The rumor mill in churning up the waters of Lake Powell in these days of low water.
Yes, the lake level of Lake Powell is low, about 50 feet below its highest level.But the low water is not stopping boating or launching at the four marinas around the lake. According to lake officials, people are calling daily asking if launch ramps are unusable.
"People are saying the lake is in poor shape, but that's not the case," reported Ernie Gnauck, general manger of the lakeside marinas. "The lake is in as good of shape as it has ever been, it's just that it's 50 feet lower."
He emphasized that all marinas were open and that the launch ramps are open and operating.
Boaters are being urged, as they always are, to stay in the channels when traveling and that they be cautios when boating out of the channels.
Those who have visited the lake in recent months report that the low water has opened up a lot of new beaches and given a new look to the lake.
The first steps in the treatment of Strawberry Reservoir will begin Aug. 5 with streams that drain into the reservoir.
Biologists hope to get as many fish as possible out of the reservoir before the treatment begins. Although fishing has been spotty there, limits on the reservoir have been raised from eight fish to 16 before it is closed Aug. 17.
They also expect to collect 2,000 to 3,000 fish from a permanent spawning migration trap on the Strawberry River and a portable trap on Indian Creek. Those fish will be released in other Utah reservoirs and lakes.
About 250 people, mainly members of the Division of Wildlife Resources and employees of other state and federal agencies, will be involved in the project on the 2.5-square-mile reservoir. Cost will be about $2.8 million.
The powder will be mixed in cement trucks roughly to the consistency of wet cement, then sprayed from barges.
After the fish have been killed and the rotenone no longer is effective, the state will begin a massive restocking program of 350,000 seven-inch Bear Lake cutthroat, 590,000 three-inch cutthroat and 475,000 seven-inch sterile rainbow trout.
In 1991, about 200,000 five-inch Bear Lake cutthroat, 1 million three-inch Bear Lake cutthroat, 1 million three-inch kokanee salmon, 200,000 five-inch rainbow trout and 400,000 three-inch rainbows will be stocked in the reservoir, he said.
Eventually, biologists hope that up to 10 million young fish a year will hatch from the drainages.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources plans to breach 393 beaver dams as part of the Strawberry project.
Hand tools and explosives will be used to open the beaver dams and allow the chemical to flow freely through the tributaries of Strawberry Reservoir.
Beavers, which are not affected by the chemical, are expected to begin rebuilding their dams immediately after the work.
The tributaries of Strawberry Reservoir are to be treated twice, once in mid-August, and again in late September and early October. The dams must be opened before each treatment.