Navajo Lake's fans have cobbled together a short-term fix for the leaky dike that ruined the popular fishing and recreation hot spot this summer.
Government agencies, including Kane County and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, have pledged $150,000 for the repairs. And supporters in the community have raised an additional $3,000 through barbecues, donation cans and even a cello performance.
"We have a good start," said Dianne Hanna-Rudnicki, a local businesswoman who has led the effort. "There are a lot of people who are willing to help."
Rudnicki said the outpouring shows how important the lake is for the mountain-recreation experience and to businesses in and around Duck Creek, a community about 30 miles southeast of Cedar City.
The wildlife division plans to open bids on Sept. 18 to close the breach on Navajo Lake. But a long-term fix could take years and more than $2 million, said the agency's Craig Walker.
"It's going to be an effort," he said, "but mammoth effort or not, it's doable."
Breaches have been a problem at the half-mile-long lake since it was originally built in 1930. Six times the dike failed, requiring repairs or a dike-raising.
About 2,500 campers enjoy the lake each year, plus there are about 66,000 car visits during the summer season. There are private cabins, plus 12 rentals managed by the Navajo Lake Lodge.
This year, the wildlife office held off on stocking the usual 20,000 rainbow trout, brown trout and splake because of the breach. But they lifted the usual four-a-day catch limit and allowed eight. More than 6,000 anglers tried their luck on the lake last summer, according to an agency survey.
Core samples taken this year are expected to help the state figure out how to repair the lake permanently.
Fundraising will continue, said Rudnicki, even as the recreation season winds down. A "Save Navajo Lake" account has been established at the Wells Fargo Bank to receive contributions, she said.