Lowrance, which makes fishing sounders, is conducting an interesting global social sonar mapping program called Insight Genesis.
Anyone with a late model Lowrance sounder/GPS unit can map their own fishing spot and upload those sonar recordings to the IG website and create their own maps that they can then run on their sounder on their boat.
It’s unique in that it’s free and it’s sharable, so you can tap into other people’s maps of local areas.
“Coverage of the bottom contour on Lake Macquarie is now 16,000 acres of the potential 27,000 acres,” said Mark ‘‘Wilba’’ Williams, who has recently taken up a position with Lowrance.
“Anyone with a Lowrance sounder can tap into that social library.
“There are other things you can pay for, like vegetation maps and bottom hardness.
“And there is a privacy option, that you pay for, if you don’t want to reveal your secret spots.”
Wilba said the only other time Lake Macquarie had been hydrodynamically surveyed in this way was when the power stations were constructed in the 1960 and 1970s.
“They floated a lot of stuff into the channel for the construction of Eraring,” Wilba said.
“Lowrance have been doing this all over the world. Places like Glenbawn dam and Lake St Clair are entirely mapped now.
“They hand out sonars to guys in fishing comps and get all that data.”
Righto is very excited by the concept.
“It’s been around for a while, but guys are starting to use it more to get an edge.
I think it will become more and more important as the maps get filled in – you’ll get a 3d picture, full structured map of the lake with contours and depths.
”Or you could go out to the shelf and record structures and things like that.
“But that’s only one part of it when it comes to actually catching fish. You still need the gear, the boat, the tides, the moon, the times and most of all, the luck. But that’s what I love about it.”