The Anadromous Fish Restoration Program

Merced River

map of watershed showing location of dams and major roads

Watershed Information


PRODUCTION
Species 1967-1991 Baseline Target 1992-2009 Average Increase Percent Change
fall-run Chinook salmon 9,005       18,000       6,845       -2,160       -24      
WATERSHED STATISTICS ANADROMOUS HABITAT COORDINATORS
  Watershed area:   1,273 square miles
  Watershed Priority:  high
  Total storage:  1,024,000 acre-feet
  Historic:   99 miles  
  Current:   43 miles  ( 43.4 %)
     Zac Jackson
     Pat Brantley
     Michelle Workman
     Rick Burmester
RESTORATION
  Projected number of restoration projects:   25   Projected total cost of restoration:   $115,000,000.00
  Total invested to date:  AFRP    $876,195.00  other    $18,775,559.00

Projects

YEARS PROJECT TITLE LAST UPDATE



1997 - 2001 In-stream flow studies in the Sacramento River, American River and Merced River.   6/4/2010
1998 - 2003 Assist development of locally led restoration planning efforts on the Merced River.   7/14/2010
1999 - 2003 Restore in-channel habitat at the Ratzlaff Reach on the Merced River.   7/14/2010
1999 - 2003 Enhance salmon habitat at the Western Stone segment of the Robinson/Ratzlaff Reach on the Merced River.   7/14/2010
1999 - 2001 Update and Validate the Spawning Riffle Atlas for the San Joaquin Tributaries.   7/14/2010
1999 - 2000 Support programs to provide educational outreach and local involvement in restoration for teachers and students in the Lodi, Modesto and Merced unified school districts.   6/24/2010
2000 - 2004 Study the feasibility of developing a long-term aggregate source for San Joaquin tributary channel restoration projects.   7/14/2010
2000 - 2005 Analyze Archived San Joaquin Basin Chinook Salmon Scale Samples and Develop a Comprehensive Database Accessible to Interested Parties (multi-year).   7/14/2010
2000 - 2005 Evaluate use of PHABSIM/2D modeling of spawning and rearing habitat to assess benefits of channel restoration on the Merced River.   7/14/2010
2000 - 2004 Develop an adaptive management forum for large-scale restoration projects.   6/29/2010
2000 - 2003 Merced River Wing-Dam Gravel Monitoring.   7/14/2010
2001 - 2003 Merced River Water Temperature Management Feasibility Study.   7/14/2010
2002 - 2007 A Feasibility Investigation of Reintroduction of Anadromous Salmonids Above Crocker-Huffman Dam on the Merced River.   7/14/2010
2003 - 2007 Evaluating the success of spawning habitat enhancement on the Merced River, Robinson Reach.   7/14/2010

Documents

Initial Scope of Work: Evaluate use of PHABSIM/2D modeling of spawning and rearing habitat to assess benefits of channel restoration. 2000, 0.022 mb (.022 MB)

Initial Scope of Work: Evaluate use of a 2D hydraulic -habitat simulation model (River2D) to assess benefits of channel restoration. 2000, 0.037 mb (.037 MB)

Merced River Corridor Restoration Plan: Baseline Studies--Volume I (Opportunities and Constraints). April 20, 2001, 2.5 mb ( 2.5 MB)

Merced River Corridor Restoration Plan Baseline Studies Volume II: Geomorphic and Riparian Vegetation Investigations Report. April 18, 2001, 16.96 mb (6.96 MB)

Merced River Corridor Restoration Plan: Baseline Studies--Volume II (Geomorphology and Riparian Vegetation). April 18, 2001, 0.597 mb (.597 MB)

Merced River Corridor Restoration Plan: Baseline Studies--Volume II (Figures). April 18, 2001, 14.6 mb (14.6 MB)

Merced River Corridor Restoration Plan: Baseline Studies--Volume II (Appendices). April 18, 2001, 1.74 mb (1.74 MB)

Merced River Adaptive Management Forum - July 2002, 0.12 mb (0.12 MB)

Merced River Corridor Restoration Plan. February 2002, 41.87 mb (1.87 MB)

Merced River Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project EA/IS: Robinson Reach Phase. January 24, 2001 ()

Merced River Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project EA/IS: Robinson Reach Phase. March 5, 2001 ()

Initial Draft Scope of Work: Feasibility eval to develop long-term aggregate source, San Joaquin trib channel restoration projects. 2000, 0.015 mb (.015 MB)

