Provo River Delta Restoration Project
The Provo River Delta Restoration Project is being implemented to help recover the endangered June sucker, a fish endemic to Utah Lake. The project will improve the ecosystem and provide enhanced recreational experiences.
The project involves diverting most of the flow of the lower Provo River west of Lakeshore Drive into a system of braided waterways and wetlands that connect with Utah Lake. The project will restore habitat critical to the survival of the young June sucker that hatch further upstream in the Provo River and drift downstream into the restored delta. The restored habitat will provide the conditions necessary for the newly hatched fish to develop into fingerling size, at which time they will make their way into Utah Lake through one of several excavated outlets in Skipper Bay Dike.
The old channel will continue to receive stream flow and will maintain a constant water elevation year-round. An aeration system will be installed to improve water quality, aesthetics and odor. Access to this channel will be made easier and safer and trailheads with parking and non-motorized boat access will be constructed. Additional trails and two observation towers will be constructed around the new delta area, so the public can enjoy the beauty of Utah Lake and the restored delta. Bird monitoring and mosquito and weed control are ongoing project elements.
The Provo River Delta will benefit the State of Utah by ensuring important water delivery projects linked to June sucker recovery stay on track. The local community also will benefit from enhanced outdoor recreation opportunities and protected open space.
The last and largest ownership needed for the Provo River Delta Restoration Project has been acquired. In total, approximately 253 acres of property has been acquired by the United States for the project, as depicted in the Project Area Map.
WILDLIFE MONITORING AND BIRD USE
This Spring the second year of bird monitoring in and around the Provo River Delta project area was completed. Qualified and skilled students from Brigham Young University, under the supervision of a certiﬁed airport wildlife biologist, monitor 22 different sites. Each site is monitored three time per week, once in the morning, midday and evening for a period of 10 minutes each visit. The survey data will provide baseline information on bird use under existing habitat conditions. Monitoring will continue during and after project construction to assess how birds respond to the new delta habitat. The data will help identify if there are increased risks to aviation safety from the changes, so they can be mitigated. The first year of data is summarized in the Bird Monitoring & Movement Study Story Map and Charts.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS
Design work continues for the new trail head and park that will be built on the south side of Provo River near Lakeshore Drive. Concept drawings have been refined based on input from citizen design committee members, and additional input was received during a community open house held in April. Provo City Parks and Recreation Department is leading the design effort and the project will be funded through the Provo River Delta Project. Delta Gateway Park will serve as a hub connecting the existing Provo River Parkway trail with the planned Skipper Bay trail that will be built along the southern boundary of the new delta. Park features will include river access, parking for passenger vehicles and horse trailers, nature play areas, interpretive exhibits, and other amenities.
Provo River West Trailhead Cooperative Partnership
Utah Lake State Park, in partnership with Utah County, Utah Lake Commission, the Mitigation Commission, Provo City, and Utah Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands, is constructing a new trailhead parking area just east of the State Park entrance. When complete, the trailhead will include parking, a restroom, and trail and river access.