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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Boating on the Improved Utah Lake

Utah Lake is an interesting resource, under-utilized but becoming more popular every year. It is the closest freshwater lake to a large majority of Utah's citizens but many don't consider it when they are planning recreational activities. The lake has an undeserved bad rap.

I boated there yesterday afternoon and had a great time. We pulled kids on tubs and the kids had a ball. They can't wait to go back.

My boat was in the water and we were underway within 20 minutes from the time we left home. Not bad, just 20 minutes. We launched from the American Fork Boat Harbor. The Utah Lake State Park ramp is actually a little closer to me, but I was meeting people from Salt Lake and so we chose a midway meeting point.

The water was murky - Utah Lake is always murky - and that is part of the reason the lake is not more popular. It is a shallow lake and so wind action causes waves that stir up sediment. But tests show the water quality is actually good and getting better.

The lake is the subject of a huge improvement project, which will make it more appealing to man and wildlife. The lake is a priority in part because it is home to an endangered endemic fish - the June sucker. Recent projects have effectively reduced industrial and agricultural pollution going into the lake and an interesting campaign is now underway to reduce the number of carp. (Carp are a problem because they make the water less habitable for other species.)

There are several projects underway to improve access, improve facilities and make the lake more attractive. The Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune both have recent news articles about progress:
-- Road map in place for rehabilitating Utah Lake
-- Rare fish shows signs of recovery

Many people are surprised to learn that Utah Lake is a good fishery. Channel cats grow big there and can be caught fairly easily. There are also nice walleye and a huge number of white bass.

Twenty minutes from home, uncrowded boat ramps, good fishing and fun water sports. Utah Lake is good and getting better.


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