A few months ago I mentioned that the UK Hydrographic Office was releasing survey data for many areas which contained much more detailed information than the standard charts from Navionics, etc. When I checked back on their website recently I noticed that a full survey is now available for Loch Etive, mainly using a 2m x 2m grid.
I downloaded all the data and ran it through Reefmaster to generate a full set of AT5 Etive charts for my Lowrance chartplotter, plus a set of images that might be of interest to anyone fishing Etive. The shallower areas are charted with a 25cm contour, whilst deeper areas have a 1m contour spacing – so there is a lot of detail in there.
To cover both my ass and yours I need to make it clear that these files are not intended to be used for navigation, but to help you identify marks to fish and get a better understanding of the loch. There isn’t really very much to hit in Etive, but don’t blame me if you do!
If you just want to look at an enlarged version of the images below then click on these to download the larger version. These are quite large (6-14 MB each) so may take a little while. Then just open in Photo Viewer or something similar and zoom in to the areas of interest to you.
The main problem with the images is that is difficult to relate them to a specific feature or place in Etive. However, if you are a Google Earth user you can download the KML files below and save them in the same folder as the image file (i.e. download the image file(s) first, before the equivalent KML file). Then simply double click on the KML file to open Google Earth and load the image file alongside the Google imagery. The files may take a few minutes to load properly, so best to go get a coffee at this point.
I haven’t uploaded the Lowrance AT5 files yet because (a) I haven’t checked them out myself and (b) they’re created for my older Lowrance chartplotter rather than the newer versions and (c) I need to sort out instructions for using multiple AT5 files on one card. Everything should work OK on newer kit than mine but with fewer features, and I’ll probably pop the files up at a future date.
A little update…
I’ve added a few more images, most of the area from Bonawe Narrows looking NE up Loch Etive, which show the some of the same information with a 3D view. They are scaled down from the full sized images, but might still take a few seconds to load.
The underwater cliffs on the right hand side of the image are roughly where the fish farm is (a popular mark which throws up quite a range of fish), opposite the main quarry.
This next one is an export view from Reefmaster of the same chart. The KML file to use with Google Earth is here.
And this shows the results after embedding the previous file in Google Earth using the KML file – it makes it much easier to locate yourself within the charts (and you can zoom, etc. as you would normally in Google Earth).
And a final image of quite an interesting little feature near Ardchattan, which looks like an old esker ridge left over from the ice age. I don’t know whether any of this really helps catch any more fish, but it does boost confidence a bit, and feeds my general fascination with maps and charts!