Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Water Body Details

Source: DNR Register of Waterbodies (ROW) database

Date: Last updated 5/08

Description: The Water Body Details layer provides more specific information about each water body including name, size (length for rivers, area for lakes) and location (at mouth for rivers and either lake outlet or center).

Water body detail information is stored and managed in the DNR Register of Waterbodies (ROW) database. ROW maintains a comprehensive inventory of surface waters in the state.

Measurement Sources reported include:

  • Field determination – The size determined by field staff on–site.
  • Legal determination – The legal size determination for enforcement actions.
  • 24K Hydro – Size determined for the feature based on its representation on the DNR 1:24,000 (24K) scale hydrography GIS layer. The hydrography layer features represent the streams and lakes found on the USGS 7.5 minute topographic maps.
  • Digitized with ELT from DOP – Size was determined by digitizing the water body as it appears on a Digital Ortho Photo (rectified air photo). Digitizing was accomplished using the DNR Embeddable Locator Tool (eLT).
  • DNR Lake Book – Size as documented in DNR Lake Book, publication DNR PUB–FH–800.
  • WI Lake Map – Size as documented on the Wisconsin Lake Map.
  • County Surface Water Book – Size as reported in the County Surface Water books which were inventories of surface waters by county documented by the DNR in the 1960s.
  • Geographic Names Information System – Size as reported in the Federal Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) for surface waters.
  • Unknown – Source of size information is unknown.

Location information is based on the Public Land Survey System (Township, Range, Section, Quarter Section, QuarterQuarter Section) and County.

For Rivers:

  • Town, Range, Section, Quarter Section, QuarterQuarter Section of the MOUTH of the river
  • County of the MOUTH of the river

For Lakes:

  • Town, Range, Section, Quarter Section, QuarterQuarter Section of the outlet of the lake OR the center of the lake
  • County of the outlet of the lake OR center of the lake
  • River System WBIC – The Water Body Identification Code (WBIC) of the river that runs through the lake
  • River System Name – Name of the river that runs through the lake

For more information, please contact Ann Schachte, 608.267.2301

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