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Scratch
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Is it ethical to use GPS on trips where your fishing buddy is taking you to his fishing hole? Or should you rely on his knowledge of the area to get you back safe?

Required if your buddy takes off 2 hours downstream for a 2 hour nap, and gets eaten by a big bad bear. Hansel & Grettle electronic bread crumb trail needed to find way back from oven is always required, especially if the Three Bears and Big Bad Wolf are about too.

 

Now, where did I put those co-ordinates to the Ginger Bread hole?

Edited by RangerBob
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Wally

 

No personal fishng holes for me....I share, but what I don't do anymore is post where I've been and what I've caught. I do, however, share with my buddies as to where I went and what I caught. Life way to short to not share with your buddies.

 

The beauty of a good GPS (Lowrnance H2O for me) along with the Topo maps is that during the winter season you can plan where you want to go, the easy way of getting there and have a look at what other tribs or streams are nearby. I think having one is a real plus and if you use one alongside GoogleEarth you can really do some very effective planning.

 

Vince

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I think the poitie thing to do would be to ask your revelation buddy if it was OK to use your GPS.

I he says no, keep it secret and turn the electronics off.

If he says yes, keep the GPS on, but don't share with others, unless he specifically says OK.

Otherwise, he may not let you know about the good spots or you may lose a buddy.

 

I personally don't mind limited sharing of my experiences, with the proper folks and for the proper resource. The big danger is letting slip information on something in a harvest stream that might get out to the bonking crowd. So be carefuil out there.

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Ethical? I would assume that if your buddy is sharing a nice spot, it's because he would like you to enjoy it too. Frankly - one of the most ethically difficult things about fishing to me is Frenchman's creek.

 

If I get taken to a quiet corner of the world - I tend not to share it unless the spot is known by others - or enough time has passed that my experiences on it now need to be shared also.

 

Last time I went to a 'private' place like that - it cost me 800$ in damage to the vehicle for the privilege - only to find that the spot was in Barry Mitchell's guide anyway.

 

 

I think the only place ethics play is with your friend. If you asked them not to share the spot - I'd hope they wouldn't - which has nothing to do with GPS. If it was because you don't want them to come back - why would you take them in the first place?

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Hey Scratch

I enjoyed your presentation on Wednesday. I am in the market for my first GPS, and have a couple of questions:

- Could you recommend any useful websites about GPS?

- What stores in Edmonton are worth shopping at for GPS?

- Checking out the units available in my Cabela's catalogue, they refer to WAAS - what is this, and do I need this feature (I plan to use the unit for hiking, fishing, driving, bicycling)

- Is a color display worth the extra price?

- The various units quote different built-in and expanded memory capacities. How much do you need for a mapping unit with a topographical map / road map installed?

Thanks for the help,

siwash

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:laugh: May be things are different now than when I started fishing. My mentor/s promised a cursed death; knackering with some jagged, dull road side debris if the fishin’ hole were to become common knowledge. If he didn’t do it hands on then the “curse” would turn “it” black or blacker, (which ever the case may be), to slough off slowly in dripping shreds. That meant I only went with him and I didn’t “ever” take anyone even close to this Godly place. This so frightened me that to this day I can’t recall the name of where I’ve been fishing in a conversation; seriously my mind goes blank/blanker. It’s more than sharing; you share a meal, share a drink of water, or an all night good time in a pub with a friend. A fishing hole, the ultimate offer of fishing blood brotherhood, it’s... near sharing the love of a woman. No, closer to a holy sacrament, bestowed to honor the “Fish Gods.” Ethically, for me, the right thing to do would be to leave the Garmin 76CS at home. As a tool used only to find new spots, OK, I’d go along with that but if you’re going to someone else’s fishin’ hole ethically there is no need. A fishing spot, mystical and beautiful, I believe it should never be recorded in a crutch gizmo such as a GPS. Guess I’m “Old School” if you can’t find your way home, or fear the elements; this should deter your going with me. Be safe play golf.
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Hey Scratch

I enjoyed your presentation on Wednesday. I am in the market for my first GPS, and have a couple of questions:

- Could you recommend any useful websites about GPS?

