Boaters may be surprised by the drought-caused new shoreline on Jordanelle Reservoir

Apr 6, 2022, 5:37 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 5:22 pm

It’s enough to lull you to sleep. Even to relax you after a tough day.

“It’s peaceful,” said Danny Aguilar.

But as winter starts turning to waves at Jordanelle State Park, Aguilar knows it’s about time for the busy season.

“I wanted to check and see if all the ice was gone so I can get my boat on the water,” said Aguilar.

He was visiting Jordanelle Wednesday afternoon because he knows boating is a big deal at the reservoir. This weekend is supposed to be a warm one, which is why workers were getting docks and cables in place for what could be a busy weekend.

“It’s the end of our quiet time and yes, that’s a good thing,” said Natalie Harmon, who works at Jordanelle State Park.

For as exciting as it might be to see crowds again, though, Harmon is also seeing something she’d rather not see.

“The water level. Yes. The drought. We’re nervous,” she said.

The ring of dirt around Jordanelle continues to get bigger.

Right now, the reservoir is about half full, or half empty, depending on how you view things.

However, the view of landlocked docks and buoys is hard to ignore.

“I have been here 15 years and I have not seen it this low,” said Harmon.

Water levels are so low, people who normally visit Jordanelle will see land features the have maybe never seen before.

Different points and stretches of dirt and land that are normally underwater are now visible.

“First time I have seen it,” said Harmon.

Boaters who have been here before will notice them right away because of the drought.

“I think it’s terrible,” said Aguilar.

Even still, the park is allowing boaters into the water.

The boat launch ramp is open, though the ramp for personal watercrafts is barely into the water.

Campsites are also open now on a first come first saved basis until May, when reservations are necessary.

For boaters like Aguilar, though, he can’t wait to get back on the water.

“Sometimes I go by myself and sometimes I will have a few friends with me,” he said.

There is no doubt those conversations with friends will include how low the water is at Jordanelle and across Utah.

“Pray for rain,” he said with a small laugh. “We need it.”

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Boaters may be surprised by the drought-caused new shoreline on Jordanelle Reservoir