Mono Lake is a very large alkali lake found in Mono County east of the Sierras. It is the depository of several creeks coming from the area East of Yosemite. This lake is extremely salty and inhospitable to fish and most other aquatic animals. It does, however, support an algae which supports a type of fly and a type of brine shrimp, both of which are found nowhere else. All alone these might not be notable, but they are so abundant that a huge number of birds such as seagulls, ducks, etc, come here to feed and breed on one of the two islands, Negit Island and Pahoa Island. The area is also volcanic, there are a few craters nearby and about 200 years ago there was a volcanic explosion under the lake

During the Ice Age, this lake was much larger and shorelines of the old lake can be seen. In the current climate it was a bit smaller and saltier. However, soon after Los Angeles stole all the water in the Owens River they turned their greedy eyes to the creeks flowing into Mono Lake. These were diverted into the Owens River Valley and soon the level of the lake began to drop. It reached its lowest level during the drought of the 80s. At this point the lake had become extremely salty, and the low water level connected one of the islands with the mainland, allowing coyotes to access the island and eat the eggs and young birds there. A group was formed to save the lake and after a long court battle, a lake level was agreed on which was a bit higher than the lowest level it reached, but a bit lower than it was in the 50s before diversions. Hopefully this will remain so and the lake will remain at least at its present level.

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