Elemental Methods Delivers New Systems for Collection of Red Snapper Catch Data in Texas

Few coastal anglers would argue that there is not a more controversial fishery in the Gulf of Mexico than the Red Snapper fishery. Because of its popularity among recreational anglers and commercial fishers, the snapper population dwindled to alarming levels in the 1980s. This resulted in the implementation of a federal management plan to stop the overfishing. For the last four years, Irving-based Elemental Methods has been developing systems to collect catch data critical to understanding the health and viability of the Red Snapper fishery, along with other saltwater and freshwater fisheries.

In 2011, the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi tapped Irving-based Elemental Methods, LLC to develop a new mobile application and web portal to prove the viability of electronic reporting of fishing catch data by charter and headboat captains. While the fishing vessels were at sea, the catch data was recorded using iPads. When the fishing vessels returned to cellular range, the data was automatically transmitted to a web portal. Using the portal, the captains could edit and update their catch information. On a weekly basis, the data was automatically transmitted to the Gulf of Mexico Fishing Council and the US Commerce Department.

“We piloted the ‘iSnapper’ app during the 2011 season and found it to be overwhelmingly successful,” said Dr. Greg Stunz, Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation Director and HRI Endowed Chair of Fisheries and Ocean Health, “Red snapper represents a vital economic commodity for coastal communities along the Gulf of Mexico and ‘iSnapper’ gives fishery managers a portable application to aid in developing more effective management strategies for rapid recovery and optimization of this important fishery.”

“This is a simple way for anglers to actively participate in data collection — to say, ‘I want to be accountable and provide accurate data. This is what I caught today.’” The iSnapper mobile app is available in app stores now for iOS and Android, and will soon be available on Windows. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and its coastal fisheries leaders and biologists have also partnered with the CSSC on promoting the use of iSnapper by Texas anglers to voluntarily record their Red Snapper catches.

While some states, like Texas, have asked anglers to voluntarily log their Red Snapper catches, the State of Mississippi has taken a different approach. This year, recreational fishermen and captains of for-hire vessels were required to report their Red Snapper harvest landed in Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) selected Elemental Methods to develop the “Tails n’ Scales” system for collecting catch data. 

“The purpose of this electronic reporting system is to provide fishery managers the best available data to ensure Mississippi anglers the most opportunities and greatest flexibility for Red Snapper harvest,” said Matt Hill, director the MDMR’s Finfish Bureau. “The mandatory reporting system will provide for accurate and timely data that will be used for better resource management.” Anglers with smartphones can download the “Tails n’ Scales” mobile app in the iTunes App Store or Google Play. They also can use the website, www.tailsnscales.org.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico. The council is currently holding a series of public hearings and scoping workshops to discuss and take public comment on three proposed amendments that could change how the Red Snapper fishery is managed. At the same time, a bill has been introduced in Congress that would shift authority from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service to a state-run management plan supported by the directors of marine fisheries agencies in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

“While oversight of the Red Snapper fishery remains controversial, the catch data collected using systems developed by Elemental Methods will be used by marine biologists and fisheries managers at all levels to help determine the future of the fishery,“ said Michael Christopher, Managing Director at Elemental Methods. “The ability to collect timely and accurate catch data from recreational fishermen is a major challenge to fisheries management. These systems will provide information critical for decisions by federal and state managers to keep fish populations stable and prevent overfishing.”

Elemental Methods’ Subsidiary, iAngler Tournament, Powers New Online Tournament

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December 1, 2015: iAngler Tournament Systems, a subsidiary of Irving-based Elemental Methods, LLC is providing the scoring software and hosting services for “Angler Combat”

(www.anglercombat.com). Angler Combat is a new online tournament that challenges anglers to catch the five largest bass in 28 days. The tournament is scored according to three divisions – Land, Boat, and Kayak. These divisions are separated into North and South regions in the United States. For $10 each month, an angler can register online to compete against other anglers in his division and region. The angler records each fish caught using the iAngler Tournament mobile application. The iAngler Tournament website keeps track of where each angler stands in the competition.

The tournament is the brain-child of Terry Manley, owner of Manley Rods and host of the Kayak Bass Series tournaments. While he took inspiration from other rolling nationwide tournaments, he is excited that his effort provides live scoring and real-time results. “The key to the tournament is the iAngler Tournament app”, he says.

The iAngler Tournament app allows tournament participants to photograph their catch on a measuring device, then submit the photo and catch information to tournament officials. Standings are updated instantly. “Each angler has a page in the app with their stats displayed like the back of a baseball card,” Manley explains. This allows fans to follow the action and participants to keep an eye on the competition. 

