Utah Lake

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Utah Lake

Post  taixyz1992 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:07 pm

Utah Lake is a freshwater lake located in the U.S. state of Utah. With a surface area of 96,900 acres (392 km2), it is the third largest[citation needed] natural freshwater lake west of the Great Lakes. (Lake Tahoe and Flathead Lake are larger.) Located on the western side of Utah Valley, Mount Timpanogos and Mount Nebo tower 7,500 feet (2,300 m) over the lake. The lake's only river outlet, the Jordan River, is a tributary of the Great Salt Lake and is highly regulated with pumps. Evaporation accounts for 42% of the outflow of the lake, which leaves the lake slightly saline. The elevation of the lake is legally at 4,489 feet (1,368 m) above sea level. If the lake elevation goes any higher, the Jordan River pumps and gates are left wide open.

The first European to see Utah Lake was Father Silvestre Vélez de Escalante in 1776. Father Escalante stayed with the Timpanogots band of Ute Tribe for three days. The Timpanogots were later moved out or integrated with the Mormon settlers between the 1850s and 1870s. The fish of the lake was overharvested by the settlers and restocked with non-native species. Although thirteen species of fish are native to the lake, only the Utah sucker and the critically endangered June sucker remain. By far, the dominant species in the lake is the common carp, introduced in 1883 as an alternative to the overharvested native fish. The carp is now estimated at 90% of the biomass of the lake and is contributing to a decline in native fish populations by severely altering the ecosystem. Pollution problems have also caused problems with the lake's ecosystem. Raw sewage was dumped into the lake as late as 1967. Pollution problems still remain with phosphorus and mineral salts levels in violations of the clean water act.


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