The Bear River Watershed is located in Northeast Utah, southeast Idaho, and southwest Wyoming. The portion in Utah covers an area of over 3,300 square miles and ranges in elevation from 4,200 feet to 12,600 feet. The Bear River Watershed is surrounded by mountains and drains 1.2 million acre feet of water each year into the Great Salt Lake. It is comprised of many streams, lakes, and reservoirs, including Bear River, Bear Lake, Cub River, Logan River, Little Bear River, Blacksmith Fork, and Cutler Reservoir. Annual average precipitation is 21.4 inches per year, and depending on elevation, it can range from 9 to 59 inches per year.
This area includes natural, agricultural, and urban areas on private, state, and federal lands. Major water uses include agricultural, irrigation, municipal and industrial uses, power generation, and recreation. Major water quality issues include: nutrients, sedimentation, fecal coliform bacteria, high water temperature, and low dissolved oxygen. Pollutant sources include, grazing, agriculture, animal feeding operations, wastewater treatment, roads, urban development, logging, oil and gas exploration.