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Bathymetric map, surface  area, and stage-capacity for the U.S. part of Lake Koocanusa, Lincoln County, Montana,  2016–18

February 4, 2022

The U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers collected high-resolution multibeam sonar data during 2016–18 to compute stage-area and stage-capacity tables for the U.S. part of Koocanusa Reservoir in Lincoln County, northwestern Montana. Koocanusa Reservoir is a transboundary reservoir extending about 48 miles from Libby Dam upstream to the U.S. international boundary with Canada and another 42 miles within Canada to near Wardner, British Columbia. The upstream extent of the reservoir within Canada, where much of the sedimentation was previously documented, was not included in this study. Previously developed stage-area and stage-capacity tables were developed for the entire reservoir and could not be directly compared to the stage-area and stage-capacity tables from this study. Two discrete stage-area and stage-capacity values from the original survey (unknown survey date prior to 1980) were available for parts of the reservoir within the United States at the normal full-pool and normal minimum-pool elevations (2,459 and 2,287 U.S. survey feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929, respectively). At the normal full-pool elevation, the stage-area relation resulted in a 0.06-percent increase in surface-water acreage. Conversely, a 0.03-percent decrease in storage capacity at the normal full-pool elevation occurred. At the normal-minimum-pool elevation, the stage-area relation showed a 1.21-percent decrease in surface water from 14,487 to 14,314 acres. The usable storage capacity, defined as the volume of water between the normal full-pool and normal minimum-pool elevations, decreased by 0.39 percent (15,353 acre-feet). Results from this study indicate that a relatively minimal amount of sedimentation has occurred since initial filling in Koocanusa Reservoir for parts of the reservoir within the United States. Updated stage-area and stage-capacity tables for the entire reservoir will require additional bathymetric and topographic surveys for the parts of Koocanusa Reservoir within Canada.

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