- What stores in Edmonton are worth shopping at for GPS?

- Checking out the units available in my Cabela's catalogue, they refer to WAAS - what is this, and do I need this feature (I plan to use the unit for hiking, fishing, driving, bicycling)

- Is a color display worth the extra price?

- The various units quote different built-in and expanded memory capacities. How much do you need for a mapping unit with a topographical map / road map installed?

Thanks for the help,

siwash

Thanks -

 

It's tough to cover something like GPS in an hour - but more difficult to fill 30 minutes with any detail.

 

Websites - gosh - there are plenty... Most will be checkered with 'preference' about brand or model though. Best google for "basic GPS information" or something like that.

 

As for shopping - in the city there are a number of places that carry GPS. Wal-mart, CDN Tire, MEC, Commercial Solutions (my place) Fishin Hole etc. etc... But for price - look into GPSCentral.ca - best prices about and two day turnaround.

 

 

WAAS is a function called Wide Area Augmentation System (or something like that). There are minor deviations in GPS signal, and a number of ground stations in the US send corrections to an almanac sattelite (I believe it is numbered 45 on garmin units) which provide 'differential' corrections.

 

For most current units (like those using the Sirfstar III GPS receiver chip - don't buy anything without it...) it only means a diffference of a meter or two of accuracy - but it's worth having if you want detailed track information for bike trails etc.

 

The color display certainly improves the appearance of maps. If the $ value is reasonable, go for it. I personally wouldn't go back to grey - but that's my opinion only.

 

As for maps - I can only speak to garmin. The 60 series come with 64mb cards, and they hold about a 1/4 of alberta in 'topographic' maps (because they are so detailed.) The upgrade is only 75 bucks - if you REALLLY wanted it - there is an upgrade path. Again - I prefer to be able to upgrade my electronics - so that was worth a few nickels.

 

Hope that helps...

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Thanks for the information, Scratch.

The GPS 60 series indicate that battery life will be between 28 and 30 hours on two AA batteries. Do you think that is realistic?

It is going to be a tough call for me matching all of the features that I like (on another electronic product that will be considered obsolete in two years) against a reasonable budget.

Regards,

siwash

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Hey RangerBob

 

Thanks for the info...and I did PM back. What I'm looking for may be a bit too specific for GoogleEarth.

 

Wally

 

I'm going to jump back into the conversation on ethics as it relates to a buddies private hole or pivate in his eyes. I've thought about this topic lots in the last 4 days and my thoughts run like this:

 

If my buddy has requested to not tell a soul then the right thing to do is too respect that wish and not tell a soul. Should that however stop you from taking the GPS coordinates....I think not. Who will it hurt ....no one I think. In fact it may even help one day. Say your buddy goes to this secret hole by himself and does not return home at the appointed time because something has happened to him but the wife knows that the two of you went there some time ago....would it not be a benifit for the person doing the looking to say " he went to this stream and you can give these co-ordinates to the RCMP. Would this be of help...for sure. This may be a bit off the wall but it is possible.

 

A GPS to me is just a tool....it helps me locate roads, streams and tribs and gives me a distance to the trib if thats what I want. It helps me cut time off my return by allowing me to go cross country back to my Jeep. It's saved my bacon on 3 seperate trips.

 

Your question goes beyond GPS as a tool...it goes to the question of what is fair. Would I take a GPS and mark the area...yes. My buddy may think he knows the area well and perhaps he does but do I want to be certain of getting back safe and sound. Would I share that special location or coordinates with others if he says keep it too yourself....no I would not share with others. I think my thoughts run very similar to the earlier post by RangerBob and Scratch.

 

I've enjoyed using mine...in fact I love it...many hours of enjoyment for sure. Get one, use it as a tool to help you out but if a buddy says do not share than do the right thing and don't share.

 

Vince

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Thanks for the information, Scratch.

The GPS 60 series indicate that battery life will be between 28 and 30 hours on two AA batteries. Do you think that is realistic?

