Great Basin Naturalist


Bear Lake is a large, relatively pristine lake located in a graben valley. The lacustrine environment is more than 35,000 years old. Over that period of time, the Bear River intermittently flowed into Bear Lake. Approximately 10,000 to 8,000 BP, the Bear River ceased flowing directly into the lake. Between 1912 and 1924, channels were dug that diverted Bear River flows into the lake. An analysis was conducted to determine the impacts of Bear River flows upon the hydrologic and nutrient budgets of the Bear Lake ecosystem. In addition, the resulting limnological conditions were evaluated. Based upon eight years of historical data (1976 to 1984), regression relationships were developed that allowed an estimation of the historical conditions in Bear Lake (1923 to present) with and without the influence of the Bear River.