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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

New FishBoatPA App Shows Real-Time Stockings, Nearby Streams

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today unveiled a new smartphone app to help anglers and boaters better navigate the Keystone State’s streams and lakes. The “FishBoatPA” app will help Pennsylvania’s fish and boat community to see which waters have been stocked with trout, how to get to those locations easily, and what other access areas are near their current fishing spot.
The new “FishBoatPA” app is now available for free on both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
According to PFBC Executive Director John Arway, the goal of the app is to meet the needs of anglers who are increasingly using smartphones.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to access our stocking information and purchase a fishing license,” he said. “The use of smartphones has skyrocketed, so we have found a way to improve the fishing and boating experience for our anglers and boaters. Now they can spend less time looking for information and more time fishing and boating.”
First Lady Frances Wolf, a relative newbie to the angling world, tries to make time to fly-fish a few times a year. 
“I’m excited to explore the beautiful streams of our state with this new tool,” First Lady Wolf commented. “I may finally be able to improve my technique with the FishBoatPA app – it will certainly work better than the “How To” books I usually carry with me!”
On the PFBC website, the stocking page is the most visited by far, with anglers generating more than 1.2 million visits to the page each year. So when the FishBoatPA app opens, the first item anglers see is an “Upcoming Trout Stocking” link, which updates in real-time.
Users can sort stocking schedules by county. The app is tied directly into the PFBC’s online stocking schedule, so anglers can see past and upcoming stockings and the type of trout placed in a water. GIS coordinates allow users to use mapping apps installed on their phones to get directions to their favorite stocking site.
The “Near Me” feature uses a phone’s GIS coordinates to locate and display trout waters within 5, 15, 25 and 50 miles of the user.
Another prominent feature on the app home page is the link “Get a license today.” This enables users to find an issuing agent near them and to see pricing options for licenses.
The app also links to a “Fish ID” guide with color pictures; a “Learn” section with links to helpful information like tying knots and learning how to properly handle fish; and to PFBC rules and regulations.
Another option is a “My Trophies” section where anglers can post pictures to share with others using the app. Users can add a title, fish weight and length, the date they landed the fish, and their comments, like the type of lure they used. They can then share their trophies by email, text message or through social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
Arway said additional content and enhancements will be added in the coming months to make the app even more appealing to anglers and boaters.

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