Lake and Pond Bottom Contour Mapping (Bathymetry) - Sample maps below

New in 2012, we are adding the service of creating bottom contour maps, or topo maps, of any body of water. Our maps will detail the depths and contours or your pond which can then be used for a multitude of purposes such as those listed below among others. The technology used to create these maps is a combination of sonar readings combined with GPS location. This is the same technology used by many government agencies and engineering firms. The difference is that we can offer the service at a fraction of the cost. These maps can be formatted in digital versions that can be printed or layered into Google Earth which allows us to zoom in and out to really observe details within the map. The maps can also be printed in whatever size desired for use on site or on the water.

Our system also allows us to map the thickness of soft material on the pond bottom. Tracking accumulation of soft material over time lets us know where sediments are entering or organic muck is accumulating. Steps can then be taken to prevent this from happening before it results in more expensive actions such as dredging. We can also use this soft bottom data combined with physical measurements to locate the thickest areas of organic muck to be selective in where and how much is dredged maximizing your dollar in a dredging project.

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    Uses for bottom contour maps:
  • Depth monitoring over years to track sediment accumulation
  • Designing dredging projects for maximal cost effectiveness
  • Organic muck level determination
  • Fishery management
  • Determining water volume for chemical applications
  • Wildlife management
  • Confirming that dredging was completed correctly
  • Designing the addition of fish habitat such as FisHiding structures
  • Fishing outings both tournament and recreational
  • Aeration design
  • Identifying problem areas of that body of water

One of our first projects will be to map Lost Grove Lake which is still currently under construction. A new lake in eastern Iowa which is projected to be around 350 acres in size. This will be a good demonstration of our mapping capability. Our only current delay on that project is that the lake does not yet contain any water. This map will primarily be designed for fishing with an list of over 114 GPS coordinates of structure that has been built and placed in the lake for fish to use as habitat. It promises to be good for bass, bluegill, redear, crappie and musky fishing similar to Lake Sugema.

This is a specialty service that we are willing to travel to supply. While we are based in eastern Iowa, we consider the following area to be home base: Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Mapping requests outside this area will be considered so please contact us with your interest.

Below are several version of a bathymetric map of Pride Lake created in 2012. This little lake located in Scott County Park was dredged in 2005. It is 7 acres in size with a maximum depth of just over 11 feet. As you can see, it was dredged uniformly to a consistent depth through most of the lake. The shore drops off sharply to around 9 feet which will limit rooted plant growth most years as algae blocks sunlight from reaching this depth. The trees and a few deadfalls along the western shore provide good fish habitat as does the topography around the island.

A repeat map in a year or two will show any differences in depth change due to sediment accumulation. We were not involved with this dredging project but if the entire area was taken to 9 feet, the southwest corner is beginning to fill in with sediment. This is where a silt pond above drains into the lake and water from the nearby town rushes into the lake during rain events. This may be the design of the pond, but is an area to monitor with repeat mappings to head off any problems before they become costly.

We can control many parameters in the map creation proces to tailor eah to the body of water. Major and mionor countours can be set, colors can be adjusted and so on. The most powerful part of this map is that we can create KMZ files that can then be loaded into Google Earth. Google Earth is a free download that allows you to zoom in and get GPS coordinates for any use. Simple click on the KMZ file once you have downloaded Google Earth and it will automatically load and zoom into the location.

Along with the mapping service, we can survey the bottom composition of the pond to determine how much organic content and sediments have settled on the bottom over the years. Knowing this type of information helps with planning management techniques to use and how to design an aeration system to properly fit the pond.

A PDF of Pride Lake
A KMZ file that can be loaded into GOOGLE EARTH
We have just added a new product line related to our mapping capabilities. Many times smaller fishing spots get ignored by map makers so we have started to collect data on some of these locations to help out anglers that fish them. The maps available so far can be found on the fishing maps page. More will be added as we are able to travel to them and collect the needed information to create the images. We sell the maps in packages that include a printable pdf map that will fit a standard sheet of paper to take into the field and a digital map that overlays into Google Earth to where you are able to scan it for good fishing spots and find the GPS coordinates to put into your GPS unit. Some map packages also come with an additional printable pdf with GPS coordinates of fishing structures and good locations.