Fish Survey Database - Design Discussion

This database was initially developed to store and analyze data about the species and relative abundance of fish in several locations. The locations include three streams, a pond, and a river. The collection method varies depending upon the type of location. Methods used for this long-term monitoring were dip net collection and shore-based seining. The basic database design could be enhanced to include data specific to electrofishing, trawl studies, or other methodologies.

A case study describing the design process and decisions made was prepared and presented at the annual Maryland Water Monitoring Council conference. That audience was composed primarily of water quality professionals and volunteers. The presentation focused on explaining database design concepts to people likely to be familiar with fish surveying but not experienced in database design. The presentation of the design rationale is available as a PDF of the slides along with an outline of the talk. The use of formal database/computer science terminology is minimized.

A version of the same presentation with notes for readers with more database experience than fish survey knowledge will be posted in the near future. This version will use common database design terminology to explain the design and the choices made.

Viewing both versions will provide a fuller understanding of the design.

Small screen capture of database user interface

Simple data entry screen for fish reference data.