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Utah Lake: Here's what you didn't know

Published: Saturday, March 3 2012 1:00 p.m. MST

Seven thousand acres of common reed plants called phragmites line the shores of Utah Lake. The reeds are a nuisance, but the name, pronounced frag-my-tees, is at least fun to say. Here's more that you might not have known:

• An estimated 40 million pounds of carp live in Utah Lake. That equates to 6.9 million adult fish or the equivalent of 33,300 beef cattle.



• Fourteen fish species are native to Utah Lake. One, the Utah Lake Sculpin, was last spotted in 1928 and is extinct; the June sucker, found only in Utah Lake, is on the endangered species list and is the focus of a federally mandated rehabilitation effort.



• Utah Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake in Utah and the third largest in the Western United States with a surface area of 95,000 acres. It trails Lake Tahoe on the Nevada-California line, 100,000 acres; and Flathead Lake in Montana, at 150,000 acres.



• There is a small island near the south end of the lake.


• Almost half of the water in the lake (by volume) evaporates each year.

• The Dominguez-Escalante expedition first documented the lake in 1776.

• At one time more than 10 resorts existed on the shores of the lake.



• The lake is only 14 feet deep at its deepest point; the average water depth is 9 feet.



• The lake is 13 miles wide, east to west, and 24 miles from north to south.



• Drive west far enough on Center Street in Provo and you'll end up in Utah Lake; stop short and you'll be in the parking lot of the Utah Lake State Park marina.



• Developed marinas on the lake are also found in Vineyard, American Fork, Saratoga Springs (3), and at Lincoln Beach west of Spanish Fork.

E-mail: sfidel@desnews.com

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