Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Our broadcast signal serving the St. George (93.9) area is operating in low-power mode due to mechanical issues. More info.
News

Utah Lake Boaters Jump Ship As Boats Get Stuck In Shallow Waters

iStock_62763108_SMALL.jpg
ISTOCKPHOTO.COM - kenlh
/

Utah Lake’s water levels are so low that many boats are getting stuck in the mud.

The lake is only 48 percent full, the lowest it’s been over the summer months since 2004. Jason Allen is the Park Manager of Utah Lake State Park. He says there’s only three feet of water in the marinas surrounding the lake, so boats that draft more than that aren’t going to make it.

“The water is just too low for a large proportion of the boats," he says. "Small ski boats, small fishing boats still can get in and out no problem, but anything larger than a MasterCraft ski boat, you’re risking damage to your props and damage to the boat.”  

Search and Rescue at the park is still able to get people and their animals off the boats stuck in the mud, but they won’t be able to drag those vessels back to shore. People who abandon ship have to get their friends or a professional company to get their boat out of the water. Jason Allen says one boater had to go to more extreme measures after getting rescued.

“By the time the boat owner arranged to have the vessel removed professionally, the boat had drifted to the south end of the lake and become capsized. And it was removed by helicopter" he says. "Their insurance had to pay for Rocky Mountain helicopter and Cross Marine to come in and  lift the vessel out of the mud and the water.”

Allen says the water levels are low this year because of the poor snow pack over the past several winters. The better snow pack this year went into the Jordanelle Reservoir, Deer Creek Reservoir, and into the earth as groundwater before it could get to Utah Lake.

But Allen says he isn’t worried. The lake naturally fluctuates 5-7 feet and the biggest impact right now is on the boaters.

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.