It is going to be a tough call for me matching all of the features that I like (on another electronic product that will be considered obsolete in two years) against a reasonable budget.

Regards,

siwash

I get around that much battery life.

 

Less with the electronic compass, less with backlight on.

 

If you get a car mount - a 12v adapter is a worthy addition... same for on a pontoon. :)

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Scatch,

 

I just plain don't get GPS for stream or lake fishing in Alberta unless you fish very big lakes. Why bother packing more junk. If you can't figure out how you got there, Maybe "Beam me Up Scotty" is for real. For the rest of us, visible signs like trails etc. are the only markers we need. Mind you, be very careful of directions involving herds of cows.

 

I don't have a phone/MP3 player/camera/blackberry/text messenger combination either. Anything where the manual is either down loadable or weighs 50 times the weight of the newest and greatest toy is usually not worth my time packing either a computer or manual + the toy around.

 

 

As far as taking people fishing. Used to do that once till I make a real mistake of taking a guy a couple of places who named them cutzie names. When I ran into two sports from the city who used those names, the taking of anyone unless dead, very trusted or blindfolded came to an end. Here is enough herd manipulation with the Internet now.

 

catch ya'

 

 

Don

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There are a few here who rationalize the use of GPS as safety tools to necessitate its use and if it makes you feel secure that’s a “Good” thing. I pack a compass. I’ve owned a GPS for years; my first is an old Magellan don’t think it had maps. Used it once marked the truck and went fishing. Then after the day was done I though I’d try out my own senses against the machine (stayed in my pocket) to get back to the truck via a straight line through the bush and ya know I stepped out of the bush right beside my truck; never used it again on a fishin’ trip. The new (it has maps) one I have now is wonderful great way to crutch your way around big cities like Vancouver or where ever. Hook it to a computer with that little voice telling you over and over that you missed the turn is kind’a fun, well annoying after a while but still helpful. I use it hunting great way to mark downed game instead of tying those **cking plastic ribbons in the trees. Yes Vince, you could save your buddies life if he’s “fallen and can’t get up,” but what happens when there’s a falling out, something changes the relationship, or he can’t resist telling another “Good Friend,” the fellow with the coordinates passes them around and another fishing hole goes to poo! The place is immortalized with signposts naming the pools on every bend in the river where a beaten path resembling a highway that quads pound out is now the access instead of game trails. Rationalize all you want, ethically I’m still against its use when going to a friend’s “Johnny Creek.” Perhaps we need to define the word friend too. There are different levels or nuances of that idea maybe we’re misusing it here?

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Flywing

 

Our respective thinking, for the most part, is close. GPS coordinates or not...it all boils down to your buddy keeping his yap shut and not telling anyone else. I'm sure you've been burned in the past and it sounds like Don got burned real good but do you throw out the whole bushel of apples because you got one that was rotten. I've been very fortunate in receiving special places from friends and I keep them to myself...period.

 

In terms of a falling out..well relationships change but that is no excuse for a buddy to tell all just because the relationshp went south.

 

While I take mine with me...I generally don't use it on my hoof back to the Jeep but as I said earlier...better safe than sorry and again it has saved my bacon a few times. The one situation I have not used it is in a City. I should but I'd rather use a map and my own directions. As with flyfishing in general...everyone has their preferred method of fishing, preferred gear, etc. No different with a GPS. Do I like to carry around another piece of equipment.....hell no but I pack it along with my wading staff, bear spray, camera, water, snack, net, knife and the list goes on and on. Some days I resemble Arnold Swartzineger....but again better safe than sorry.

 

Flywing, my ending thoughts are: GPS or not...if a buddy takes you to a special place and tells you to keep it under wraps than do the right thing and keep the yap closed.

 

Good fishing to you

 

Vince

 

PS - I plan to pick up a compass...just in case.

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About the safety factor of a GPS:

It depends on one's woodlands experience, the weather and the situation.

I liken it somewhat to an aircraft's Emergency Locator Transmitter.

