It's been a busy couple of months around here. We've been tweaking some things on the site, and have some good stuff in the works that'll roll out this summer. We spent a couple days at Scheels in Johnstown recently for their FlyFest and FishFest talking fishing and FishExplorer, getting to see folks that I haven't seen in a while or never met in person - which is always nice to do, get out from behind the computer screen and chat face-to-face.
But most importantly, we've made some good headway in our Regional Editor
program. I announced back in December
that we launched this new position, and Cisco
, and Jim
got on board to help work out the kinks. Well, it has been a lot of work, and things are running more smoothly now. Thank you guys for helping out and working through this process with me.
Since then, six more FishExplorer members have signed on to take on the Regional Editor role, which is like a "grand-Skipper" for all lakes and rivers in a geographical region of the state. In addition to the original 3 guys, I'd like to announce and thank the following guys for joining up to help:
This leaves just a few regions to fill. The southern mountains will be divided up into more than one region I think... I am in discussion with a few folks about this. The RMNP/IPWA region consists of numerous high-elevation lakes which are not easy to keep track of, and I would love to find someone that is crazy about that area that can help out. And the northern mountain region is still in need of a Regional Editor. You can toggle the maps
to see the various regions.
The most important emphasis at this time is to enlist more Skippers
to help keep info and report updates current for all the lakes and rivers in the state. At this time we have about 130 Skippers on board. We have 574 lakes and 120 river sections activated, with plenty more in queue to add to the site. But I don't want to add many more lakes/rivers until we have enough member-involvement to help keep everything current. That means we need a lot more Skippers
For those unfamiliar with the system, a Skipper is a special account on FishExplorer that is granted the ability to manage conditions updates for a lake or river section. A Skipper usually lives near or fishes often at the spot. Consider the Skipper to be the lake/river aficionado - someone who is very familiar with the body of water... doesn't have to be an expert angler, but is very familiar with the conditions, property, rules, and fishing. Skippers can post reports on-the-fly and are the first inline to review reports that come in from other members.
I've discovered that many people won't come out on their own and volunteer as a Skipper, but once asked they are happy to get involved. I just asked my wife to Skipper a pond near us that rarely gets fished, but she walks the dog around it often. So she's on board... I just had to ask. 13 years of FishExplorer (as of this coming Saturday, I just realized that) and all she needed was to be asked, so she'll post observations and talk to anglers when walking there, until we get a fishing-nut to take over.
So we'll be going a lot more asking. I want to double our Skipper reach
this year. That's going to take a lot of work. With the Regional Editors assisting, I think it is possible. But it still comes down to you, filling out the Skipper application form
and joining us in our "fight" to keep conditions up to date. I know you're capable of the role, now we just need to get you signed onto a lake or river near you that needs a Skipper. There are a few tools that'll come in handy...
- I've added a toggle checkbox at the top of the lake map and river map that will show waters needing Skippers. Try that and see if there's something near you that you can help with. Even if it is just your dog-walking pond!
- This other page has two lists. The first lists lakes in need of updates, which often means they need Skippers too. There are some super-outdated lakes there... oh boy. The second list shows some of the top lakes needing Skippers.
As I mentioned, there are hundreds of lakes and river sections we can add to the site in queue, but we won't be doing much of that until we get the catalog we have right now under better control. If there's a lake or river we don't have on the site, we can fast-track it. Just fill out the Skipper application
and choose the "suggest" option in the lake/river dropdown menu.
If you have questions you can always reach out to a Regional Editor
in your area, or me
, via the Contact link at the top of the editor pages.
And if you are already a Skipper, maybe you can convince a friend or neighbor to join up and help out. Just ask... let's build up our team.
Thanks for tuning in. Good fishing to you all!