LAYTON — Even the fish will be happy about a cooperative project carried out Wednesday evening at Andy Adams Reservoir.

Those who care about the reservoir, a 105-year-old irrigation storage site on Kays Creek, were thrilled seven years ago when the 35-acre body of water also became a community fishery.

But after the water system was pressurized and fish stocked, people began noticing undesirable side effects, including sometimes unhealthy fish when the top layer of water got warmer, and downstream irrigation water that featured a rotten-eggs smell and rust-colored staining.

So Wednesday evening, Kays Creek Irrigation Co., the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and divers from Davis County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue installed two bulky underwater aerators intended to circulate the water and improve its quality.

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A tube is handed to the boat to be connected to an aerator on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at the Andy Adams Reservoir in Layton.

Aeration will help eliminate accumulation of stagnant water on the reservoir bottom and reduce the too-warm layer at the top, said Kays Creek President Scott Green.

“On the bottom there’s not a lot of oxygen and the fish don’t like it,” Green said. “In the summer the top gets hot and fish start to die and they’re laying on the bank. It grosses people out.”

Plus, the rusty-colored water downstream stains concrete and asphalt at homes using Kays Creek supplies to water their yards.

The aerators are powered by compressed air funneled to the underwater machines via hoses customized in an Eagle Scout project, Green said.

The irrigation company built a shed on the shore to house generators providing energy for the aerators.

DWR flatwater biologist Cody Edwards said the aerators will greatly increase the amount of dissolved oxygen in the reservoir.

“It’s been a negative for the fish,” Edwards said, but all species will enjoy improved conditions now.

DWR’s 2018 stocking program populated the reservoir with sunfish, largemouth bass, and wipers — a hybrid cross of white bass and striped bass, Edwards said.

And not to forget the three varieties of trout: brown, rainbow and brook.

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Two oxygen aerators are shipped out to the location for which they will be placed in the water on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at the Andy Adams Reservoir in Layton. The goal is to oxygenate the lower depths to improve fish habitat and kill the “rotten eggs” smell of the water downstream.

The $82,000 aerator project was funded by $38,000 from DWR and $22,000 each from Kays Creek and Layton City, according to Green. He praised the city’s and the state agency’s dedication to the community fishery.

A third aerator will be installed later this summer or in the early fall, DWR spokesman Mark Hadley said Thursday.

Aerators also were installed recently at Smith Family Park Pond in Farr West and a similar deployment is planned at Steed Park Pond in Clearfield, Edwards said.

You can reach reporter Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net or 801 625-4224. Follow him on Twitter at @mshenefelt.

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