From – Historically, the San Joaquin River has supported large chinook salmon populations. However, since the Bureau of Reclamation’s Friant Dam on the San Joaquin River became fully operational in the 1940s, much of the river’s water has been diverted from the river for agricultural uses.  This has resulted in about 60 miles of the river bed going dry in most years and the river no longer being able to support salmon populations. In 1988, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other conservation and fishing groups sued the Bureau of Reclamation and the Friant Division contractors of the Central Valley Project (CVP) in the case, Natural Resources Defense Council v. Rodgers. (more)