Any seasoned angler knows that temperature plays a huge in role in bagging the biggest fish. Almost all species of fish require a specific water temperature range to survive, and an even more specific one to thrive. To help fisherman be in know, Swim Guide affiliate Coosa Riverkeeper has developed a new volunteer-led program that displays water temperatures across their watershed. What Swim Guide does for swimmers, Fish Guide does for fisherman.

The following post originally appeared on Coosa RiverKeeper’s blog on February 6, 2018.

Today we launched a new feature called Temp Track on our Fish Guide platform which enables fishermen to check recent river temperatures reported by a network of citizen-scientist volunteers. Fishermen can use this information to better understand the changing river conditions during the spawning season. Our goal is to connect more fishermen with the river conservation movement and educate them about water quality and pollution issues that impact the Coosa’s fisheries.

Around 60 volunteers submit water temperature readings weekly to Coosa Riverkeeper, who in turn uploads those results to a map, viewable below. Temperature readings will be available in February, March and April. In addition to being the only place where recent temperature reports are available, the map also shows dam operating schedules, stream flows, boat ramps, marinas, fish consumption advisories, and more.

Fish Guide displays temperature sampling locations along the Coosa River

Karli Riley, the new Program Manager for Coosa Riverkeeper, says “Our Fish Guide program provides the same information to fishermen that our Swim Guide provides to swimmers and boaters: when, where, and how to enjoy the river for a safe, fun day.

Through Fish Guide, you can not only inform your decisions about which part of the lake to fish based on temperatures, but you can also find the closest boat ramp and see any active fish consumption advisories in that area. It’s an innovative tool that fishermen are excited to see in this age of fishing fueled by technology.”

“As a competitive angler,” Michael Freeman, an avid Coosa River fisherman says, “I feel that this information will be beneficial in preplanning for tournaments. One of the first things I think about when heading to the lake is ‘I wonder what the water temperature is?’ I believe many anglers will take full advantage of this new resource.”

The information provided on the Fish Guide is free to use, just like the popular Swim Guide bacteria monitoring program in the summer. Our Fish Guide program, and all of our other work, is supported entirely through donations. You can support our work by becoming a member today!

Frank Chitwood is the Riverkeeper at Coosa Riverkeeper, actively monitoring the river for pollution and advocating for its health. Read his full bio here.

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