And the Answer is?
by: David Coulson 7/15/2010
The following email was received this week, “_____ Reservoir needs an update! It was the 6/29 last time it was updated and the conditions have definitely changed.” I responded agreeing that a conditions report was needed, but that we rely on the membership to submit reports when they fish. Now what’s really interesting is since that date seven forum posts discussing fishing on this particular water were started, and not a single conditions report was made. Plus, this reservoir is in the top 20 for lake activity.
So my question is what gives?
Every week there are forum posts requesting “recent” information on a body of water that conditions reports are accepted for and invariably one or more folks respond with information about fishing there within the last week. In the majority of those cases they didn’t bother to post a conditions report.
So my question is why not?
We’re not asking for secrets here. These waters are well known and fished frequently. All we’re asking for is information such as water levels, temperatures, water conditions (clarity, algae, vegetation growth, etc) and other things that you observe while fishing that might be useful to your fellow fisher. If you wish to submit a fishing report also, that’s great, but not at all necessary. Forum posts are great, but they are hard for folks to find, whereas conditions reports help build a historical record that is readily accessible to FxR plus members. We ask that you do this every time you fish. If you’re willing to share on the forum for all to see, why not submit a conditions report?
So my question is what’s so difficult about that?
Now I also checked and the member who sent the email is fairly new to the site, less than three months. But in that time approximately 50 forum posts were made, many about fishing different waters in Colorado that we take conditions reports. Only one condition report was made by this member. Looking but not contributing. There’s a lot of that.
I joined Fish Explorer originally because I loved the idea of getting solid information and giving what I could in return. Perfect? Far from it, but in my opinion its better than anything else I’ve encountered on the Web. So I do my best to walk the talk. In the last 90 days I’ve submitted 31 conditions reports. I do so every, and I do mean every, time I fish a water that we maintain conditions reports on.
Out of our over 16,000 members, only six (includes me) have submitted 10 or more conditions reports in the last 90 days. I find it hard to believe that only six of us have fished 10 times in the last 90 days. In fact I don’t believe it. A quick check of forum posts tells me there are lots of our members on the water at least weekly (12 conditions reports).
So the final question. How about each and every one of us Fish Explorer members makes a concerted effort to submit a condition report every time we fish? I do. Won’t you?
Blog content © David Coulson
dbest, CO 7/15/2010 12:39:28 PM
Graet blog sir.
The most confusing thing to me since I have been around is the "confusion" people have about SUBMIT A LAKE UPDATE and the forum. To me it is not complicated but people still don't seem to understand how the site is set up. I don't think that it is the way the site is set up but people still don't get it.
Coyute, CO 7/15/2010 1:50:31 PM
<p>After looking over the 'Contributors' page that lists the number of updates provided by each member, I was pleased to see the updates I have provided over the years are a pretty good number compared with like members with no official ties to the site other than being a member. I think the more active members do a pretty good job of updating lakes. I think that most of the skippers do a good job but there is dead weight there also. Then there are the 'lurkers' (as I like to call 'em) who are here only to glean information without a thought to making a contribution.
<p>Here’s an idea: You could make it so there are different levels of membership with different benefits for each level of membership. Then those who don’t contribute by either being an FxR+ member or with fishing information don't get all the goodies that come with a normal/free membership.
<p>Another idea: make the points that we gather either by submitting updates or useful forum posts worth something.
<p>Another idea: You can unlock different features of the site based upon the number of points you have gained. Maybe let other members rank or give a thumbs up to useful posts or a thumbs down for drama infested BS posts.
<p>One more: When they site goes national, becomes huge and gets bought up for millions of dollars by Pure Fishing or some other massive fishing conglomerate, that they don’t use the massive database of Colorado fishing information collected over the years for nefarious purposes! LoL
<p>I don’t know if any of these would fly with the Big Cheese and it would probably be an administrative nightmare to install any of ‘em but maybe these ideas can spark some better ones.
<p>Good blog Dave. Keep ‘em coming.
