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Water Quality

bear lake
Bear River Watershed Upper Bear Central Bear Bear Lake Middle Bear Middle Bear-Logan Lower Bear-Malad

Click a region on the map
to see a description.

Local Water Quality Issues

- Phosphorus

- Sediment

The major land uses in the Bear Lake subbasin are cropland, rangeland, reservoirs, urban/roads, and streams. Erosion potential in the Bear Lake subbasin is considerable because of the moderate to steep sloping and gravelly loam soils. The majority of sediment loss is associated with rill and gully erosion. Unlimited access of livestock to creeks and streams contributes sediment, nutrients and bacteria. However, some landowners have committed to restrict livestock access to impaired streams in this subbasin. Landowners installed off-site watering systems for cattle and installed fencing to keep livestock away from streams. Old corrals and barns were removed from the edge of streams to allow riparian zones to reestablish and limit erosion of stream banks

Reestablishing connectivity in this subbasin has been a major focus of stream restoration efforts. It is especially important for migratory populations that require different habitats and different life stages, like the native Bonneville Cutthroat Trout. On the main stem of the Bear River the top of the bank was pulled back and steep slopes were made more gradual. Willows were planted on the bank and covered with rip rap to prevent further erosion and to reestablish riparian areas. For more information see Bear Lake Subbasin TMDL Implementation Plan for Agriculture.

Bear Lake Watch
Bear Lake Watch is a non-profit citizens group formed in 1991. Their mission is to protect, enhance and preserve Bear Lake and to promote the ethical and responsible use of the natural resources with its ecosystem.

Bear Lake Secchi Depth Chart (2002-2012)
A Secchi disk is used to measure transparency of water. Transparency can be affected by the color of the water, algae growth and suspended sediments.


Water Quality Program for Agriculture (WQPA)

Resource Conservation and Rangeland Development Program (RCRDP)

Conservation Improvement Grants Small Watershed Program (NRCS)

Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA)

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA)

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)

State Revolving Loan Funds (SRF)

Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)

Conservation Security Program (CSP)

Grazing Land Conservation Initiative (GLCI)