The OWRB’s bathymetric mapping program utilizes GIS and related technology to provide accurate determinations of the current storage capacities in the state’s reservoirs. Geographic Positioning System (GPS) and acoustic depth sounding instruments are incorporated into hydrographic survey vessels. Contour maps are then derived from the collected data points and digital lake bottom surface models.
Obtaining accurate storage volumes for lakes is an integral tool for water resources management. The valuable information that a bathymetric survey produces can be used by State and Federal Agencies for determining TMDLs, dam breach analysis, and watershed monitoring and management; municipalities to help determine the amount of water a lake can yield in the driest of times (reliable yield); fisheries managers to help determine fish stocking quotas, provide an estimate of lake volume for chemical rehabilitation projects and vegetation control, and calculate potential yield of fish; and anglers to find sunken points, drop-offs, mud flats, and other features.