If you don't have Google Earth installed you should do so before going farther. Don't worry it is free and virus free. To get Google Earth click on: http://www.google.com/earth/index.html
So, you have downloaded Google Earth and you have become familiar with some of its feature and are asking, "How can it make me a better fisherperson?" If you have chosen Google Earth as your geo-browser (geospatial software) and have had a chance to play with it, you already know that it is a very powerful tool. Most people have very powerful programs but seldom make use of some of their best features. As fisherman, we are going to use the location feature, to share info, and obtain info on near and far locations. On this page I have posted some KML files and if you are a nerd and have a need to know you can read that as 'keyhole markup language.' Also, you will see some KMZ files, these are just zipped KML's.
What can we do with it to help our fishing? Let's start with a simple scenario. You have heard that there is an MDC conservation area an hour's drive up highway 79. You don't have exact directions; want to know how long it will take to get there, would like a map of the area, want info on available activities, regulations etc. So, being a knowledgeable Ozark Fly Fisher you now know that all of that info and much more is just click away. Give it a try, click on the MDC.kmz link below and it will launch your geo-browser and fly you to Missouri where you will see hundreds of "green" areas and MDC logos. Click on a triangular logo and everything you need to know about that area will be at your fingertips.
How about this . . . you want to go down to the Current this weekend and we have had a little rain and want to check to see if it is blownout or you are going out west and are curious as to the flow on the Madison at West Yellowstone. The answer is just a click away. Click the "USGS streamflow link" and then after your geo-browser launches, click on the gauge that you are interested in and you can find these answers along with all of the historical stream flow graphs that are available for every USGS flow gauge in the country.
Give it a try, you may be surprised at the world of knowledge that is now just a click away.
So you are going out west for a Summer fishing trip but don't want your plans to go up in smoke . . . check out the USDA Forest Service Active Fire Map website. You can even download current KMZ files so that you have up to date info. Check it out at: http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/
Other uses . . . .suppose you are new to the club. Everyone is going to meet at the upper parking lot at Mill Creek for a WQM but you have no idea where that is so you stay home. No need to ask anyone just click on this link and you will know exactly where it is: Mill Creek MDC Parking Lot.kmz
Want to go on the Taney outing and are curious as to where Lilley's Landing is in relation to the dam. You don't have to ask the Outings Director just click: Lilley's Landing.kmz
Want to go on a float/fish outing on the Eleven Point, but don't know how to get there or how long it will take, again just click: Eleven Point River Hwy 19 Walk-In Access.kmz or Turner's Spring Walk-In Access.kmz
OK, so where is Cardiac/Suicide Hill . . .click: Meramec River Cardiac Hill Walk-In Access.kmz
When I was very young, a long, long time ago, my dad used to take me camping on the banks of the Huzzah. I didn't really enjoy it but I didn't have a choice. We used to shoot turtles and snakes with a .22 (before I knew better) and did a little fishing. I remember that framer Brown's Place was on the other side of the creek across a hog trough bridge and before you ask, yes, farmer Brown had a daughter. Last year I went looking for this area while scouting for a club outing. The banks are now washed out and replaced with a gravel bar and the hog trough bridge was replaced by a nice concrete structure. But, the fishing hasn't changed much, still a little slow. The camping area hasn't change, just a wide spot in the road, only big enough for a couple tents. And, the memories are still there as is farmer Brown's Place. : Brown Place on the Huzzah.kmz
Well you should have idea behind this page by now. Send me your KMZ files and a brief description. It is easy. In Google Earth, pin the location with a "placemarker" and e-mail it to me with the subject OFF KMZ. I will post them and then if I get enough, put them in categories. Please feel free to use this tool to point out your favorite fishing spot or even your favorite rock.