As part of Trout Unlimited’s mission to conserve, protect and restore North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds, Trout Unlimited is now featuring TroutBlitz. TroutBlitz is a program that allows anglers all over, both members and non-TU members, to contribute to the protection and conservation of trout and their habitats. TroutBlitz is an online program that allows anglers to picture and document the fish they caught to help TU scientists understand the populations of trout and the quality of the watersheds across North America. By using a simple TroutBlitz website interface, all anglers, not just Trout Unlimited members can upload pictures of their fish and document the location where they caught it.
The program was initiated to help organize a catalog and map healthy populations of wild and native trout. By sharing their information, “anglers can help us identify healthy populations of native trout and help us understand where non-native trout have been introduced over the years,” said TU senior scientist, Jack Williams in a Trout Unlimited press release.
Documenting the fish an angler catches, not only helps the TU scientists understand the populations of trout, it gives a better understanding of the watersheds and habitats across North America. According to the TU press release, “they [anglers] can help the organization [Trout Unlimited] identify intact watersheds, important tracts of intact habitat and waters that could benefit from restoration work, reconnection efforts or even native fish reintroduction efforts.”
Along with native and non-native trout, the feature will also help anglers and TU know where there are pockets of rare native fish, including bull trout and grayling.
To get involved, all you need to do is go fishing. Take your camera (or smart phone) with you to document your catch, along with a GPS device or map that will help determine where the catch was made, (some cameras or smart phones can track the GPS for you). After that, all you need to do is catch a fish then upload it to the TroutBlitz interface by clicking “add observations” on the TroutBlitz website.
TroutBlitz is offered through iNaturalist.org so to begin uploading catches you must sign up for an iNaturalist account for free. From there you can help TU and other scientists understand more about native and non-native trout all across North America. For more information on how to upload your photos and document your fish, visit Trout Unlimited’s TroutBlitz webpage.
As an incentive for anglers to share their catch, TU is offering prizes for the top posters. Prizes include some TU merchandise and apparel, a free TU membership, and chances to win prizes provided by sponsors.
For more information on the program, check out the Trout Unlimited press release regarding TroutBlitz.