Merced Wing Dams Final Report. March 2003, 2.26 mb (2.26 MB)

1976-1999 Scale Inventory by Size. July 21, 2003, 0.041 mb (.041 MB)

1976-1999 Scale Inventory by Watershed. July 21, 2003, 0.042 mb (.042 MB)

Identification of the Instream Flow Requirements for Fall-run Chinook Salmon in the Merced River. March 19, 1997, 3.87 mb (3.87 MB)

FWS Instream Flow, Merced River Robinson Reach Investigation, 2000 Annual Report. September 29, 2000, 0.225 mb (.225 MB)

FWS Instream Flow, Merced River Robinson Reach Investigation, 2001 Annual Report. February 15, 2002, 0.19 mb (0.19 MB)

Evaluating the Success of Spawing Enhancement on the Merced River, Robinson Reach - Final Proposal ()

Merced River Water Temperature Feasibility Investigation Reconnaissance Report. December 29, 2003, 5.06 mb (5.06 MB)

Adaptive Management Forum for Large-scale Channel and Riverine Habitat Restoration Projects Final Report. July 2004, 0.29 mb (0.29 MB)

Phase IV Hydraulic Model of the Merced River Dredger Tailing Reach Report with Figures. April 2004, 4.56 mb (4.56 MB)

Phase IV Mercury Assessment of the Merced River Ranch. October 2004, 2.72 mb (2.72 MB)

Phase IV Sediment Transport Model of Dredger Tailings Reach. May 2004, 6.72 mb (6.72 MB)

Phase IV Volume and Texture Analysis of Dredger Tailings Report and Figures. June 2004, 4.7 mb ( 4.7 MB)

Phase IV Volume and Texture Analysis of Dredger Tailings Appendices. February 24, 2004, 7.56 mb (7.56 MB)

Phase IV Hydraulic Model of the Merced River Dredger Tailing Reach Appendices. September 3, 2003, 3.14 mb (3.14 MB)

Monitoring Restoration Projects in the Merced River Using 2-D Modeling. January 18, 2005, 3.55 mb (3.55 MB)

A Feasibility Investigation of Reintroduction of Anadromous Salmonids above Crocker-Huffman Dam on the Merced River. December 2007, 8.89 mb (8.89 MB)

Using Rotary Screw Traps to Determine Juvenile Chinook Salmon Out-migration Abundance, Size, Timing in lower Merced River, California. 2007, 0.857 mb (.857 MB)

Merced River PKD survey - 2002, 0.095 mb (.095 MB)

Merced River Ranch Final FONSI. 2010 ()

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Actions and Evaluations

Status Description
Not Addressed E3. Evaluate fall pulse flows for attraction and passage benefits to chinook salmon and steelhead.
Ongoing E2. Evaluate and implement actions to reduce predation on juvenile chinook salmon, including actions to isolate "ponded" sections of the river.
Ongoing E1. Identify and implement actions to provide suitable water temperatures for all life stages of chinook salmon; establish maximum temperature objectives of 56 F from October 15 to February 15 for incubation and 65 F from April 1 to May 31 for juvenile emigration.
Not Addressed A5. Establish a streamwatch program to increase public participation in river management.
Ongoing A4. Screen all diversions to protect all life history stages of anadromous fish.
Ongoing A3. Improve watershed management to restore and protect instream and riparian habitat, including consideration of restoring and replenishing spawning gravel.
Not Addressed A2. Reduce adverse effects of rapid flow fluctuations.
Not Addressed A1. Supplement flows provided pursuant to the Davis-Grunsky Contract Number D-GGR17 and FERC License Number 2179 with water acquired from willing sellers consistent with applicable guidelines or negotiate agreements as needed to improve conditions for all life history stages of chinook salmon.

Photos

Aerial of Ratzlaff post construction Aerial of Ratzlaff post construction Crocker Huffman Dam Crocker Huffman Dam, Merced River Dredger Tailings Dredger Tailings Dredger tailings Merced River Field Trip - Where it all happens! Ratzlaff pond Ratzlaff post construction revegetation Ratzlaff post construction revegetation Ratzlaff revegetation growth Robinson restotoration site Stakeholder meeting Western Stones Western Stones Western Stones Western Stones Western Stones Western Stones Western Stones Aerial Wing Dam at Snelling Bridge Wingdam