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ANTELOPE ISLAND STATE PARK, Utah (AP) -- Thanks to wet weather in recent months, Antelope Island is once again an island and not a peninsula.
The level of Great Salt Lake has increased by more than a foot in the past six months, said Ron Taylor, manager of Antelope Island State Park.
The rising waters also have covered decaying wetlands, reducing the smell.
Taylor hopes the higher level will lead to more recreational boating.
"When I came here three years ago, we had 55 boats harbored in our marina," he said. "Now we have two."
But with the lake level creeping back up, Taylor is hoping smaller boats will return to the lake and stimulate tourism.
"There are literally hundreds of sailboaters who are sitting dry dock because they cannot launch," he said.
The current level of the lake is 4,195.5 feet above sea level, more than a foot higher than the September reading of 4,194.2, said park naturalist Crystal Carpenter.
Brian McInerney, a National Weather Service hydrologist, said the level of the Great Salt Lake could rise another foot this summer, based on the projected runoff from the Bear River, Weber River and Wasatch Front mountain streams under normal spring conditions.
"We'll see some pretty significant rises," McInerney said of the lake, which has experienced five consecutive years of below average spring flow.
The majority of the spring runoff will flow into the lake in mid-April through June, he said.
Having a rising lake level also enhances wildlife, stimulates the brine shrimp industry and creates a beach shoreline for island visitors, Taylor said.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)