Department of Water Resources Home

Environmental Services


sutter bypass

Environmental Services

Dean Messer, Chief

3500 Industrial Blvd.
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 376-9699

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001



Robinson Reach

Merced River Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project - Phase III (Robinson Reach)


robinson reach

Merced River Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project - Phase III (Robinson Reach)


This phase of the Merced River Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project (MRSHEP) is located on the Merced River between river miles 42 and 44, just upstream of the Highway 59 bridge. It consists of two of the five reaches of the MRSHEP, plus an adjacent 2000 foot reach upstream. The project was originally approved for funding under the Delta Pumping Plant Fish Protection (Four Pumps) Agreement, CALFED, and by the Department of Fish and Game (Proposition 70 Funds) in 1998.

This phase of the project was characterized by an upstream section with an abandoned point bar and incised channel, a wide, flat, shallow central reach and several in-stream ponds in the downstream reach. The alignment bypassed much of the pre-1997 channel, and therefore, most of the coarse sediment and potential spawning and rearing habitat. The first construction phase of the MRSHEP (Phase II) was completed in 1999.

robinson reach location

Current Status

The Robinson Phase of the project began construction in July, 2001 and was completed in February, 2002. Approximately 1,000,000 tons of material was moved in reconfiguring the project site. In addition, more than 10,000 feet of channel was created, improved or modified, and several ponds were eliminated.


Our morphological monitoring program focuses on looking both at the project as a whole and at specific areas of concern while evaluating results as they apply to project goals and objectives. A monitoring data report was published in February 2006 that covers monitoring activities spanning from completion of construction through 2004. Activities continue and are ongoing.


The pre-construction engineering report, final engineering and construction report, and 2004 monitoring report can be downloaded in PDF format from the Publications section of this website.


Construction Nearing Completion, Looking Downstream at Central Half of Project Site.