Satellite photo from August 2003 after five years of drought, reaching near-record lows. Note the difference in colors between the Northern and Southern portions of the lake, the result of a railroad causeway.
The lake is about 75 miles (121 km) long and 28 miles (45 km) wide. Its surface area averages 1,700 square miles (4,400 km2), but because of its desert location, its size changes very often. The three major rivers that flow into it are the Jordan, Weber, and Bear rivers. Because of its similarity to the Dead Sea in Asia, it has been called "America's Dead Sea". However, the lake is a rich habitat for many species of birds, shrimp, and other animals.