Elemental Methods Develops New System for the CCA FLORIDA STAR TOURNAMENT

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April 16, 2015: The CCA STAR Tournament has been a summertime staple for anglers in Texas and Louisiana for many years, on May 23, anglers in Florida will finally have an opportunity to get in on the action with CCA Florida’s inaugural STAR Tournament.

Thanks to the successful STAR blueprint developed by CCA Texas and Louisiana, Florida has a proven formula, but as Florida’s STAR Tournament Director Leiza Fitzgerald states, Florida is putting its own spin on the tournament.

Like the other STAR tournaments, CCA Florida STAR presented by Yamaha will run from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, for 108 days of competition. By catching one of 80 tagged redfish, anglers could win a new Contender 22 Sport, Pathfinder 2200TRS or Hell’s Bay Waterman. Other division prizes in the CCA Florida STAR will include college scholarships, River Hawk boats, Power Pole shallow water anchors, Costa Sunglasses, Engel coolers, Shimano fishing tackle, marine electronics, Bass Pro Shops, Live Watersports paddle boards & Marathon fuel gift cards – nearly $500,000 worth of prizes in all. Perhaps the most exciting of all, youth anglers are eligible to win a share of $100,000 in scholarships. The Youth Division presented by Bright House Networks includes kids ages 6 to 17 and will award at least 12 college scholarships.

By working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Florida STAR has added a few unique features of its own, such as the Marathon Petroleum Conservation Division that will help FWC study Florida’s fisheries. FWC’s research arm, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), is rearing some of the redfish that will be tagged and released on Florida’s west coast in late May. Each fish caught will help further the science of fisheries management and conservation, with the hopes of ultimately improving future hatchery efforts. Conservation is the name of the game, and in the Conservation Division anglers will record and share data about all of their catches to give FWC even more information to better manage the resource.

CCA Florida also worked with the Snook and Gamefish Foundation and its technology partner, Elemental Methods, to create a state-of-the-art smart phone app for the STAR program. Membership application, registration and entering fish can be made right from the dock, boat ramp or boat using the new app. The Catch-and-Photo format is another new twist that allows all fish that are caught to be eligible for prizes.

STAR is a nonprofit tournament focused on attracting people to Florida’s outstanding saltwater resources. It gets families on the water and helps educate all anglers about the importance of conserving and protecting their coastal resources. Last year, Texas, with less than 400 miles of coastline, had 45,000 people fish STAR. By comparison, Florida enjoys more than 1,300 miles of coastline and boasts more than 1.2 million licensed saltwater anglers. With numbers like that, CCA Florida hopes to reach thousands of new anglers every year through the STAR Tournament.

“This tournament represents the most exciting opportunity in our history to educate the public about Florida’s marine resources and how we can best preserve the future for our children,” said CCA Florida Chairman Bill Camp. 

Elemental Methods, LLC of Irving, TX Named U.S. Chamber Blue Ribbon Small Business Award Winner

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced Elemental Methods, LLC of Irving, Texas, as a winner in its annual Blue Ribbon Small Business Awards®, a program that recognizes companies for their success and innovation and for their contributions to economic growth and free enterprise. Elemental Methods was selected from a record number of applicants from communities across the nation for demonstrating exceptional business practices in areas including strategic planning, employee development, community involvement, and customer service.

“While our economy still struggles to reach its full potential, small businesses like our Blue Ribbon Award winners have continued to act as examples of the resilience, ingenuity, and opportunity at work in the free enterprise system,” U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said. “Times can be tough, but these businesses have proven that they can be too. And by taking risks, watching out for their employees, and giving back to their communities, they’ve shown that success is achievable.”

The Chamber will announce seven regional finalists from among this year’s Blue Ribbon Small Business Award® winners on March 18 and honor all of this year’s winners at the 11th annual America’s Small Business Summit, taking place June 8 – 10 in Washington, D.C. During the summit, one regional finalist will receive the DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club®, and a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the U.S. Chamber.

All Blue Ribbon Small Business Award® winners are also eligible for the Community Excellence Award, which recognizes one business that has found notable success in the eyes of its community. The winner will be decided through online public voting between February 19 and March 4.

“Starting and growing a business can be a risky endeavor, but these small businesses have proven that with risk, comes reward,” Donohue continued. “Through hard work and innovation, they’re impacting their communities, contributing to economic growth, and creating jobs. And the Chamber is proud to recognize them for their achievements.”

A complete list of this year’s Blue Ribbon Small Business Award® winners is available here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

New App, Website Let Anglers in Md. Track Their Fishing Catch

Nov 21, 2014 ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A new website and smartphone application aims to help anglers track their fishing catch and help conserve key Maryland fish species. “Chesapeake Catch” is a project led by Maryland-area anglers to gather information to better inform anglers and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in fisheries management decisions and policies.

