Bear Lake expected to rise 8-10 feet this summer

Apr 7, 2023, 8:06 AM

Bear Lake's levels could rise up to ten feet due to massive snowfall this winter....



GARDEN CITY, Utah — Bear Lake could rise as much as 10 feet or more this summer, according to estimates shared by Rocky Mountain Power today.

That will bring with it some changes to your next visit there compared to what we’ve seen over the last few drought years.

The biggest change we’ll all notice is the rows and rows of beach parking a whole lot of that is going away.

That likely means less room at the state parks and more competing with crowds, but really most of what’s changing with all this water is good news.

It’s not at all unusual to have snow in spring at Bear Lake but to have so much of it, like what we’re seeing all over northern Utah, is huge.

“Don’t know where we’re going to put it all, but we do have room in Bear Lake so we’re good,” Cottle said.

Claudia Cottle is a co-executive director of Bear Lake Watch, a community group that keeps an eye on care for the lake and its future.

They’re one of several groups who are part of a preservation committee for the lake.

“The water will come way up to where the cabins are and so we’ll see good water this year and we’re excited about that,” Cottle said.

She says that’s not only good for people, but for wildlife as the area has a chance to restore what once was.

“Especially for the fishes. They need to be able to get to the edge of the water. The cutthroat need to be able to get up the streams. That gets very problematic and then we have all those acres of land open that’s just become infested with weeds,” Cottle said.

Richard Droesbeke, manager for Utah’s Bear Lake State Park points out that it will mean more options for boaters and those looking to get out on the water, even if it will limit the space on the sand.

But the endless beaches will shrink at all ends of the lake.

“May not be quite as much exposed lakebed for the nice pristine beaches. People like to savor the sand. But more water, more access points…really it looks good for Bear Lake,” Droesbeke said.

“We have to watch all of our resources. We’re all part of the system,” Cottle said.

But as we get a chance for our reservoirs and lakes to recover, Cottle said it’s important to not take all this water for granted as we know the less plentiful years will show up again.

There is also some slight concern from water shareholders up this way, that what they’ve saved over the past few years could simply be sent downstream to help the Great Salt Lake.

Cottle said it’s not really a problem now, but something they’ll keep an eye on for the future.

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