Flow a milestone for thirsty river

By Alex Breitler

Record Staff Writer

March 17, 2010 12:00 AM

The San Joaquin River is flowing from Friant Dam near Fresno to the Delta, a symbolic milestone in a process to restore the normally dry stream.

The fact that it’s news that a river runs from the mountains to the sea says something about the history of the San Joaquin.

The last time this happened was 2006, but only because officials were desperately trying to flush swollen Central Valley streams and prevent a flood.

This is the first time in more than a half-century that the river has flowed uninterrupted in a non-flood year, officials said. The river apparently connected with itself late last week at the confluence of the Merced River.

“Dead and buried rivers don’t usually come back to life. This is an important moment,” said Bill Jennings, head of Stockton-based California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.

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