Merced, California - The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public meeting on Monday, August 17 to inform the public about the proposed emergency closure of the Merced River to fishing.
The meeting will be held from 6-9 p.m. in the theater at El Capitan High School, 100 West Farmland Ave., Merced (95348).
Last year the California Fish and Game Commission adopted a proposal to implement early restrictions on angling in the Merced River, closing the river from August 29 to December 31, 2014. Earlier this year, the Commission granted CDFW authority to close fisheries when certain criteria are met, such as low water levels and high water temperatures.
This proposed 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..
The lower Merced River is typically only closed to angling from November 1 through December 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.
The 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 January 1, 2016.