Chesapeake Catch records information about Maryland's most popular fish including rockfish, redfish, speckled trout, croaker, yellow perch and shad. All other tidal and freshwater species, including invasives, can also be recorded. The app allows anglers to record details and post photos of their fish in a personal log. This log has a spot for information about species caught, time spent on the water, general area, the length and catch-or-release disposition of each fish. All of this information can be collected voluntarily by anglers in the field.

"Anglers have a huge investment in good fisheries management, because we want more fish to catch for years to come," said Ed Liccione, Chair, Coastal Conservation Association Maryland. "Chesapeake Catch helps us track what we're catching and connect with other anglers, but also makes our catch count in decisions about conservation and management."

Chesapeake Catch is a local affiliate of Angler Action, which allowed anglers to collect their own data to inform fishery management in communities nationally. It first launched in Florida with an app and website for recreational anglers to log data about snook catches after a large die-off. Angler Action said the data helped track snook recovery with managers at the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Data from Angler Action was used in the 2011 Snook Stock Assessment and has been requested for use in other research studies and stock assessments.

"Good data makes for good management, and both make for better fishing," said Bill Goldsborough, Director of Fisheries, Chesapeake Bay Foundation. "We can all have a voice in better fisheries management with Chesapeake Catch, and I encourage all anglers who care about the future of fishing in Maryland to download the app."

"Chesapeake Catch is a unique example of a project bringing together recreational anglers, conservationists and fisheries managers in order to gather more information about and protect Maryland fisheries," said Tom O'Connell, Director, Fisheries Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources. "This information is going to be very valuable to our work."

Fishing guides, recreational fishing bloggers and other avid anglers active in well- known organizations such as the Maryland Sportsman Foundation, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Environmental Defense Fund and Maryland Saltwater Sportsfishing Association also participated in the working group behind Chesapeake Catch. The app can be viewed online at www.chesapeakecatch.com or downloaded in iTunes or the Google Play store. 

GUY HARVEY OUTPOST LAUNCHES DATA COLLECTION FISHING APP WITH YEAR LONG FISHING TOURNAMENT

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FORT LAUDERDALE, FL— October 28, 2014 – Mark Ellert, President of Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts & Lodges announced today the launch of the company’s new fishing app, iGHOFISH, created to serve as the record keeper for the company’s new “Fish for the Future” fishing tournament along with tournament and special fishing events at its Guy Harvey Outpost destinations. Using software developed by Elemental Methods and the Snook and Gamefish Foundation, tournament catches will automatically populate the foundation’s database of over 130 inshore and offshore species.

Running thru 2015, the innovative ‘Fish for the Future’ tournament is open to anglers anywhere in the world, with various divisions and awards for twenty gamefish species. “With the iGHOFISH app we can now actually host a tournament with literally no limit on fishing boundaries, and in the process populate the foundations’ database with valuable catch data,’ noted Ellert. “The iGHOFISH app is a perfect reflection of our Outpost brand focus on convergence of watersport recreation and marine science. It’s ‘must have’ gear in the tackle box of every Guy Harvey Outpost angler.”

Created initially by the Snook and Gamefish Foundation (SGF) as a snook species data collection process, their Angler Action program has expanded dramatically with its intuitive user- friendly format and ease of use. “Our fishery database now includes over 30,000 catches,” notes Brett Fitzgerald, Executive Director of the SGF. “We’re excited to have Guy Harvey Outpost help us expand our reach with recreational anglers, especially those committed to data-driven fishery management practices and policies.”

“This tournament and our iGHOFISH app are a way of making citizen science just as much fun as fishing,” commented Cliff Jensen, Director of Fishing Programs for Guy Harvey Outpost. “Not all of us who love to fish have a PhD like Guy Harvey, but with this iGHOFISH app every angler can make a difference by collecting data that helps put those PhD’s to work. That sounds like fun, maybe not for the scientists but certainly for the rest of us.”

There is no cost to enter the Guy Harvey Outpost “Fish for the Future” fishing tournament. The iGHOFISH app is free, and will be available for iOS and Android phones starting November 15th. 

Elemental Methods Honored by U.S. Chamber of Commerce

America's Small Business Summit

This morning, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce honored the 2014 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winners. Elemental Methods was one of only one hundred small businesses selected from a record number of nominated companies.  The Blue Ribbon Small Business Awards program recognizes companies for their dedication to the principles of free enterprise and contributions to restoring jobs and supporting economic growth.  Each award winner demonstrated exceptional business practices in areas including strategic planning, employee development, community involvement, and customer service.  Elemental Methods was one of eight Blue Ribbon Small Business award winners from Irving, Texas.

