Bottom Maps

I was wondering if there is a detailed bottom map/soil classification somewhere that identifies bottom contours and soil types? I’m interested in more deep dropping and would like a resource to identify particular bottom. Most maps that I have ever had do not show that type info.

Any ideas for resources?

That is a very specific type of information that will not be listed on any of the maps I know of. High quality sonar and the ability to fine tune it will be your best bet. Deep dropping is a very specialized fishery with not much public info or shared knowledge.

Good luck, most of the resource agencies that map the sea floor for hard bottom habitat intentionally leave all maps/reports at a very small scale as to leave ambiguity in the locations of hardbottom. The grids that I have found have been in 1-3 sq mile areas as to not give exact locations as to what was found. This is done so the locations of known hardbottom cannot be pinpointed but just rough areas where it is probable.

How hard do you think the hardbottom habitat would be hit by fishermen if they were to publish all hardbottom surveyed off the coast?

NOAA would have the depth information collected for charting, I don’t think they publish contours other than what is produced for the ENC charts. You can go to their website and download many of the raw survey datasets and create your own contours if you have the software to do it (ArcMap, QTmodeler, etc) but don’t be surprised when many of the surveys are 40-60 years old. Sea floor is pretty static and they have few vessels to collect offshore the whole U.S. Coast.

The only people that would have detailed soil classification would be the Army Corp, and that information would be limited to the federal channels where dredging takes place regularly or beach renourishment borrow areas in shallow water.

I have been looking for and playing with this information for a few years. It may be out there, but I have not run across a solid source yet myself.

I can identify the soft vs hard on the sonar once I locate it, but I was generally looking for that 1-3 mile area to initially target. I guess it matters less this year, since everything most likely is closing for deep dropping anyway.