Monday, July 8, 2019

Two New Maps of Blue Mountain Lake

Andy Coney holding Uncle Andy's Famous Waterproof Shoal MapDivers, amateur geologists, anglers and anyone with curiosity about what lies beneath the waves, will enjoy the new water depth map of Blue Mountain Lake. The printed contour map reveals dramatic underwater terrain. Sharp cliffs tumble into cavities, giant glacial erratics are scattered about, and unseen underwater ridges link some islands while deep holes separate others.

Blue Mountain Lake straddles the divide between the Saint Lawrence and Hudson watersheds and is ringed by mountains whose slopes continue below the surface. An enormous northeast to southwest glacial groove runs under West Bay and includes the lake’s deepest spot. That low point is 102.7 feet down where there is a huge erratic.

Created by Andy Coney, a lifelong Blue Mountain Lake paddler, rower, and sailor, who was inspired by overhearing two fishermen talk about high-tech fish finders, the map incorporates thousands of GPS/Depth points. After weeks of rowing the edges of the lake and all 38 islands in a guideboat set up with his brother-in-law’s fish finder, the equipment was moved to a small outboard and many more weeks of crisscrossing began. By November 2016 the recording was done, but two and a half years more were needed to learn the software needed to make a printable version. Finally, in February, the map debuted at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts’ Winter Benefit where the first copy to be seen in public was auctioned for $375.

Interesting statistics have come from the project too. Blue Mountain Lake’s water area, excluding islands, is 1,249 acres. The average depth is 33.3 feet and the lake holds about 28.7 billion gallons.

Framed prints of the depth map in large and medium sizes are now for sale at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake. Unframed 12 x 20 prints, a more handy size to take out on the lake, are available for $30 at both the Arts Center and at Blue Mountain Lake’s Blue Line Market.

For boaters more concerned about what lurks near the surface of Blue Mountain Lake, there’s now a new 10 x 14 waterproof shoal map. Also created by Coney, he says the shoal map reflects “a lifetime of hitting rocks so you won’t have to.”

Known rocks are marked with an X and rocky areas to avoid are indicated with crosshatching. The map includes historic names for the major shoals, such as Shearing Pin, Sunken Islands, and the profanity-inspiring Expletive Shoal. State-owned islands open to the public are named with the authorized primitive camp sites shown. Even the hard-to-find lakeside trailhead to Castle Rock is included.

The map, dubbed “Uncle Andy’s Famous Waterproof Shoal Map,” is available for $7 at the Blue Line Market in Blue Mountain Lake and printed on waterproof material.

Photo of Andy Coney holding his new Blue Mountain Lake bathometric map.

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6 Responses

  1. Robert Kibbey says:

    I wonder if Mr Coney made any notations of where fish were found as he made his map?
    Many fisherman would pay to know that information.

  2. Dave West says:

    Hats off to Mr. Coney on his labor of love! Perhaps his technological findings and experiences could be leveraged into a “crowd sourced” compendium of Adirondack lakes. I’d like to hear more about his efforts. Love to see his efforts be the focus of a Monday night talk at the ADX Museum series.

  3. Gina Miller says:

    What a great project! My maiden name is Coney. Wonder if any relationship to Andy.

  4. Peter Tagtmeyer says:

    Regarding Mr. Kibby’s comment, I pay every time I fish to learn where the fish are, that’s part of the fun of fishing. Catching is a bonus!

  5. Brian says:

    One of the most interesting lakes in the adirondacks. Its a wonder its not more popular with divers. Amazing drop offs and rocky shoals that appear out of the depths. There’s a railway car that fell off a barge like 100 yrs ago. Great fishing lake too.

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