Great Salt Lake State Marina
February 2, 2017
2017 - What Awaits Us?
2016 will go down as a very tough year for the Great Salt Lake community with some whispers of hope sprouting in December. Snowpack for 2016 was a dismal 75% after two previous years of snowpack even lower than that. The lake level saw near record lows with most of the boats having to pull back out of the marina again. The breach in the causeway threatened to drain the south half to a new low while raising the north half. Yet that did not happen. Just after the breach in the causeway was completed December snowpack began to deliver. And deliver. And deliver. We ended 2016 with a snowpack of 175%
Will the wet weather pattern continue? January certainly delivered with a snowpack if 168% And there are several storms in the northern Pacific heading our way. If February can also deliver great snowpack numbers we may well see a net-positive lake level in 2017.
DREDGING IS ON! Equipment has begun to arrive and dock fingers are being removed in the areas to be dredged. I am very hesitant on giving dates of actual dredging and completion but right now it looks like actual dredging may begin at the first of March. There is much work that needs to be completed before the actual digging begins and that work is ongoing now.
The dredging method will be wet dredging which means it is very unlikely that there will be a need for a coffer dam.
Check back here regularly for updates.
Railroad Causeway Breach
Union Pacific opened up the new breach on December 1st. There are two different groups that created models to estimate what this would mean to lake levels on the two halves. USGS estimated 1 to 1.5 foot loss to the south half with nearly a 3 foot rise in the north half in three to five weeks. Another group estimated a loss of only 1 to 1.2 feet over a three month period. But Mother Nature had other plans and delivered desperately needed moisture at the same time the south half was losing water to the north half. Instead of losing over a foot the south half only lost 0.2 feet before coming back up 0.2 feet by the end of January. And the two halves are in relative "equilibrium." The two halves never balance out. They always remain 1/2 of a foot difference in the winter to about 1 foot difference in the summer. We are about 1 foot difference as of January 31st.
I will have my estimate on lake levels by mid-March but I expect we may have a good estimate this year.
We are now on Winter Rates schedule.
Both Dry Storage areas are full to capacity. So is the south parking lot. We do not have room for any other boats to be stored at the marina until after dredging is complete.
OUR MAILING ADDRESS HAS CHANGED
In order to become more cost efficient we have moved our PO Box from Salt Lake to Magna. This will allow us to save fuel in the trucks. Please make sure you send your slip payments to the new address. IF YOU HAVE YOUR BANKS SEND US A CHECK EACH MONTH PLEASE INFORM THEM OF THE ADDRESS CHANGE. The new address is:
Great Salt Lake State Marina
PO Box 440
Magna, Utah 84044
LAUNCH RAMP SHALLOW
If you have a fixed keel boat and have not pulled your boat from the Great Salt Lake Marina yet you are stuck in the marina unless you use a crane to haul your boat out. Only the shallowest draft boats can still utilize the launch ramp.
SHALLOW LAKE LEVELS GIVING UP MYSTERIES OF THE LAKE
With the low lake levels the Great Salt Lake is finally giving up many mysteries. The TIMELY GULL, Brigham Young's boat has been found. So has the site of the PROMONTORY. We recently found a 50 foot wooden boat just outside the marina breakwall. This boat DOES pose a minor navigation hazard as its bow does jut out into the DEEP CHANNEL. Stay well clear of the white DANGER buoy near the northeast corner of the breakwall. The boat is just to the west of this buoy. There is also a large PVC pipe just northeast of the DANGER buoy. We will try to remove the pipe in the near future.
Many other hazards have also been located. Most of these are pipes located on the reef northwest of the DEEP CHANNEL buoys. And, as previously discussed, nobody has any business going over the reef anymore. There are also pilings in Carrington Bay that will begin to break the surface this summer. These piling were likely part of the bombing range targets back in the 1940's.
DANGER - REEF IS VERY SHALLOW!!!!
Great Salt Lake has many reef complexes. Get to know where they are. If you run aground on one of the reefs during this low lake level year WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET YOUR BOAT OFF THE REEF. Many of the reefs are becoming too challenging for the rescue boats to get near anymore. I fear the day when we pull up to you on our runabout and tell you we cannot get your boat off the reef. And remember that we are not in the boat saving business. We are in the people saving business. We will come and get you. But we may not be able to get your boat. PLEASE take the reef seriously this year.