Coyute, CO 7/15/2010 1:52:01 PM
trying to use the paragraph code here = Coyute fail
pikeNcolorado, CO 7/15/2010 3:40:36 PM
I couldn't agree more. But I do have 1 concern. I have been doing my best to send in updates on Lake Estes when I fish it but sometimes it takes 3-4 days to show up and by then, the lake has completly changed. So sometimes I don't submit a report. Lately, I have been fishing a friends private pond so I can't post an update. Also, I would like to add that I have been trying to help thin the forum page by posting this (see below) when people post, hows the fishing.....
Go to the actual lake page. In the upper left corner you will see a “GO TO LAKE” below the Fish Explorer Logo. The actual lake page will gives you the latest DOW Reports (If there are any) as well as a listing of all the resent Forum Posts on the lake filtering it for you. It’s a lot easier then posting a forum and wading through the rest of them. This is an awesome feature Fish Explorer has to offer.
Just trying to do my part.
MxWxBxCx, CO 7/15/2010 4:56:02 PM
I stopped doing updates when I noticed that the 2 times I tried to submit one it never went through, like they weren't approved? Either way, they don't show up in the my reports area...and everyone seems so bent about not sharing where they fish, so I reply to posts in the forum,but as far as sharing...probably not, because people are right...I posted something about a place I like to go, and the next week I was crawling over people and dodging assholes throwing rocks in the water not 20 feet away from me.
MxWxBxCx, CO 7/15/2010 5:00:47 PM
on a retraction...I went to look and the 2 updates are there...first time they have been...but that was a month and a half ago...but I stick by the rest of what I said, and will keep in mind doing updates when I fish instead of taking it to the forum to be cattle fodder
HeavyC, CO 7/15/2010 5:19:51 PM
Yes, we need more of the conditions type reports than your fishing successes or failures. Those are an added bonus, but certainly not necessary, and as mentioned, some waters just cannot handle the added pressure.
I am certainly guilty of nothing more than shooting the BS around here. I dipped a line for 30 minutes only once since the second week of April! 3 MONTHS! YIKES, that is just not right!
Vanish, CO 7/15/2010 9:50:25 PM
As a non-FxR+ member, I cannot se the status reports, and forums are a much easier place to find info.
I was going to say the forums ability to simply filter on a lake and then make a post makes it far easier, however I just found the button the quickly submit an update above the lake map ... silly me.
HeavyC - "Yes, we need more of the conditions type reports than your fishing successes or failures."
This attitude might scare people off. If I'm not a regular on a lake, sure I can take the temperature, but how can I really give good supplemental info? I think a LOT of the forum posts asking about a place / discussing successes/failure is from people who don't know the lake they are fishing, and then feel like their report may not be "worthwhile" and so they simply don't submit what they encountered.
gatorjoe, CO 7/15/2010 10:05:46 PM
Vanish, every registered member, fxr+ or not, can see conditions reports, find the lake in the drop down menu on the upper left corner and it will be at the top of the page.
As far as conditions reports go, it does seem that there are more and more members and less and less reports. When I go places that are listed I will always try to submit a report, but I don't seem to go many places that are listed, unfortunately for both me and the site, lol.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 7/15/2010 11:08:41 PM
A point I've never understood is how a forum post is less "damaging" or results in less pressure on a water than a condition report. Conditions reports are about lake conditions, reporting them does not have to include your success or failure.
What is not good enough information to add? If you fished, you know something and all information has value. When I fish a water it's a small part of the lake so my report only paints part of the picture. 5 or 6 reports on the same day (not hard to imagine with Chatfield) would give a person a good idea of temperatures, water clarity, etc over the entire reservoir. Useful, you bet.
Also, everyone is looking for the "magic" bullet and I hear of lots of people willing to pay big bucks for a rod/line/reel/lures/bait, but not cough up $40 to gain insight on seasonal patterns, which will get you far more fish than any fly/lure. My success comes not from my flies as I only fish a few patterns, rather from knowing where the fish are likely to be on any give water at any given time. That's what the reporting and FxR plus gives us all.
