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A vast California lake is set to run dry. Scientists are scrambling to save its endangered fish

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Friday, April 15, 2022

Entering a third year of drought, the once-vast Tule Lake, a vestige of the area’s volcanic past and today a federally protected wetland, is shriveling up. Its floor is mostly cracked mud and tumbleweed. By summer, the lake is expected to run completely dry, a historic first for the region’s signature landmark and the latest chapter in a broader, escalating water war.


The lack of water could hamper irrigation of potatoes, onions and other agricultural staples. It will likely deny countless migratory birds a popular rest stop on the Pacific Flyway. But most immediately, it will strand an untold number of fish on barren land, a reality that has triggered a novel — and hurried — effort to save two endangered species of suckers on the verge of extinction.

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