New Web Application Gives Anglers Insight Into Potential Success by Bay

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AUSTIN, Texas — When two or more anglers meet just about anywhere in the world, it’s a sure bet one of the first things out of one of their mouths goes something like this: “Doing any good?” Texas anglers now have a new tool to help answer that age-old question.

It’s called the “Catch Rate by Minor Bay Web Application,” and was created by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s coastal fisheries division and Geographic Information Systems lab with funding from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service State Wildlife Grant.

“This provides a way for the public to easily access summary data and to be able to evaluate different success rates for different species on different bays,” said Kim Ludeke, Ph.D., TPWD GIS lab manager. “You can also see how success rates have changed over times.”

The application covers every bay system in Texas, and shows some of the most popular boat ramps and access points on each bay.

The application allows users to query by a fish species and year to see what bays have high, medium, and low catch rates. Alternatively, users can query for a particular bay and year to see what fish species they are likely to catch.

Catch rates are classified into high, medium or low based on monofilament gill net surveys conducted seasonally since 1981 by the Coastal Fisheries division.

While users won’t be able to see what’s biting now, or how fishing was last week, they can get a good idea of which species historically have been most abundant in a particular bay, and how that body of water compares to others on the coast.

“Our 30-year database is widely acknowledged as one of the best in the world, and this is one way we can make that data available to our constituents,” said Larry McKinney, Ph.D., director of TPWD’s coastal fisheries division.

The application includes an extensive “Frequently Asked Questions” section to help users navigate its menus, and query results are printable.

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