Rockport State Park is geared up for summer
The outdoor recreationalist would have found isolation in Rockport State Park on Monday, but according to Rockport officials, the warm weather has brought busy weekends to the park and the campgrounds are all reserved for Memorial Weekend.
A few fishermen enjoyed the seclusion despite the high runoff from the Weber. Wind-slapped waves forced Salt Lake resident, Ron Eades, to leave the reservoir and try his luck below, where the dam spat out the raging surge.
"I came down here because it was too windy," he said. "I’ve always done well here, I’ve never been skunked."
The river was high coming out of the dam but clear enough to wet a line. According to Eades, he caught the Weber River record brown trout (over seven pounds) a year ago with a small Renegade dry fly in the same spot. To say the least, he’s been happy with the improvements the park has made in recent years.
"I come here about every other week," Eades said. "They’ve been coming in putting hybrid trout in here instead of planters," Eades said. "They are better fed and they do a lot better all around. They take care of the campgrounds, it’s a pretty good place to camp and bring your kids."
Verl Barlow usually fishes in Hoytsville, but the high muddy runoff flowing into Rockport pricked his curiosity. The high water erodes the banks of the river and releases worms and other aquatic insects into feeding channels, he said. But it isn’t just the fishing that brought Barlow to Rockport.
"I can either be here or work in the yard," he said.
Recent years of drought haven’t brought the kind of high water the state is seeing this year. The 2006 wet spring has all water systems in the state experiencing high runoff. Although some people are fishing, Rockport officials want to caution those that go on the water.
"High runoff, both in and out of the water, is dangerous right now, so people need to be very careful," Park Manager Steve Hewson said. "It’s washing debris into lakes that’s also creating a floating hazard."
According to Hewson, the park is nearing completion on new facilities. The entrance station, where they collect fees will have improved landscaping and will receive bathrooms and air-conditioning.
"It will be a lot more livable for the employees that have to work out there — air conditioning and bathrooms in there that we’ve never had," Hewson said.
Rockport Sports is constructing three Mongolian yurts domelike shelters — to use for concession stands and rentals. They will rent most water toys such as: Jet Skis, kayaks and boats. Families can also reserve a yurt for over night use.
Hewson sees a lot of potential for this summer because of the precipitation Utah has received this year.
"This should be a great year for fishing as soon as the runoff is over, rainbow and bass," Hewson said. "There will be very good water levels for boating and fishing for the whole summer.
Rockport had a total renovation of its park in 1998 and has been improving little by little each year. Campground reservations are recommended. There are 36 R.V. sites and 86 tent sites on the lake. There are two different styles of campgrounds available. Campgrounds with hook ups and showers start at $18. Basic campsites without hookups are $9. The day fee is $7 and a yearly pass good for all state parks is $70. For more information call the park at (435) 336-2241.
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The recognition left Jewish Family Service Executive Director Ellen Silver speechless, which she joked “doesn’t happen very often.”