Why Lake Mapping is an Important Part of Lake Management

You can’t see down into a lake with your eyes alone. So how are you to know what lurks beneath the surface? The solution is lake mapping, an essential tool for lake management and development.

A lake map gives you a visual representation of the water’s depths throughout the body, as well as its overall shape and volume. It can also provide useful information about the ecosystem and how the body of water changes over time. This information can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, fishery managers and wildlife managers use the data to determine fish stocking quotas, calculate the amount of product needed for chemical rehabilitation and vegetation control, and manage water levels.

Beyond lake management, mapping is also helpful for anglers and hunters. The maps help anglers find sunken points and other structures within the water, and they show hunters where points and passes are located for waterfowl hunting. In short, just as you need to know the lay of the land for a property lot, you should know what your lake looks like beneath the surface.

How Lake Mapping Works

People have been mapping water for lake management for decades. When these efforts first began, the surveyors would drop a weighted line to estimate the depth at different points. Eventually, echo sounding was introduced to the process to boost accuracy. Today’s mappers use a combination of echo sounders, on-board computers, and GPS systems to document the lake’s depth and shape with remarkable detail.

After you’ve received your map, you’ll be able to conduct lake management with greater confidence and better results. The data gathered will guide your decision for your years on everything from choosing which fish to stock and how much weed control treatment to apply. Not to mention you’ll have a detailed map of your property’s water feature to display and enjoy.