FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A non-profit conservation group called American Rivers released its list of the nation's most endangered rivers. The San Joaquin River was listed as the second most endangered river in the country. American Rivers cited outdated water management as its biggest problem.
The San Joaquin River begins in the high Sierra and flows through the Central Valley, though it runs dry in some areas due to the drought and diversions. The river supports communities, fish and wildlife, and farmers.
Walt Shubin, 85, has grown raisin grapes in Kerman for all of his adult life. Shubin calls the river over-used and abused.
"It's amazing when you get further down by Patterson. That river is so polluted there's signs no swimming, don't eat the fish, and the water is so bad-- it stinks so bad it could gag a maggot."
Shubin said it's up to state and federal agencies to improve the river's water quality and management practices.
"We have people making decisions on the San Joaquin River who have never seen the river. I've always said there's enough water for everybody's needs, but not enough for a couple of people's greed."
Shubin was actually surprised the San Joaquin River wasn't number-one on the nation's endangered list. That designation belongs to the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin serving Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.