High water temperatures in the lower Merced River have prompted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to close a portion of the river to angling earlier than usual. This early closure begins today, Aug. 18, and affects only the Merced River from Crocker-Huffman Dam downstream to the Snelling Road Bridge, a distance of approximately 5.5 miles.
The lower Merced River is typically closed to angling from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. The river is still scheduled to be closed during that period, and will re-open to anglers on Jan. 1, 2016.
In June 2015, the California Fish and Game Commission granted CDFW the authority to close fisheries when certain criteria are met, such as low water levels and high water temperatures. This year’s move to close the river ahead of schedule was deemed necessary in order to protect drought-stressed salmonid populations during the fall spawning.
Additional information on emergency angling closures, including a map, can be found at wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/inland/closures or by calling the emergency closure hotline at (916) 445-7600.
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944