Gauge Description:


So. Merced - At Wawona
Show 30 Days -------------- Show 3 Years



See the official CDEC gage site for further technical information about the gauge. 

The season tends to be from late winter into early summer. In wet years the flows can be too high for much of the season.    As the season ends, flows tend to drop out quickly.


There are many tributaries that come in below Wawona, so actual flows will be much higher shortly into the run.   Look at the take out to guesstimate flows there.  Flows of 1000 to 1300 at the take out is reported to be excellent.   Low flows reveal much mank and dangerous seives, so high flows are considered better than low. 


Flows can vary tremendously and quickly overnight, or with rain or changes in temperature.  When camping, pull boats up high above the river so they don't get swept away. 

Gauge Rock at Wawona The online gauge shown below came online in September of 2007. In late winter and early spring, flow in the SF Merced is often greater than the flow in the Main Merced.   See for those readings.

Gauging Rock: In Wawona, there is a distinctive rock that may be useful for judging flow level. View the Gauge Rock closeup image. This rock is on river left, by the Wawona store, just upstream of the highway 41 bridge. This downstream view from rock shows the location in relation to the highway bridge. The new online gauge appears to be located downstream of the highway bridge but this author does not know if there is a staff gauge there. 



Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
cdec-SMW 350 - 900 cfs V+ 01h43m 4 cfs (too low)

gauge graph
RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
350 - 900 cfs barely runnable-high runnable V+ gauge is important or has warning
400 - 500 cfs barely runnable-perfect runnable V+ gauge is important or has warning
500 - 700 cfs med runnable-a bit pushy runnable V+ gauge is important or has warning

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.

When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
Merced, S. Fork [CA] Highway 41 bridge from Gauge Rock very low Paul Martzen
SF Merced [CA] Little Slide, SF Merced n/a Matt Muir
> 10 years Merced, S. Fork [CA] Gauge Rock at Wawona-2 very low Paul Martzen