On Aug. 6, 2014 the California Fish and Game Commission adopted a proposal to implement early restrictions on angling in the Merced River, pending a legal review. Monday, Aug. 25, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the proposal, effective immediately. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was notified on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
This early closure affects only the Merced River from Crocker-Huffman Dam downstream to the Snelling Road bridge, a distance of approximately 5.5 miles. Angling in the river below Snelling Road bridge is subject to normal fishing regulations and closures. A map of the closure can be found here.
The lower Merced River is typically only closed to angling from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. The purpose of the annual closure is to increase survival of juvenile and adult wild rainbow trout and steelhead by reducing fish mortality associated with hook-and-line fishing.
This year’s move to close the river ahead of schedule is intended to protect drought-stressed waters and their salmonid populations during the fall spawning.
The river will re-open to anglers on Jan. 1, 2015.
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937
Dean Marston, CDFW Fisheries Branch, (559) 243-4005 ext. 122, or firstname.lastname@example.org