Upstream Utah Lake user at odds with June sucker recovery plans
You may recall the short story we did a few months ago on plans to restore the Provo River delta. As with many projects of this magnitude, it does not come without some opposition. The preliminary plan to divert the Provo River a half-mile inland to restore the river to a more-natural condition has one Utah Lake user up in arms, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Ben Allen, owner of the CLAS Ropes and canoe outfitter along the Provo River, says proposed efforts to further save the endangered June sucker fish could kill his business.
“All of that is going to be gone,” Allen told the Tribune, referring to the existing Provo River channel into Utah Lake that June sucker recovery officials are hoping to replace with a delta diverting the river a bit further upstream from Allen’s business. A new delta, officials say, is more conducive to sucker breeding.
Previously, the Hobble Creek delta in Springville was improved to a more-natural condition to provide better habitat and spawning areas to aide in the recovery efforts, and has proven to be very successful.
Allen and signatures from 700 others hope to keep the river flowing at a “usable” 45 cubic feet per second into Utah Lake — nine times more than the proposed light flow approach, which could also fill in the existing channel to build a new trail.
The project is in the early stages of a environmental impact study. More information about the project can be found here. An open house on the issue was held at Utah Lake State Park earlier this month. For those interested in voicing their opinion on the issue, another meeting is planned for January. For more information, please contact the June Sucker Recovery Program.