Floating on the Weber River may soon cost you depending on the day

The Weber River at Henefer-Echo Angler Access Wildlife Management Area, June 3, 2022. A private concessionaire will begin charging people who come to tube on the river on weekends and holidays beginning this Friday, state wildlife officials say.

The Weber River at Henefer-Echo Angler Access Wildlife Management Area, June 3, 2022. A private concessionaire will begin charging people who come to tube on the river on weekends and holidays beginning this Friday, state wildlife officials say. (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)


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HENEFER, Summit County — Henefer-Echo Angler Access Wildlife Management was established nearly 50 years ago to provide anglers with great Weber River fishing opportunities, but its parking lot is often filled up during the summer by people seeking a different outdoor experience.

It's not uncommon to see the 150-space lot — located between Henefer and Croydon, Morgan County — fill up over the summer as people tube down the Weber River. Blair Stringham, northern region supervisor for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said this has become a problem in recent years.

"Because tubing and other forms of outdoor recreation are not our areas of expertise, the popularity of tubing has overwhelmed our ability to manage the activity at the (wildlife management area)," he said.

While Utah wildlife officials say they aren't cracking down on people floating on the river, they are planning to make some big changes this year to handle the activity's growing popularity by charging for parking during the weekends.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on Monday announced it entered into an agreement with a private concessionaire that will manage the area on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and other "peak use" periods beginning this weekend. The model will be in place through Labor Day weekend.

Under the plan, visitors will be charged a $10 fee per vehicle to enter the wildlife management area. The fee increases to $15 for vehicles that seat eight or more people. The company will also have tubing equipment available to rent, as well as snacks and drinks.

Those who come to fish and not tube in the area won't be charged the new fee, since fees from hunting and fishing licenses cover most of the area's upkeep. A special parking section will also be designated for anglers.

Division officials add that nearby walk-in access properties — private land leased by the division for fishing or other wildlife privileges — are only available for anglers and are off-limits for those tubing in the river when the parking lot fills up. Stringham said more law enforcement officers will monitor the area this summer to crack down on those not following the rules.

Parking will be free every Monday through Thursday during the summer, as the concessionaire won't be operating during those days. The same goes for every weekend after Labor Day.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com.

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