This is also why I make a point to visit with my fellow fisher every time out. Information.
dbest, CO 7/15/2010 11:15:56 PM
You don't even have to have allot of knowlade of the lake or river you fish. Even if you have never fished it, you can stil report on what you see and what happened while there.
brookieflyfisher, CO 7/15/2010 11:43:44 PM
I would give out more reports, but I simply don't fish lakes that are listed on the site. I fish little ponds and lakes that no one has heard of. When I do fish lakes on here, I do what I can to submit an update.
Updates are valuable whether or not they are put on the site in time. At least it is still in the archive.
Vanish, CO 7/16/2010 8:04:34 AM
I was misunderstood a little bit. I meant I cannot see the conditions HISTORY without being a plus member. If you check my history, you'll see that I have submitted a half dozen reports in the last few weeks. .............. There's evidence of why people may not post conditions reports right in this thread: judgement of the quality of the report. .......... PS: The blog comment need endline paragraphing enabled :D
Coyute, CO 7/16/2010 8:20:58 AM
"The blog comment need endline paragraphing enabled" agreed
aaron lee, CO 7/20/2010 12:32:32 PM
I have submitted a few lake reports this past winter and spring that were never posted, so I stopped doing it. Maybe we should write a blog on how the people who are supposed to post these reports are not always doing it. I'll give it another shot this weekend, but if it's not posted, I'm not wasting my time anymore.
tommy, CO 7/21/2010 4:10:26 PM
i am like some of the others,you ask for up dates,but you dont post them,so no need sending them,i had 1 out of 3 posted.
fishhooker, CO 7/21/2010 8:30:06 PM
I usually submit updates, but in the past I noticed that on the more popular/busier lakes I had similar experiences as some others here. My updated wasn't posted or "picked". I will continue to do updates, because that's what this site is about. I want to know if a boat ramp is usable, or if the ice is off, etc, etc. I understand if people don't want to give up their bait or lure choice, and exact location and technique, I'm getting to be that way myself. Life gets in the way of how much fishing I can do anymore, and having the conditions available is great, that's why I will keep doing updates, but no real forum posts because of all the politics and other garbage on there anymore.
tommy, CO 7/24/2010 6:56:29 PM
dave didnt answer why they dont print all reports,so i will not bother with any more.
gatorjoe, CO 7/24/2010 7:30:47 PM
tommy. There's a number of reasons your report may not get posted. As lake skippers, when we receive a report it shows up on our home page and an email comes to our personal accounts saying a report has been made and is waiting approval.
Depending on the number of reports we receive at any one time, we can choose to post a report, decline it if we feel the info isn't good, or hold it until a later time if the India good but trees a number of reports.
I don't delete reports, an I dont get enough for my lake to hold them. But some lakes do.
Also remember, every skipper and editor on here is donating their time. We're all human, we all have a lot going on. I know I've gotten a report or two and said I'll post it when I get home and forgotten to. But I make every effort to post any reports I get within 12 hours if possible.
We need reports, what a lot of the new and newer people don't realize is the FXR was founded on conditions reports. That's the only reason we have the site to start with. It would be sad if we lost the ability to know what conditions are like before we head out. Also, want more lakes added so you know the conditions before you get there? There won't be many if reports aren't happening.
And what's the logic in "they didn't use it so it might as well not get done"? Most lake skippers have a contact link on their page. You can always ask why.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 7/25/2010 9:58:23 AM
I appologize for not answering quicker.
First, I never answer a question about an individual's activity on the site in a public forum.
Second, conditions report are important because they are maintained in the data base water specific and easily accessabile by FxR plus members. Only the most recent are shown to the general public. The approval process is for the skipper to do so in a reasonable time and then it goes to the admin staff for approval. So a submission might take 48 hours to show. Second, we don't automatically approve everything, we get a number of submissions that are not acceptable, even a few bogus ones, the reason for the checking process. For example "I had a bad day fishing, didn't get a bite" is not a conditions report and not even a good fishing report and I would not expect it to get approve. The system may not be perfect, but it good and it works due to the efforts of the Fish Explorer community.