Our Plan

Steps for Success

Merced Irrigation District has spent millions of dollars and decades undertaking intense and in-depth scientific research on the Merced River. This research has included analysis of flows, temperatures, biological resources and habitat. MID is poised to put this research into action – NOW!

Under the state’s over-simplified and single-minded approach, only increased flows have been considered as a solution to the complex issues affecting the salmon lifecycle. Any implementation of the state’s flow-only approach will take decades to implement. Analyses show the state’s flow-increase proposal will provide only a negligible benefit to salmon habitat but deliver a devastating impact on a local economy, water quality, and supply.

RIVERINE AND RIPARIAN RESTORATION

MID would restore approximately 5.5 miles of riparian and riverine habitat on the Merced River that was drastically altered by historic, mechanical dredge mining. This aggressive action displaced miles of rock and gravel used for salmon rearing between Crocker Diversion Dam and the historic community of Snelling.

SALMON HATCHERY PLAN

Merced ID and committed stakeholders would develop a Merced River Production Hatchery Plan. This would include a funding schedule and sources, and monitoring of effectiveness. Proposed improvements could include expansion and modernization of spawning, incubation and rearing facilities.

PREDATION CONTROL

Merced ID and its partners would develop an Anadromous Salmonid Predator Management Plan for the lower Merced River. The plan would identify existing levels of predation, identify locations of areas with high predation rates, recommend potential actions to reduce salmonid predation, and recommend effectiveness monitoring procedures.

THE KEY TO SUCCESS: PARTNERSHIPS

The various strategies and plans MID is proposing would include stakeholders partnerships with state and federal agencies, and non-governmental organization groups. Together these stakeholders would constitute a Technical Advisory Group to prioritize the various aspects of the restoration plans.

Project results

MID has the scientific research and knowledge to begin immediate implementation of a project that will:

Improve the flows providing more fresh water than currently flows downstream…

Restore critical sections of habitat for spawning and rearing juvenile salmon…

Upgrade existing Salmon Hatchery with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

Increases salmonid survival by reducing predation…

State Plan

  • Provides only increased flows
  • Devastates a small community’s economy
  • Harms local water quality and supply
  • Does nothing to address salmon habitat or restoration

Our S.A.F.E. Plan

  • Provides increased flows using science to dictate the amounts and timing
  • Restores miles of riparian habitat and substantially restores salmon habitat
  • Protects local drinking water quality
  • Provides predation control
  • Improves salmon production and rearing at the state’s Merced River Hatchery