Forty-niner in Utah, page 185

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Title A Forty-niner in Utah with the Stansbury Exploration of Great Salt Lake: Letters and Jounral of John Hudson, 1848-50
Creator Hudson, John, 1826-1850
Subject Frontier and pioneer life; Letters; Diaries -- Authorship; Mormons
Subject Local Mormons --Utah--Biography; Frontier and pioneer life --Utah; West (U.S.) --Description and travel; Utah --Description and travel
Description John Hudson, artist and writer, chronicles his travels from New York City across the Plains towards California to partake in the Gold Rush. What was to have been a temporary stop in Salt Lake City stretches to sixteen months and includes participation in Captain Howard Stansbury's expedition of the Great Salt Lake.
Publisher Tanner Trust Fund University of Utah Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
Contributors Madsen, Brigham D.; Cooley, Everett L.; Tyler, S. Lyman; Ward, Margery W.
Type Text
Format application/pdf
Language eng
Relation Is part of: Utah, the Mormons, and the West, no. 11
Coverage Time: 1848-50
Rights Management University of Utah, Copyright 2001
Holding Institution J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah.
Source Physical Dimensions 14.75 cm x 23 cm
Source Characteristics Printed Hard Cover Book
Scanning Technician Karen Edge
Metadata Cataloger Kenning Arlitsch; Jan Robertson
ARK ark:/87278/s6v1242x
Topic Mormons; Frontier and pioneer life; United States, West; Utah; Letters; Diaries--Authorship
Setname uum_ttb
Date Created 2005-04-20
Date Modified 2011-04-07
ID 327931
Reference URL

Page Metadata

Identifier 214.gif
Title Forty-niner in Utah, page 185
Description April-June 1650 accomplished in water amply sufficient to float the yaul & run the boat on a rocky shore which shelved rapidly into ab 6 feet of water. We observed for the first time insects in the lake which hitherto we had supposed incapable of supporting life.138 This Island is the most picturesque as well as one of the largest in the lake it being inferior only to Antelope. In outline it appears as a succession of hills increasing in height until from a grassy bench springs a conically shaped peak clothed with cedar. The Island about 30 miles in circumference is luxuriantly covered with an island until the lake rises to 4,200 feet. The island (or peninsula) has a north-south orientation, is 11% miles long, 4% miles wide, and has a shoreline of about 24 miles. Composed mostly of precipitous cliffs and rocky slopes, it covers 22,314 acres of land. The highest point is Stansbury Peak which rises 2,445 feet above the level of the lake. There are some fresh water and brackish springs on the eastern side, but as Stansbury soon learned, no water on the west side. He noted, "The grass is rich & abundant & the range superb" and the island is still used as a winter grazing area for sheep. Gwynn, Great SaIr Luke, p. 61; Stansbury, Journal, vol. 5,20 June. 138 The south arm of the lake supports a diverse ecosystem despite the high salt content, and this probably explains why the expedition did not observe any "insect" life before. The invertebrates seen were probably either brine shrimp (Artemia salina) or brine flies (Ephedra cinerea). The brine shrimp is perhaps the best known of all the organisms that inhabit Great Salt Lake. These insects are from eight to twelve millimeters long and vary in color from pale green to red. Eggs are produced throughout the summer and begin to appear on the beaches from early August through November. They lie dormant through the winter, floating on the water, and often forming into large masses along the shore. The adult shrimp die with the coming of winter while the eggs hatch the next spring. The larvae feed on algae and this phenomenon may have been what Hudson and his companions observed. The commercial harvesting of brine shrimp constitutes one of the industries of Great Salt Lake. The State of Utah collects a royalty of four cents per pound for the dried shrimp and/or eggs, and they are distributed world-wide for sale to tropical fish and agricultural industries. The shrimp are collected in hand nets or by scooping them into small rubber or plastic wading pools. Beginning in 1952 one company began to harvest brine shrimp eggs as well, to be hatched and fed as a live food for tropical fish. The eggs are collected by raking them into piles on the shore where they are put in bags for storing and aging. In recent years, the causeway constructed by the Southern Pacific Railroad across the northern arm of the lake has increased the concentration of brines and has caused a decline in the population of brine shrimp. In 1965 a total of 170,150 pounds of shrimp and eggs was harvested, but by 1978 that figure had dipped to 30,529 pounds. The brine fly is the most conspicuous insect inhabiting the lake, and it is most likely what the Stansbury crew saw. The "sheer numbers can be awesome"; an observer in the late 1800s described a collection of flies along the eastern shore of the lake which formed "an unbroken coal-black mass . . . and the roar of the rising flies is such to drown the noise of the railroad trains passing nearby." The adult flies are from three to six milli- meters in length, black in color, and live an average of three to five days. Eggs are laid throughout the summer, and the larvae feed on algae in the water. The emerging adults gather on the surface of the water and are driven by the wind into large windrows along the shore. Gwynn, Great Salt Luke, pp. 306-10,343-45. 185
Format application/pdf
Source A Forty-niner in Utah with the Stansbury Exploration of Great Salt Lake: Letters and Journal of John Hudson, 1848-50
Setname uum_ttb
Date Created 2005-04-14
Date Modified 2005-04-14
ID 327870
Reference URL