Welcome to the EVENT SCHEDULE & DIRECTORY for the 10th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium
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Congratulations to Carl Adams of DWQ. He was nominated by peers, and celebrated with peers, as the 2016 Watershed Steward of the Year!

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

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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

Professor, U of Utah
Dr. Ramesh Goel is a professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Utah. He researches in nutrient management in municipal wastewater treatment plants, surface water quality, environmental microbiology, virology.


Theron Miller

Research Director, Wasatch Front Water Quality Council
BS; Utah State University, Aquatic Sciences | MS; University of Alberta, Aquatic toxicology | PhD; University of Alberta, Aquatic Ecology/Limnology | Worked for Utah Division of Water Quality for 10 years managing the nonpoint source program, Wetlands Assessment Program and Lakes... Read More →
avatar for David Richards

David Richards

Aquatic Ecologist, OreoHelix Consulting
The happy cynic

Wednesday November 16, 2016 11:00am - 11:25am
Room 104/105 1355 W 3100 S, West Valley City UT 84119