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.