US Geological Survey


Document Type


Date of this Version



Fisheries, Vol. 40 No. 12 December 2015


U.S. Government Work


The American Fisheries Society (AFS) recently published Standard Methods for Sampling North American Freshwater Fishes. Enlisting the expertise of 284 scientists from 107 organizations throughout Canada, Mexico, and the United States, this text was developed to facilitate comparisons of fish data across regions or time. Here we describe a user-friendly web tool that automates among-sample comparisons in individual fish condition, population length-frequency distributions, and catch per unit effort (CPUE) data collected using AFS standard methods. Currently, the web tool (1) provides instantaneous summaries of almost 4,000 data sets of condition, length frequency, and CPUE of common freshwater fishes collected using standard gears in 43 states and provinces; (2) is easily appended with new standardized field data to update subsequent queries and summaries; (3) compares fish data from a particular water body with continent, ecoregion, and state data summaries; and (4) provides additional information about AFS standard fish sampling including benefits, ongoing validation studies, and opportunities to comment on specific methods. The web tool—programmed in a PHP-based Drupal framework—was supported by several AFS Sections, agencies, and universities and is freely available from the AFS website and With widespread use, the online tool could become an important resource for fisheries biologists.