Michael Christopher and Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Michael Christopher and Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The award was presented at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual event—America’s Small Business Summit.  The event unites small business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs from across the country to learn, network, and discuss common legislative and management concerns. 

Michael Christopher, Managing Director of Elemental Methods, accepted the award from Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Members of the Irving Texas Delegation at the Dream Big Small Business of the Year Awards luncheon include (top row) – Blue Ribbon Winner Adrian De Leon – La Margarita Restaurant, Blue Ribbon Winner Michael Christopher - Elemental Methods, Michael Gonzales – Chairman of the Chamber Board and President of Armstrong Relocation, and Blue Ribbon Winner Steve Wedler and Cary Albert – MATsolutions, (seated) Amir Mirabi – Director of Small Business Office for Governor Rick Perry, Blue Ribbon Winner Chuck and Karen Cooperstein – Cooksey Communications, and Blue Ribbon Winner Kiana and Jo Ann Goin – Glory House Catering.

Members of the Irving Texas Delegation at the Dream Big Small Business of the Year Awards luncheon include (top row) – Blue Ribbon Winner Adrian De Leon – La Margarita Restaurant, Blue Ribbon Winner Michael Christopher - Elemental Methods, Michael Gonzales – Chairman of the Chamber Board and President of Armstrong Relocation, and Blue Ribbon Winner Steve Wedler and Cary Albert – MATsolutions, (seated) Amir Mirabi – Director of Small Business Office for Governor Rick Perry, Blue Ribbon Winner Chuck and Karen Cooperstein – Cooksey Communications, and Blue Ribbon Winner Kiana and Jo Ann Goin – Glory House Catering.

Capitol Hill Day

During the summit, the Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winners from Irving, Texas participated in meetings on Capitol Hill with Congressmen Kenny Marchant and Marc Veasey, Senator John Cornyn, and Paul Teller (Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Ted Cruz).  In the meetings, the Irving Delegation discussed legislative issues affecting small businesses and the economy in North Texas.

The Irving Delegation with U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant

The Irving Delegation with U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant

The Irving Delegation with U.S. Congressman Marc Veasey

The Irving Delegation with U.S. Congressman Marc Veasey

The Irving Delegation with U.S. Senator John Cornyn.

The Irving Delegation with U.S. Senator John Cornyn.

The Irving delegation meeting with Paul Teller, Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Ted Cruz

The Irving delegation meeting with Paul Teller, Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Ted Cruz

Mike Christopher with Amir Mirabi – Director of Small Business Office for Texas Governor Rick Perry

Mike Christopher with Amir Mirabi – Director of Small Business Office for Texas Governor Rick Perry

Summit Speakers

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's America's Small Business Summit also featured speakers representing a broad spectrum of business, political, and community leaders.

General Colin Powell

General Colin Powell

Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution, Founder of America Online

Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution, Founder of America Online

Jim VandeHei, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of POLITICO

Jim VandeHei, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of POLITICO

SGF kicks off free virtual tournament series

WRITTEN BY BRETT FITZGERALD 28 MAY 2014

In an effort to bring more anglers into the data collection fold, the Snook & Gamefish Foundation is hosting a series of free 'virtual’ tournaments. Anglers across the country – and globe – are able to participate and potentially earn prizes just for participating.

Designed to manage current tournaments as well as host new events that can focus on specific research needs, iAngler-Tournament has already successfully managed a tournament from the legendary Redbone series in the Florida Keys, and just this past weekend SGF hosted their inaugural virtual event, the “Stars & Stripes” Memorial Weekend tournament.

Thirty anglers participated in SGF's Stars & Stripes tournament, from the Florida Keys to Michigan.In an effort to bring more anglers into the data collection fold, the Snook & Gamefish Foundation is hosting a series of free 'virtual’ tournaments. Anglers across the country – and globe – are able to participate and potentially earn prizes just for participating.

YOU can participate in the next FREE events, which are scheduled for June 7-8. There will be both a fresh water tournament and an inshore tournament.

Read more.

[The iAngler Tournament web portal and mobile applications were developed by Elemental Methods, LLC]

The "iAngler Tournament" mobile apps are now available in the iTunes and Google Play app stores

Elemental Methods and the Snook and Gamefish Foundation announced the availability of the "iAngler Tournament" system online and in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.

The "iAngler Tournament" system is a comprehensive system for the operation and management of Fishing Tournaments. The system also collects vital angling data for marine research.

The "iAngler Tournament" mobile application allows anglers participating in registered fishing tournaments to log their catch data while still on the water. App users can also do the following:

  • Review a list of available tournaments.
  • Register to participate in local and virtual tournaments.
  • Receive messages related to tournament activities.
  • Check weather forecasts and tide information for tournament locations.
  • Monitor the live tournament leaderboard while still on the water.