Dredging Planned Next Year for Utah Lake Harbor

Dredging Planned Next Year for Utah Lake Harbor

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Utah Lake State Park officials have reached an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow the dredging of the boat harbor next year.

The dredging was canceled one day after its start last May over concerns for an endangered fish.

A dredging permit had been granted, but the fine print of the agreement forbade the dredging during the spawning of the endangered June sucker, said corps spokesman Shawn Zinszer.

"We worked with Utah State Parks and Recreation for over a year to get the permit to realign the marina," he said. "Where they went awry was when they didn't read the fine print and they were working in the spawning period of the June sucker. They didn't adhere to the special conditions of the permit."

The Corps and Utah State Parks and Recreation reached an out-of-court settlement over the violations, he said.

The division has paid $15,000 in fees, $10,000 going toward wetlands rehabilitation around the lake. The remaining $5,000 will be used to install an interpretive kiosk about the June sucker in the Utah Lake State Park visitor center.

As part of the settlement, the park can also resume dredging in the spring and fall of next year, Zinszer said.

Ty Hunter, manager of the Utah Lake State Park, said a private firm is now working on the interpretive display that is expected to be installed at the visitor's center by next spring.

"It will be something to educate our patrons about the ecology of Utah Lake and something showing how we are trying to improve the habitat of the June sucker and increase their numbers," he said.

The dredging should be completed by mid-April, he said. In the fall, more dredging will be done as part of work to realign the harbor's south jetty. The realignment will better protect the harbor from being filled in by silt from Provo River.

The dredging will allow access from the harbor to the lake even in low-water situations, which have been common in the past several years because of the ongoing drought, he said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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