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The Great Lakes Fish Stocking Database (GLFSD) is a continuation of a project initiated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) to provide fishery managers, scientists and other interested parties with access to a centralized, comprehensive database of all fish stocked into the Great Lakes from artificial propagation. In 1991, the GLFC created the Fish Stocking Database Management System (FSDMS) to meet this need. The original FSDMS primarily focused on information for salmon and trout. Due to differences in data resolution, there were originally two databases in FSDMS, one for lake trout and one for all other species. For a variety of reasons, the maintenance of FSDMS was not consistent. Based upon a 1997 request from the Council of Lake Committees of the GLFC, the Green Bay Fishery Resources Office (Green Bay FRO, now Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office FWCO) of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), assumed the responsibility of enhancing and maintaining the stocking database by developing the early version of the GLFSD (in use until 2022), which was a single database that housed stocking information for all species, but had a limited user interface. With this renewed initiative, a network of liaisons from each stocking agency was appointed to accomplish this task by providing their agency's consolidated stocking data on a regular basis.
The first iteration of the GLFSD (see image) was developed through a peer review process that involved fishery professionals from every agency that stocks fish into the Great Lakes. The GLFSD file (or table) structure was presented to the Lake Technical Committees for feedback and was reviewed by the stocking data liaisons from each agency in the Great Lakes. This extensive review process determined what information fishery professionals needed in the stocking database and also identified what data were available. The initial version of the GLFSD was based on the synthesis of all the feedback from these groups.
The first version of the GLFSD was managed using Microsoft Access at the Green Bay FRO in New Franken, WI. The overall maintenance and management of the database was the responsibility of Green Bay FRO. All data for the GLFSD were sent electronically from each stocking agency to Green Bay FRO, however file structures, variable definitions, and coding formats vary greatly among agencies. The data was then appropriately formatted and added to the GLFSD. Green Bay FRO made every attempt to keep the database as current as possible but must coordinate the efforts of 8 states, 2 tribes, and 1 province to provide data.
Fast forward 25 years and you come to the development of the next iteration of the new GLFSD that you are using today. This is an online system that enables users to visualize data in many new ways and allows agency staff to make real-time corrections to data. Encompassed in this process was a need for a basic level of standardization of data fields to facilitate the visualization, which was accomplished through many back and forth conversations between the new GLFSD development team and agency stocking liaisons. This work was completed as part of a Science Transfer Project with major partners on the development team from Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests in Owen Sound, USFWS at the Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, along with input from stocking data liaisons and a steering committee comprised of lake managers and other end users.
Like all databases, errors or omissions will be present. It is the responsibility of each agency providing data to provide complete and accurate records and maintain an accurate record in the system as errors are identified. Any errors found by users should be reported to the appropriate agency or email@example.com and they will be referred to the appropriate agency for correction.
Citation for the site: USFWS/GLFC. Great Lakes Fish Stocking Database. Available from: http://fsis.glfc.org/ [Accessed: Month, Year].
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