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Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center -- Louisiana

Picture of USGS employee in a Louisiana swamp.

Sportfishing in Louisiana using NWISWeb real-time data – 5 Oct 2006

Fishing is big in Louisiana. And when folks go fishing, most of them want to actually catch something besides a nap and a sunburn, so any advantage they can find, they will use. Now, thanks to NWISWeb real-time data, anglers can more accurately estimate when conditions will be favorable for their favorite "honey holes" before they ever leave their homes. This is a great tool for those of us with a limited amount of recreational time, because using this USGS NWIS data lets us maximize the probabilitty for a successful fishing trip.

There are many environmental parameters that influence whether or not fish will be active, and the savvy fisherman knows what to look for in the areas where he fishes most often. Until recently, the best most folks could do is check the newspaper or local TV station to see what the weather and the river stages were doing at a very few locations thoughout the state, and hope for the best when they got to their destination, which may or may not have been near one of the reported locations. Now, however, with over 240 sites thoughout the state, anglers have a wealth of data available to them with just a few mouse clicks. Through NWISWeb, vital, near real-time environmental information such as stage, stream velocity, water temperature, salinity, and wind speed and direction can be displayed on your home computer. This information is available as both a graph or a table, displaying as much as the last 31 days of data. Not every site has all of these parameters, but several of the coastal sites have many of them, so if you are a redfish or speckled trout enthusiast, these sites will be especially beneficial. Here is a live example of the sort of data that is available for coastal anglers. Coupled with other sites that provide other important information, such as NOAA's Tides Online, coastal fisherman have more tools than ever before to decide when and where the fish will be.

Anglers who favor the Atchafalaya spillway also have a wealth of data available. There are quite a few sites in and near the Basin that should be very useful to those of us that head that way. There are well-known sites at Butte La Rose and Morgan City, and several in between as well.

The Gulf Coast and the Atchafalaya Basin are not the only places where people fish in Louisiana, so for those that prefer to fish in other places, we have sites in key locations throughout the state. Statewide coverage is both broad and deep, so hopefully there is one near your favorite fishing hole.

NWISWeb is featured on many Louisiana fishing websites such as Louisiana Sportsman and Mike Lane's RodnReel.com.

Of course, many of us will go fishing even if the conditions are unfavorable. After all, there is a lot of truth to the saying, "A bad day fishing beats a good day working."

But it's awfully nice to be the one that gets to say, "You should have been there yesterday!"

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Page last modified: January 13, 2017 8:20:20