Utah's Great Salt Lake is one of the most important waterfowl habitats in the Great Basin, if not the entire Western Hemisphere. Annually, millions of birds utilize its vast marshes and plentiful food resources. The Great Salt Lake is so important to waterfowl that it overshadows all of Utah's other waterfowl areas, including those in Utah Lake, the Unitah Basin, and Cache Valley.
The Great Salt Lake is temperamental: sometimes flooding, other times shrinking away to mud. Some of this fluctuation is driven by reduced water supplies entering the lake. Upstream diversions on the Lake's main tributaries have reduced the historic size of the Lake's freshwater and brackish wetlands, particularly in Farmington Bay, Ogden Bay and Bear River Bay.
Waterfowl use of the Great Salt Lake is primarily during migration and winter. Upwards of 3 million waterfowl utilize that lake throughout the year. The Lake is also important, but to a lesser extent, for waterfowl production. Common nesting waterfowl include cinnamon teal, redheads, mallards and gadwall. Click here for more about waterfowl and the Great Salt Lake.
Ducks Unlimited's conservation projects in Utah are focused on maximizing the efficient use of limited water supplies in the Lake's eastern-shore marshes and its surrounding watershed. To that end, our projects are largely collaborations with both public and private wetland managers to help them manage their wetlands to their fullest extent.