THE REEF IS SHALLOW - DO YOU KNOW THE SALTAIR RULE?
The reef outside the marina (the Goggins reef) is very shallow right now. Do not try to go over it. It is only two feet deep in some spots. Did you know Great Salt Lake actually has a living, growing reef? She does. In facth Great Salt Lake has several reefs. The better known reefs (better known because they are visited abrupty by unsuspecting sailors) are Goggins, Black Rock, Atlantis, Buffulo Shelf, and Hat Shelf. These are not the only reefs out there though.
So do you know the SALTAIR rule? This could save you an abrupt grounding on the Goggins reef. The Goggins reef starts just east of the Great Salt Lake Marina, near Saltair, and juts up north to the south tip of Antelope Island. It can be a nasty, shallow reef. So the SALTAIR rule goes like this: If you can see the west side of Saltair you know you are in the marina. If you can see the south side of Saltair you know you are driving on I-80. If you can see the north side of Saltair you know you are enjoying the lake on your boat. But if you can see the east side of Saltair you know you are aground on the reef waiting for the rescue boat to come tow you off. NEVER sail so you can see the east side of Saltair.
CAMPING AT THE GREAT SALT LAKE MARINA
The campsites are now in and functioning. They have running water and electricity. Cost for camping is $20.00 per night. You may reserve a space one month in advance by calling the marina office at 801-250-1898 or emailing the Harbor Master at email@example.com
Radio Controlled Sailboat Racing
Looking for something to do Sunday evenings? Come on out and race in the RC Sailboat Race Series. It is a blast. Many of us have bought the Nirvana RC sailboats. These are great performing boats for the price. We have enough for a one design fleet. But if you have an RC sailboat that isn't a Nirvana you can still race. We will have an open fleet too. And if we get enough One Meters we will have a fleet start for those too.
Every other Sunday afternoon at 3pm on L dock. Check the calendar of this website for dates and times.
PLEASE do not give out keys to anyone but your direct family. DO NOT GIVE OUT THE GATE CODE to ANYONE but family members. If you have guests coming in after hours DO NOT GIVE THEM THE GATE CODE. Meet them at the gate and let them in. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO RE-KEY AND RE-CODE THE GATE every time some relation goes south or someone gains access that should never had unsupervised access. The cost of re-keying and re-coding the marina is around $2500.00. Our annual budget to pay for utilities, toilet paper and other expenses is about $80.000. The cost of loss to you and your family if something goes wrong because of someone that shouldn't have been in the marina unescorted? You do the math.
AND KEEP THE DOCK GATES LOCKED!!! You may not care whether the gate is locked or not. BUT YOUR NEIGHBORS DO!!! I do not like getting yelled at by a slip renter on a dock because another slip renter was too lazy to make sure the gate locked behind him. K DOCK! I DOCK! ARE YOU READING THIS?? If it is too inconvenient for you to shut and lock the gate behind you I will be happy to make arrangements for you on L dock where there is no gate to bother you. Just let me know.
For those of you who have not yet seen the video of the storm surge returning to the marina on November 23rd, 2010 you can view it at www.gslmarina.ning.com/video/storm-surge-entering-gsl-1
It is an impressive video. And it appears that it took about 1/2 foot of silt out of the mouth. Of course that silt was deposited on the north side of 'B' dock. As of December 17th it appears we have 5' of depth at the mouth. This is quite a change.
New GSL Photos
Check out the new photo album by clicking on the "New and Improved Photo Album" on the home page of this website. People have been putting on some great pictures
Dumping Porta-Potties in the Restrooms
A little note about dumping Porta-Potties in the restroom. DON'T. JUST DON'T DO IT! TAKE THEM HOME! . Dumping of porta-potties in the restrooms will be considered a serious violation of the slip agreement. Dumping of porta-potties in the restrooms has caused considerable damage to our sewage system. And it could lead to the cancellation of slip contracts. PLEASE, just don't do it!