Dang expensive toy until you need it,

then it might be the difference between life and death.

Now for me, I don't go places where I'm going to get readily lost all by myself.

If I'm going to get lost, it will take some effort. I'm not the very experienced backwoods guy like Wally, but neither am I a neophyte in the woods.

I have a pretty good sense of direction, am also pretty observant and know and stay within my limits. The same can't be said for everyone. I know some guys who can get lost going around the block. There's lots of fishers and hikers out there who fall somewhere between Wally and Mr Magoo when in the woods.

While living in NZ, there were lots of news reports of folks who went for a simple day hike on a well marked trail, stepped a few yards off the trail and were lost for a long time, sometimes fatally. Some even were experienced outdoorsmen.

Weather is another factor. If you get caught in fog, a whiteout or very heavy rain, what was once familiar territory and landmarks can become obscured or change appearance. Having a coompass can help, but not if you get far off the beaten track, don't have a good map and can't take bearings.

Anyway, for those who can't find their backside in the dark, a GPS might be a good idea, although they shouldn't get cocky cause batteries and terain can render it useless. Carrying a compass and map and knowing how to use both is wise.(preparation is the key).

As for the guy lost somewhere you think he went, that's what flight plans are for.

Always tell somebody where you're going and when to expect you back. If you accidentally sprain an ankle, having someone know when and where to look might save your life. If you have a GPS, a cell phone (and coverage) would speed rescue even further. Just don't rely on them exclusively.

And I agree that if your buddy shows you someplace special, honor the relationship and keep it to yourself. Better yet, only go back there with your buddy.

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Despite the fact that this topic no longer serves the original purpose (followup technical questions / answers from our club meeting) I would like to say this....

 

Whether sharing a fishing spot is ethical or not - it is completely irrelevant to the use of a GPS.

 

As someone interested in technology, cartography, digital imaging, and a host of other interests, I take a GPS everywhere (Yes. It's 3 feet from me with my SLR, notebooks, battery chargers and compass - and I'm at work.) To suggest that I would be ignorant of a gift given to me, can't be trusted, or am otherwise 'unworthy' of being taken fishing by a 'friend' because I own or choose to use a piece of technology - is not only ludicrous - it's insulting.

 

Should I not take a camera for fear that someone might recognize a location? (Even though recognition would mean they had already been there?) Should I leave a cell phone at home - lest I make a call and unwittingly mention a highway or landmark?

 

Anglers must realize that if they share a spot (either known or 'undiscovered country') with their fishing partner they do so under the bond of the relationship. At the very least - one would hope your friend shares the same discretion. Again, this is a simple case of don't take your blabbermouth buddy or beware the consequences and again, this has NOTHING to do with a GPS.

 

The small 'Frenchmans' creek I was taken to under the "UBER-secretive-blindfolded-380km trip" to said location - was suggested to me by the Fishin Hole a month after. Turns out the secret spot was known not only by the Pot smokin locals - but by people from all over the province because that "blabbermouth" Barry Mitchell shared it... So who's 'uber-secret' spot was it really? Of course - the GPS then told me on a return visit - it was only 165km from my house not (380km), and 17km off 4 lane blacktop (not 100km of bone crushing gas roads) ain't maps and GPS great? The environmental benefit alone paid for the unit.

 

We were able to provide the locations of BAD road sections Markers 21, 23, 33 to club members who were already heading to the Little Smoky - not the location of our best fishing. I was able to return to a hole at Dolberg that produced great numbers of rainbow - 2 days running - as well as several hundred flies stashed at the lake in case I forget something...) I was fortunate enough to spend an hour hiking in a beautiful wooded area outside Whitecourt that someone had marked for me as a place I should visit - just because it was lovely.

 

That makes me untrustworthy? That makes my personal collection of spots on the Bow that I enjoyed fishing 'evil' or makes me a poor friend - or makes me a blabbermouth? Sorry - blabbermouth isn't a feature of the GPS - it's a feature of the user. One would expect that you had checked for it before sharing your spot.

