A railroad causeway runs across the northern portion of the lake separating the water in the north from that in the south. The influx of water into the smaller northern portion from the Weber and Bear Rivers results in an arm of the lake that is somewhat less in salinity than the lower portion of the lake.
Brine shrimp from the lake are harvested and often used for fish food for fishery operations. Morton salt had a plant just west of SLC for a long time...I'm not sure when they concluded operations there or if they have relocated. Other salt plants are located on the western side of the lake.
The lake level has fluctuated in recent history as a result of changes in rainfall amounts. In the early to mid eighties rainfall increased to the point that the lake level was intruding onto I-80 out near Grantsville.
I never could understand why anyone would want to swim in the lake. It stinks to high heaven and the brine shrimp pile up on the shore. On a side note, if you are into geology, the sand on the shore of the lake consists of small grains called oolites. These are round grains produced by accreting layers of aragonite as the grains oscillate back and forth on the floor of the lake.
The Great Salt Lake is possibly the 8th wonder of the world. The south half of the lake is 14 to 18 percent salt (the ocean 3-4%), more species of birds live in the wetlands or use the wetlands as a resting spot during their annul migrations than any other body of water in North America. If you are in the neighbor hood come on out for a sail sailutah.com