In the U.S. and Canadian Pacific Northwest, there are great fishing opportunities and many layers of regulations to go with them. The saltwater recreational fishing regulations in the Pacific Northwest are second-to-none in complexity, and customers from this area frequently ask for the ability to draw fishing regulation boundary lines on their chartplotters.
Here is a way to create those lines on your chartplotter using Garmin’s HomePort PC application. This example will recreate the boundary line of the Stonewall Bank conservation area off the Oregon coast. We will create a GPS track and save it; tracks are the breadcrumb trails behind your chartplotter’s boat icon as you cruise about. In this case we will create an artificial track using HomePort. Follow the jump for a step-by-step walk through...
Setting Up HomePort
Start up HomePort on your PC. If you are using an SD card to transfer these new boundary lines to your chartplotter, plug the SD card into the PC. Otherwise, if you are using a GPS handheld, attach it to the PC via USB. You should see your SD card or handheld device appear on the HomePort screen under the Library list in the upper left of the window.
Creating A Boundary Line
1. Create a new folder for your boundary line by clicking File/New/Folder in <your device name here>. Name the folder anything, for example - “fishing lines”. Note: if you create the new folder under the Library section, it will stay on your PC and will not be on the SD card when you transfer it to the chartplotter. You can do it that way to keep a copy of your track/boundary on your PC. When finished creating the track, just drag it to the SD card before shutting down HomePort.
2. Click on the folder you just created so it is highlighted. Start a new track in your new HomePort folder by clicking File/New/Track.
3. Click on the chart at each point of the boundary line you are recreating. Don’t worry about getting each point exact yet as we’ll fine tune them later. Note: You can find the lat/lon of the mouse pointer position in the lower left corner of HomePort. You can change the Lat/Lon format by clicking Tools/Options.
4. Fine tune each turn point of your track line with the Move Point tool (as shown circled in red to the left).
a. Click on each turn point on the track. Hold down the left mouse button to drag the point around. Zoom in quite far to make it easier to get the exact lat/lon specified in the regulation. If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel use it to quickly zoom in and out.
5. When you finish fine tuning each turn point use the Properties tab below the chart in HomePort to name the route, set the color and to double-check each point for accuracy.
Transferring Tracks To Your Chartplotter
Shut down the HomePort application and eject the SD card or disconnect your handheld from the PC.
If you are transferring to a chartplotter take the SD card to your boat. Plug the SD card into the chartplotter. Import the new track via Home/Information/User Data/Data Transfer/Card/Merge From Card. Select the data to import and press "Merge From Card". The new boundary line track should now be drawn when viewing the navigation or fishing charts.
If you are using a handheld GPS, you can display the boundary line track by going to the main menu (press the Menu button twice), Track Manager, then scroll down to the track name and press the Enter button. Scroll down to the Show On Map button and select it. The track will be drawn when viewing the chart.