To fully understand the hydraulic properties of natural rivers, velocity distribution in the river cross-section should be studied in detail. The measurement task is not straightforward because there is not an instrument that can measure the velocity distribution covering the entire cross-section. Particularly, the velocities in regions near the free surface and in the bottom boundary layer are difficult to measure, and yet the velocity properties in these regions play the most significant role in characterizing the hydraulic properties. To further characterize river hydraulics, two acoustic instruments, namely, an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), and a "BoogieDopp" (BD) were used on fixed platforms to measure the detailed velocity profiles across the river. Typically, 20 to 25 stations were used to represent a river cross-section. At each station, water velocity profiles were measured independently and/or concurrently by an ADCP and a BD. The measured velocity properties were compared and used in computation of river discharge. In a tow-tank evaluation of a BD, it has been confirmed that BD is capable of measuring water velocity at about 11 cm below the free-surface. Therefore, the surface velocity distribution across the river was extracted from the BD velocity measurements and used to compute the river discharge. These detailed velocity profiles and the composite velocity distribution were used to assess the validity of the classic theories of velocity distributions, conventional river discharge measurement methods, and for estimates of channel bottom roughness.