What is this project about?
Understanding the distribution of important fish habitat is critical to protecting Alaska’s important fisheries. Through a new partnership we have created a smartphone app that allows you to participate in helping with habitat mapping when you are out on the land and waters of Alaska. This 4 minute video explains more about how you can participate and can be compensated for your efforts.
Where did this project come from?
The Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (ADF&G) is tasked with documenting water bodies that are important habitat for the “spawning, rearing, or migration of anadromous fish” in the Anadromous Waters Catalog and Atlas (AWC). Streams & lakes specified in the AWC are afforded protections under the Anadromous Fish Act (AS 16.05.871). Despite ongoing efforts to add water bodies to the AWC, significant gaps in its coverage remain, particularly in remote and difficult to access regions of Alaska.
A team of partners is now helping ADF&G with this effort. A grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed the Indigenous Sentinels Network (a program of the Tribal Government of the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island) to team up with the Northern Latitudes Partnerships to expand coverage of the AWC.
How does it work?
Now, you can join the effort to fill in those gaps by helping to map where these fish exist in Alaska. Through a new, easy-to-use smartphone app, you can submit observations while you’re out on the land. All you need to do is find some fish, fill out a few simple data fields, collect photos, and hit submit. Don’t have cell reception or wifi? No problem. You can save the data and upload it once you’re back in service.
We’re hoping to solve the challenge of uncatalogued fish habitat by learning from the people that know the land best: you. Whether you are subsistence or sportfishing, hunting, boating or otherwise just out on the land, your local knowledge about where fish are can be vital for ensuring those locations are added to the AWC and therefore is protected by state law..
Curious about what streams and rivers around your community are not currently in the catalog? Text "fish" to: 1-855-736-4949 to get a satellite picture of the current AWC distribution in your area.
Here’s the kicker: we want to compensate you for your time and help in collecting this important information. Submit an observation that the ADF&G approves as new data, and our partners at the Alaska Conservation Foundation (ACF) will send you money to reward your efforts. Currently we are offering $100 for new successful nominations that help add new miles of stream to the AWC.
Working with ADF&G we have created a few short instructional videos to help ensure that the way you are collecting data will result in a successful nomination to the AWC.
Video 1: App instructions
Learn more about how to navigate the ISN AWC app and properly fill in the essential fields for a nomination.
Video 2: How to find streams
Find out how to easily find streams that are already cataloged in the AWC as well as which species are noted in those streams. This can help you determine where and when you might want to consider logging information for a nomination.
Video 3: How to take photos
Proper photos of fish species are essential to ensure a successful nomination, and this video will walk you through the photos you should take of the fish species you see.
How do I get started?
Step 1: Download the App. Click on one of the links below for the App Store or Google Play to download the ISN AWC App for your device.
Step 2: Create an Account. From the Log In page click on “Create new account”. You will be taken to the Sign Up page where you can enter your First name, Last name, Email address and a Password of your choice. Then click the blue “Sign Up” button.
Step 3: Verify Your Account. You will then be taken to the next Sign Up page and you will also receive an email from the Bering Watch robot with a Verification code for Bering Watch. Remember, if you don’t receive the Verification code within a few moments please check your Junk Mail folder or your email account settings to see if the email was rejected by your mail server.
When you have the code sent by email, just enter it in the white box and click “Check code”.
Step 4: Log In. When the code is verified, you will be taken back to the Log In page and you can log in to the ISN AWC App with your new Username (the email you used to create your account) and Password and you are all ready to start collecting data!
Note: If you forget your password the next time you want to Log In you can just click “Forgot password?” to set up a new at the link sent to you from the Bering Watch robot.