The Detrimental Effects Of Over-Pumping
Giant pumps have been systematically destroying the waters in which many species of fish and wildlife live. The smelt is perhaps the hardest hit because of its short lifespan (typically 1 to 2 years). Figures from the 2007 spring survey counted just 25 juveniles, a massive 92% drop from the record low set in 2006. Because many of the fish only live to spawn once before they die, this leaves a very short time span for positive action to be taken.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, along with the adjoining rivers, are facing an ecological crisis caused by government policies and inaction. Over-pumping is widely believed to be the root cause of catastrophic decline in the numbers of various fish indigenous to the region. As well as salmon and crabs, this includes the Delta smelt, a fish that is endemic only to the Northern California Delta.