The river accidentally broke through a canal, and for two years the Colorado River ran into the basin, creating this sea. That had repercussions elsewhere, as well as here - where desert towns were sudden flooded. Eventually the problem was repaired.
Since then, it has decreased in size and become increasingly saline. Consequently many of its fish are dying. The beach is littered with dead tilapia that, from a distance, look like flat stones.
Birds still nest on its shores.
Currently the lake is being filled with irrigation runoff (which probably makes it even more saline, given that irrigation water carries fertilizers in it).