My Utah Lake Perspective

I obviously ruffled the feathers of one commenter when I wrote a post in support of a bridge over Utah Lake. He argues that those who want a lake bridge hate the lake and that we should instead be working to restore the lake to its natural beauty. I argue that building a bridge and restoring the lake are nearly independent issues and to that end I decided to share my position on what we should do to restore the lake.

First, I think that Utah Lake would be a great natural resource for the county and the state if it were restored. In its present condition it is little more than a big puddle interrupting our transportation and growth.

There are currently efforts to rid the lake of the carp that were introduced to the lake a century ago. I believe that is a crucial step to improving the beauty of the lake and I think the Department of Wildlife Resources should take every possible step to make that happen – some suggestions they could consider include offering a bounty to fishermen for every carp caught (and kept), making it illegal to release carp (like they have with burbot), or even trying to host a tournament for carp fishing as Texas has done. I’m not sure what the effects on other animals and plants of the ecosystem would be if they try poisoning the carp (as has been suggested).

When the carp have been contained we should be able to reintroduce cutthroat trout and nurse the June sucker populations back to sustainable levels. This would both improve the beauty of the lake, and increase the opportunities for tourism and recreational use of this natural resource.

None of this depends, or is hindered, by a lake bridge as far as I can see. Some have even argued that a lake bridge could be a toll road and that the tolls could be used to fund other lake improvements. The only conjunction I can see between the two issues is that the specific placement of a bridge might influence the recreational activities available on the lake.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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Comments

3 Responses to My Utah Lake Perspective

  1. What type of bridge would you propose? A tressle bridge would maintain equal depths of the lake and allow boats through it but I would guess the cost would be extreme given the depth of unconsolidated sediment in the lake. An earthen road would require a couple of big causeways where water can flow between the different sides of the lake, otherwise the side with the Provo river will be higher than the rest of the lake

    I doubt that at list date, that cutthroat trout would thrive in Utah Lake given it’s elevation and the amount of sediment that flows into the lake via it’s tributaries, but wildlife officials might know better than I do on this one.

  2. David says:

    I’m not proposing what type of bridge, only that it will become necessary, and that it need not destroy the lake. My real point is to show that I do care about the lake.

    The reason I suggest adding Cutthroat trout to the lake is that they are native to the lake. They were fished to depletion a century ago. The sediment it a huge problem for them, but the carp are a larger part of that problem than the tributaries are – that’s why the carp have to go. (They were introduced to replace the depleted population of cutthroats – and replace they did.)

  3. Big John says:

    My preference would be for lakes and estuaries be restored to their natural state. In my opinion this does not include a bridge through the middle. But, when there is over riding economic need then the bridge should be built. Precautions should be taken to reduce the environmental impact of not only the bridge but og the building process. Construction companies,in general, are not known for their environemntal awareness. The best outcome is to build the bridge and do environemntal restoration.

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