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Fish Explorer Frequently Asked Questions
Conditions Reports
Do you require giving up secret spots for reports?

No. We'd rather you not give up secret spots. After all, most of the fun in fishing (as most of us believe anyway) is figuring out some of the puzzle yourself. Conditions are important in that it helps us pre-plan and determine what to expect when arriving at a fishing location. Submitting specific locations within a body of water can lead to over exposure and be detrimental to the enjoyment of others.

I just submitted a lake report, why isn't it showing yet?

When you submit a conditions report, it goes into a queue for Skippers and Reports Editors to review for clarification and accuracy. Once the report is reviewed it will be approved, discarded, or held. Reports will be discarded if they are not reports, if they are deemed intentionally misleading, or are lacking any substantive content. Reports will be held if they are less complete than a report recently submitted. In this case, we want to give credit to the submitter and save the report for member's records, so it is not discarded and it is held until a new report comes in and then approved behind the new report.

What kind of information should I include in my conditions updates?

See our reports help page for more info. Water temperature, water levels, access issues, water clarity, wind effects, fishing depths, structure notes, general fishing-related observations, road closures, lake facility closures, campground changes, and anything else that would effect a fishing trip to the location. Conditions reports differ from fishing reports in that it is not pertinent to describe how many fish you caught or how you caught them, but instead the conditions noted that led to your success (or failure!)

Why should I submit a lake report?

To help each other plan fishing trips. In turn, others will submit reports which will eventually assist you in your trips. This is a reciprocal system that relies on everyone chipping in. Plus, it is good karma.

What is a Skipper? What is required to be a Skipper? Can I become a Skipper?

Anyone may apply to become a Skipper using the Skipper form. A reports editor will call you and discuss the volunteer position. Our skippers must be upstanding citizens on and off this website, be familiar with the bodies of water they control, and commit to frequent attendance to reviewing submitted reports. Skippers are not obligated to supply members with reports on their waters, it is up to the membership to supply most of the reports. That being said, if reports are slow, we do ask that skippers be able to stay on top of conditions for their waters.

Can I contact Lake Skippers?

Lake skippers have the option of allowing members to contact them. Skippers are not charged with the responsibility of fielding questions, but many do opt to. To contact a skipper, visit their profile page and if they've opted to receive emails from members, there will be a "Contact" link on their page below the list of lakes they "Skip" on, above their photo gallery.

FxR+ Subscriptions
Should I sign up for FxR+?

You'd miss out on some key details if you didn't. It is less than $3.33 per month. If you find this resource useful, treat yourself to an FxR+ subscription and unluck the benefits (listed on the account comparison page). Our favorites? The lake activity graph to find which lakes are getting the most attention (read: they'll be crowded!), historic conditions reports for research and comparison, the private fish log for plotting pics and details of your fish on our maps, and the wind forecasts (who likes wind?)

How much is it?

See our account comparison and our membership pages for more detailed information.

How do I access historic information?

Current conditions, those most helpful to members at the current time, are available for all logged-in members. Historic conditions are available for the serious anglers who have signed up for the FxR+ subscription. With FxR+ you can click arrows on the lake details pages to step back in time through water levels, temperatures, and reports. You can also view conditions for the same time last year, and a running list of recent data. Please note, that any reports you submitted are available in the My Reports page.

How accurate is the weather information in the FxR+ subscription?

As accurate as any weather forecast (but hopefully more since we've spent time finding the closest weather stations to each body of water!) We use data provided from third-party weather data resources and present it to you for the specific location you are looking at. Wind forecasts and sky cover forecasts both of which both play a major role for some species and lakes are based on the closest weather stations we could find and third-party weather models. The historic data in the barometric pressure and wind history sections specific to each lake are derived from weather stations' observed data.

Can trip journals and fish log be viewed by ALL FxR+ members?

No. Trip journals and your fish log are private and only for your viewing.

Member Accounts and General Site Usage
Can I change my nickname?

Nicknames can be changed in the My Account page until you make a post or submit a lake update, both of which appear on the website associated with your nickname. If we allowed changing nicknames after that, chaos would set in with everyone changing nicknames all the time, and nobody would know who anyone was. If the change is urgent, you may request a nickname change and each request is considered on a case-by-case basis (please include the reason why the change is urgent.)

I lost my password and login info, how do I get it?

At the bottom of the website is a link for Forgot Password.

How do I contact FishExplorer.com?

The contact page is here.

What are the points for? What do they mean?

Points are awarded for contributions to the website. This is primarily focused on conditions reports and at this time, awarded for each temperature update, water level update, conditions report, and status update. You can also get points for submitting events to the calendar and photographs. Points currently may be used to receive a discount to the FxR+ subscription and multiple entries into the annual Winter Giveaway (and some would say also may be for bragging points.) In the future we may add more benefits for points. See our points page for more information...

Why did my picture get deleted form the gallery?

Most likely the photo fell outside the guidelines. See notes on the photo submission page. This gallery is for released fish and also for photos of the body of water, landscapes, facilities, and anything related to the area.

How do I upload photos?

In the forum post form, click on the browse button and find the photo file on your computer. When you save the post, the photo will be uploaded. If you have trouble uploading, the file size may be too large and taking too long. To resolve this issue, reduce the size of your photos using any photo editing software, or the free Windows Image Resizer which is part of their PowerToys applications. Resize images to at least 800px wide before uploading.