PROVO — Fish, food and fun.

That's what will be found at the Utah Lake Festival Saturday in Provo.

In its fourth year, the festival is sponsored by the June Sucker Recovery and Implementation Program and provides local folks a chance to "experience" the lake.

Free food and sailboat races are planned. Experienced anglers also will teach people how to catch the different species of fish in the lake, what they look like and how they can be used, said Reed Harris, director of the June Sucker Recovery and Implementation Program.

"It might be a real surprise for people who haven't been to Utah Lake for some time to see some of the changes that are down there," he said.

Officials with the program and other state departments, as well as the Utah County government, have been working to clean up the lake, including getting rid of carp and invasive species of plants that surround the shores.

"This is a resource in Utah County that's worth protecting and rehabilitating," he said.

Harris said he hopes the festival will show residents the effort being made to improve the lake, which will get more people out to utilize and appreciate it. He also said the June sucker, a native species to Utah Lake and the Provo River — and an endangered species — will be a beneficiary of the cleaner, more popular lake.

About 1,000 people attended the festival last year, but both Harris and Reed Price, the executive director of the Utah Lake Commission, hope the numbers will be higher this year.

"We want to give them (residents) an opportunity to get out and enjoy it," Price said.

The festival will help get the word out about the newly formed Utah Lake Commission, he said. He added that the commission wants people to know it is creating a master plan, which includes additional recreation, and that members of the commission help influence the decisions about the different future transportation plans that will affect the lake and residents in the area.

"We just hope people come down and enjoy the lake and see what we're doing and recognize Utah Lake as a great treasure that we can all enjoy," he said.

Organized activities will be available such as face painting, children's activities, a fish pond, boat tours and many others.

The festival will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Utah Lake State Park in Provo. Admission is free. Saturday is the statewide free fishing day.


E-mail: cmith@desnews.com