This event has ended. View the official site or create your own event → Check it out
This event has ended. Create your own

Welcome to the EVENT SCHEDULE & DIRECTORY for the 10th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium
Take the Survey. Let us know about your Symposium experience. We love feedback!
Full Event Program  

Congratulations to Carl Adams of DWQ. He was nominated by peers, and celebrated with peers, as the 2016 Watershed Steward of the Year!

View analytic
Wednesday, November 16 • 11:00am - 11:25am
Who Pulled the Plug on Utah Lake: An Ecological Primer

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

Who Pulled the Plug on Utah Lake: An Ecological Primer
Utah Lake was perhaps the most ecologically diverse, productive, and awe inspiring lake in the western USA, prior to Mormon settlement in the late 1800’s. Bonneville cutthroat trout and twelve other fish species thrived by the millions. More species of freshwater mollusks called Utah Lake home than anywhere in western North America. Birds, wildlife, and Native Americans thrived. By most accounts, without the incredible bounty that Utah Lake provided, the recently established LDS community likely would have perished. All this abruptly changed at the hands of progress and Utah Lake underwent what is known as a ‘catastrophic ecosystem shift’. Although Utah Lake continues to be highly productive and is sanctuary for thousands of birds; its native fauna has all but disappeared and its waters are now primarily comprised of taxa such as cyanobacteria, algae, zooplankton, worms, midges, and carp. Urbanization is rampant along the shores of Utah Lake, its tributaries run dry for most of the year, and there is no longer a natural connection between Utah Lake and the Jordan River downstream. Utah Lake will never return to what it once was and its time is running out. Utah Lake’s fate is now being decided by political forces that may or may not have its best interests in mind. Citizens need to have a basic understanding of Utah Lake’s incredible ecology and the ecosystem services it provides free of charge to help make informed decisions and to provide guidance to their elected officials and water managers. This presentation will give a brief history of Utah Lake and then focus on its present ecology and food web dynamics including the misunderstood and vastly underappreciated role of mollusks, midges, plankton, and worms.


Ramesh Goel

Associate Professor, University of Utah
Dr. Ramesh Goel is an associate professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah. He obtained his PhD from South Carolina and post doctoral training form the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He was a visiting professor at EAWAG aquatic institute in Switzerland. He is currently serving as an associate editor of Water Research and Water Environment Research


Theron Miller

Research Scientist, Jordan River/Farmington Bay Water Quality Council
Theron Miller Bio | Education: | BS Wildlife Sciences, Utah State University, a long time ago | BS Aquatic Sciences, Utah State University, a little bit after | MS Aquatic Toxicology, University of Alberta, a couple years after that | PhD Environmental Biology and Ecology, University of Alberta, a few years after that | Career highlights: | Fishery Biologist, US Bureau of Reclamation, Ecological aspects of largemouth bass reproduction in... Read More →
avatar for David Richards

David Richards

Research Ecologist, OreoHelix Consulting
Dr. David Richards has been a research ecologist studying aquatic ecosystems throughout the western hemisphere since time immemorial. Dr. Richards earned a Masters of Science in Entomology, a Masters of Science equivalent in Statistics, and a Ph. D. in Ecology. He has his own successful consulting company OreoHelix Consulting. David reluctantly began studying the ecology of Utah Lake several years ago naively thinking it was just a degraded... Read More →

Wednesday November 16, 2016 11:00am - 11:25am
3_Utah Cultural Celebration Center: ROOM 104/105 1355 W 3100 S, West Valley City UT 84119