 

If you truly want to blindfold a friend (and offer a 1-time gift) that's absolutely cool. Tell them up front. If you don't trust them - don't share, but do them the courtesy of telling them upfront that you don't find them trustworthy. Taking someone along - but don't want them to ever go there without you? That just sounds like an ego thing. If they outfish you - will they ever be invited again?

 

 

I have been offered several opportunities to fish with some great people. I was given the gift of floating my first river by one of them, and the location of a nice spot too - which I have neither shared, or even fished yet, both of which were and are appreciated. But I have both marked, and have the sat-images to get me there, and a GPS to ensure that I don't go too far astray. If that makes me untrustworthy - then I suppose I'll have to find my own way. Too bad.

 

I'd like to think that even the teachers can learn from their students. Hoarding knowledge doesn't do you much good when you're gone.

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Did I say that GPS technology is something not to be used? Far be it from me to hinder your love affair with GPS. Crap I’ll take you fishin’ we’ll go to a nice place I’ve seen on a map and I’ll trust you to do what ever you want with the spot. No need to take my opinions personally I don’t expect anyone to do as I say that’s for me to live up to. “Once bitten twice cautious.”

 

 

As far as off topic goes may I bring to your undivided attention the topic you started:

 

GPS Questions/ Comments/ Discussion

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I certainly haven't taken it personally. I've only tried to express the flipside to your position - since you are as passionate on one side as I am on the other.

 

You've said that:

 

"ethically" you're "not impressed" at the prospect of having someone bring along a GPS.

 

And you've said that:

 

"Ethically, for me, the right thing to do would be to leave the Garmin 76CS at home. As a tool used only to find new spots, OK, I’d go along with that but if you’re going to someone else’s fishin’ hole ethically there is no need."

 

 

All of this relates to the fact that what you've said equates to 'a crutch gizmo' being an indicator of my 'ethics' (I say 'my' as I am an angler who carries a GPS whenever I'm on the water...).

 

Based on the definition of ethics (a 'moral indicator'), and your statements, you would belive me of a different moral standing than you because of my interest in geomatics, mapping, geography and math. I don't find a way to line the two up. It's kind of akin to "If she floats - she's a witch..."

 

I've never said that I would disregard your request to leave the unit at home (that's a personal discussion over beers) - but I am trying to avoid the baby-with-the-bathwater scenario.

 

I still say you can't lump a GPS user with a Bad-fishing-buddy because of the device. It's the Angler.

 

I would hope (and I know that you do - on a personal level) that you judge an angler by their actions rather than their gear... It's not like we fish the Smoky with maggots, or travel the little Sundance with a Hill Brothers can full of worms now is it... (Come on now - we all know that they are Grayling... you don't NEED bait.) We aren't walking out carrying SPIN gear (even if it's a casting bubble with a nymph...)

 

Lastly - you made this point:

 

"...you could save your buddies life if he’s “fallen and can’t get up,” but what happens when there’s a falling out, something changes the relationship, or he can’t resist telling another “Good Friend,” the fellow with the coordinates passes them around and another fishing hole goes to..."

 

And it's this point that I want to use to support my position. Really - does this have anything to do with a GPS? Sure - co-ordinates might make it 'easier' for some... but replace "Co-ordinates" with "map" or "directions" and you've got the same scenario - without the GPS... so... at the end of the day - is it the fancy radio - or the angler that has a moral or ethical responsibility?

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As far as off topic goes may I bring to your undivided attention the topic you started:

 

GPS Questions/ Comments/ Discussion

And as for the title - you are right... You weren't at the meeting where I suggested the technical nature of the thread... pretty tough to expect you to know that. My bad.

 

:(

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Ok, now that we’re done with the formalities a couple of questions.

 

For those that use Garmin Mapsource, which grid and datum settings are used to match the lake positions listed in the Alberta fishing regulations. Example, Spring Lake is listed as (30-52-1-W5).

 

These settings are found under edit--preferences--position.

 

Also, are there any other settings for grid and datum that would be usefull for other maps?

 

Thanks,

Brent

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