In order to develop analysis of aquatic biological data that accurately describe and/or predict the status of fish communities and the results of management actions on these communities, it was determined that a consistent method of collection and storage of field data was needed. In the decades prior to the proliferation of computer technology, survey data from a variety of sources were collected by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife based primarily on availability. Analysis was done to aid in management decisions at a local level. As computers became available, first as large mainframes maintained by state universities and later desktop personal computers, it was realized that the scope of analyses of aquatic data could broaden to include streams and lakes within increasingly larger drainage networks, as well as across waters with similar habitat.
In the 1980's, standardization of survey methods and data collection began. The CPW's Stream and Lake Databank (SLDB) was designed to store summary data from the latest inventory survey performed on managed lakes and streams, and served as the model for the database within ADAMAS. At the same time, a program to collect and analyze data from creel censuses (CSAP) was developed and implemented.
In the 1990's, efforts to further standardization and automation continued. With the decline in equipment costs, primarily in storage and processing power, it became clear that, rather than storing summaries from the latest surveys, raw data from every survey could be entered and stored, allowing a variety of analysis methods to be applied to any dataset from the database. Interest in applying spatial analysis methodologies, offered by Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to fisheries management sparked the development of hydrologic layers within the Division's growing GIS. Links between the database and the GIS to identify bodies of water, stream segments and sample locations influenced the design of the database.
These efforts were formalized as a research project, entitled Aquatic Data Analysis (F-239-R). Development of the Aquatic Data Management System (ADAMAS), development of the hydrology layers in the CPW's GIS and providing technical assistance to field biologists, researchers and staff became the thrust of the project.
Aquatic Data Management System (ADAMAS)
The objective of this task is to continue to develop and maintain a computer based statewide aquatic data management system which will facilitate standardized entry of survey data across the state and access to information regarding all aspects of aquatic data including stream and lake inventories, creel surveys and Scientific Collections (SCICOLL) reporting data from consultants and researchers outside of the CPW. Given the design of the SLDB as a starting point, ADAMAS' database design began with the concept of a relational, normalized model, storing higher-resolution data values in smaller tables related to lower-resolution "parent" tables via key values.
The design has grown from the 4 tables found in the SLDB to today's 100-table collection of data detailing the 13,000 managed lakes, reservoirs, ponds, stream and river segments in the state as well as sample data from 16,000 surveys performed at 11,000 sites, some as early as the late 1800's. This collection is growing as CPW records for surveys from the last 4 decades are located and information from on-going surveys are recorded and entered.
Originally designed as a distributed-copy database using Ashton Tate and Borland's dBase database management software (DBMS), the database has moved to a centralized installation of Microsoft's SQL Server DBMS, allowing CPW users to retrieve data using Microsoft Access across the CPW's wide area network. An application to enter, edit and report on standard analyses of survey data is in development for CPW users. Aquatic SCICOLL permit holders are required to report their data collections in a file format designed for ease of import to the database based on minimum requirements for surveys developed by CPW biologists. For those who wish to use it, the JakeOmatic program is available on this website, and was designed to write to the file format as well as provide advanced survey-data analysis to the user.
Maintenance involves the continuing quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) effort to bring existing survey records to accuracy, updating information concerning individual waters and survey locations from a variety of sources and design for expansion as links to other databases are required or data items to be recorded are added.
Hydrologic Layers within the CPW's Geographic Information System (AQ-GIS)
This task involved the development and maintenance of a computer-based geographic information system to support fisheries management decisions, spatial analysis of fisheries data contained in ADAMAS, accurate update of the location data components of ADAMAS and assist in the development of statewide mapping which illustrates fishery management practices through the use of GIS methodologies. Originally constructed from digital, 1:100,000 maps available from United States Geologic Survey (USGS), a statewide, hydrologic layer, attributed with coding linking ADAMAS records, was completed in 1997. As projects requiring better resolution came about, an effort to hand-digitize the state's hydrology from 1:24,000, 7½ minute topographic quad maps began. Advances in scanning technology spawned inquiries to USGS for the availability of mylar copies of the hydrologic information on those maps, allowing for consistent automation of the digitizing process. This led to an 8-year contract with USGS to produce the state's hydrology coverages consistent with the evolving National Hydrography Dataset (NHD). Colorado's NHD coverages are now available from USGS.
In July, 2004, with the USGS contract completed and most of the internal work on the layers finished, further development and maintenance was transferred to the CPW's GIS work group in the Habitat Section (now the Wildlife Conservation Section). The GIS is in use to perform quality control checks on related data values in the database, map species distribution and occurrence across the state, aid in stocking by aircraft, define areas affected by regulations and helping to visualize the extent of fisheries management practices and problems.
Tasking was included to provide technical assistance to researchers, field biologists, and staff on a variety of aquatic data analysis topics including creel survey, inventory survey, management categorization, capture and recording of accurate location data through the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS), software review, application development and other computer related data analysis needs. For a clear, concise explanation of GPS use, go to Garmin and download their GPS Guide for Beginners and Using Garmin GPS with Paper Maps, both in pdf format.