I would like to find the watersheds of several lakes that are very close. When I use fill, a couple of the lakes fill into one.
Its important that these are separate watersheds. Many soil and snail samples were taken from each lake and were analyzed by a geologist/chemist. We would prefer not to lose this data.
Any suggestions on how to fix this fill issue and get the watershed for close lakes?
Here is the issue, I circle around the subsumed lakes my cursor:
If you couldn't make it work with ArcGIS, take a look at QGIS or WhiteBoxTools. They all are free.
This can be handled using Arc Hydro "deranged" terrain processing workflow where the sinks are known. In your case, known sinks are the lake polygons (we use term "deranged polygon" for those). There are few Arc Hydro documents that explain the processing workflow when dealing with deranged terrains. Check out "Arc Hydro: Identifying and Managing Sinks" and "Arc Hydro: Overview of Terrain Preprocessing Workflows". Since you already know where your polygons of interest are, the workflow is captured in "Use case 3" in the "Arc Hydro: Overview of Terrain Preprocessing Workflows" document.