A Report to the Utah Division of Water Quality
Utah State University
salinity, nutrient, oxygen level
For the past three years, an Aquatic Ecology Practicum class at Utah State University has conducted research examining the limnology of Farmington Bay. In 2000, our class discovered that Farmington Bay could be classified as hypereutrophic, and had significantly higher levels of chlorophyll and phytoplankton than the Great Salt Lake proper (Marcarelli et al. 2001). In 2001, individual student projects identified high phosphorus loading into Farmington Bay from surrounding sewage treatment plants, brine shrimp biomass five times lower than in the Great Salt Lake, and that the water in the bay lost all oxygen on a windy night in October (Wurtsbaugh et al. 2002). Additional sampling in 2002 indicated that brine flies were less abundant in Farmington Bay than in the less eutrophic Ogden Bay. These results prompted us to examine two major research themes in October, 2002: oxygen effects on chemical, physical and biological characteristics of Farmington Bay, and other factors that may control the abundance of organisms in Farmington Bay and the Great Salt Lake. The nine student reports produced this year spanned a broad array of topics and included most of the food web of the Great Salt Lake, with birds being the major exception.
Marcarelli, Amy M. and Wurtsbaugh, Wayne A., "Continuing Studies of Water Quality in Farmington Bay and the Great Salt Lake, Utah" (2003). Watershed Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 536.