to manage pop-ups, you will have to add this site (http://gis-apps.tpwd.state.tx.us/TarponObservationNetwork/default.aspx) to your pop-up blocker's safe/exception/ok list before accessing this application. If your problems continue, please contact your internet provider or your software manufacturer.

Screen Resolution: You may need to change your screen resolution. The application is best viewed at 1280 X 1024 pixels (however it can be viewed at other resolutions such as 1024 x 768. Please note that you may have to rely on scroll bars to view desired data at resolutions other than 1280 X 1024 pixels). To change your screen resolution, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double click Display. In the Display Properties window click the Settings tab. Under Screen Resolution is a slider bar for setting the number of pixels. Slide the bar to 1280 X 1024 and then click Apply. When prompted to apply the setting, click Ok. The screen will turn black for a moment. Once the screen resolution changes, click Yes to confirm the change. If you aren't successful in changing the screen resolution, check your computer's help section.

Internet Browser: You may need to try a different web browser. The application is best viewed in Internet Explorer (IE) 7. To tell which version of IE you are running, open Internet Explorer, click on Help, and then About Internet Explorer. The version of IE will display in the About Internet Explorer window.

The website seems to be loading slowly. What is wrong?
In most cases nothing is wrong. Please bear in mind that it may take several seconds for the requested map to load. Although every effort has been made to ensure images load as quickly as possible, variations in your internet service provider's connection rate (baud rate) also affects how fast your computer connects to the internet.

Contact us: If you continue to experience technical difficulties after attempting the suggestions above, you may contact us at 512-389-8070 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (central time)