Bathymetric Survey of the Mores Creek Arm of Lucky Peak Lake

Science Center Objects

In 2004, about 90 migrating elk and 25 mule deer broke through thin ice and drowned as they attempted to cross the Mores Creek arm of Lucky Peak Lake upstream of the Highway 21 bridge. To prevent any similar incidents, reservoir managers and wildlife biologists needed a better understanding of water depths over a range of reservoir pool elevations.

Boat pilot's view of bathymetric surveying on Lucky Peak Lake, Idaho

Between May 11 and 13, 2021, hydrologists from the USGS Idaho Water Science Center conducted bathymetric mapping of the Mores Creek arm of Lucky Peak Lake near Boise, Idaho. Data from the survey will help reservoir managers and wildlife biologists understand water depths at various reservoir pool elevations. With that information they can adjust reservoir levels to support successful big-game migrations across Mores Creek.

(Credit: Taylor Dudunake, USGS Idaho Water Science Center. Public domain.)

In cooperation with the Lucky Peak Power Plant Project, we conducted high-resolution multibeam echosounder (MBES) bathymetric surveys on the Mores Creek arm of Lucky Peak Lake between May 11 and 13, 2021. We were able to collect nearly 100 percent coverage of bed elevations within the survey reach from near the mouth of Dead Dog Creek downstream to near the Highway 21 bridge. From this data we created a depth raster and contour map for water-surface elevations of 2,960, 2,965, 2,970, 2,975, and 2,980 feet. This information will help reservoir managers and wildlife biologists to adjust reservoir levels as needed to support successful big-game migration across Mores Creek.

You can access the data from this project via the USGS ScienceBase catalog: https://doi.org/10.5066/P92KWCBP.