Went out to the GSL (lakeside) on 4-16-99 since it had been clear for over two days and a storm was due on Tuesday 4-20. This was a Friday afternoon and I left from work at 12:40 and got out to lakeside at about 2:15 p.m. I have to say that I was traumatized by an unusual experience about 12 miles from Lakeside. The way to Lakeside is by getting off at exit 62 on the way to Wendover (I-80 West) and the exit says "Military Area / Lakeside". The road is paved for about 15 miles and leads straight to a military base used for monitoring target practice by Hill AFB I think. Just before the base entrance, there is a road leading off to the right (east) which is gravel and goes through the bombing range. The road has fences along each side with warning signs listing dangers such as unexploded ordinance if you leave the fenced in channel. There is extensive BLM type grazing land all around and I usually see antelope, as well as cattle and sheep on the 30-mile trip from the freeway. On this occasion the sheep herd was extensive and was being moved toward lakeside right in the middle of the 6-8 mile channel through the military range. I spent 15 minutes in a stream of sheep butts. The herd must have numbered in the thousands and was at least a mile long. The make-up was about 50% adult ewes, which were about ready to drop newborn lambs, and the rest were 1-year-old females. No males were visible and there were only about 4 dark sheep to break up the monotony. They would waddle along with the exit end in clear view. Many were festooned with dingleberries the size of plums to create an unsavory memory.
Upon arriving at Lakeside, there was no more cysts on the harbor side than the previous trip 2 weeks prior. That batch did not test well and was difficult to clean. With the lake rising, I suspect that many of the cysts were several years old and entered the water due to erosion of the shoreline with the rising water. On the lake side there was a strip of floating eggs about 50 feet long and 2 feet wide. I decided to try getting some of these rather than deal with the cleaning nightmare of the other side. I set up my tote with the screen bottom lined with a sheet and tried dipping with a bucket and pouring through one of my large biomass nets. The dipping method did not yield much since the layer was extremely thin and after a while I went to using the small green bird net. The biomass net did not yield much debris so after a while I just emptied the bird net into a bucket and poured the bucket into the drain tote with no screening. The wind was apparently blowing the cysts toward the causeway and the slick moved northward about 50 feet in the 2-3 hours I worked the vein. After a while there was a thin slick left which did not yield enough to someone spoiled like myself. I could have gotten the whole slick in an hour if I had remembered to bring my large egg net. About an hour into the effort, a red pickup stopped up on the causeway and asked how I was doing. It was a guy working on the dike farther west on the tracks and we exchanged information about the eggs. He worked for a company that takes potassium from the lake and he had some really informative details. He said the northern arm of the lake is very shallow and that the lakeside end bridge gap and the smaller culverts were filling up with salt as the salt drops out of the water as it enters the already saturated north arm. He claims the bottom of the northern arm is filling with salt as the concentration exceeds saturation and deposits as crystals of salt. There is another physics issue at work also as more of the salt drops out the water remaining contains high concentrations of potassium and sinks to the bottom. Peterson said his company paid to have a crew come out from the Louisiana area about 6 years ago and dig what is called the "Brennan Trench". It is an underwater canal that runs from their sump area just north of the hogup or island visible from the causeway and parallels the causeway all the way to the promontory peninsula where it is pumped up into an above ground canal to wherever they process the swill. The underwater canal gets to the pump in 36 hours and looses only about 1% in purity. He said that the sample is about 98% pure at the sump and 97% at the promontory pump. I suggested that the salt issues affecting the shrimp be addressed by closing the gaps under the causeway east of promontory and making a canal across the tip of the peninsula. This would cause the fresh water to flow into the northern arm and reverse the flow at the Lakeside Bridge. He said he thought the idea would not work as the heavier salt water would not move and the only result would be a raised level in the northeast arm. My experiments using saturated brine to sterilize tanks to get rid of snails suggests that the difference in levels between fresh and salt water is only about 1/2 inch. Another possible problem would be that in extended periods of calm weather; the water would not mix. This could cause the incoming fresh water to stay on the surface and possibly exit through the bridge gap as mostly fresh.
I came back on the following day with Steven, Melissa, and Brittany. I had found a sheep or antelope skull near where I collected the eggs and they wanted to look for more. The eggs were not there and we went west on the causeway road north of the tracks to look for more slicks. I found a couple of small ones and some shore deposits which we mined to get about 1/3 bucket for the day. Petersen showed up on that day also and said that there were slicks 40 feet wide and over 200 feet long on the north side of the dike where he was working. He said the gate to their dike causeway was open but that if anyone got caught in there they would have to start locking the gate. We drove past the gate when we checked out the causeway going west. The water is far from the tracks as you go west so no cysts are likely at that end. Petersen said that the eggs collect really well along the causeway by the bridge when the wind is from the north and will move from their dike to the causeway in a few hours if the wind is right. Coming back from the western end we noticed some unusual equipment on the north side of the mountains where the causeway landfill was apparently mined. The whole area on the shore, roads, and the shore near the causeway are covered with black rocks. Fine gravel in the size I have been looking for was available in the surf zone.