The Merced River in the central part of California, is a 145-mile-long tributary of the San Joaquin River flowing from the Sierra Nevada into the San Joaquin Valley. It is most well known for its swift and steep course through the southern part of Yosemite National Park.

A rich riparian zone around the Merced once supported millions of migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway, and the river had one of the southernmost runs of salmon in North America. Indigenous people, including the Miwok and Paiute tribes, lived along the river for thousands of years, thriving on the bountiful flora and fauna supported by the river and its diverse lower course, aided by fertile soils eroded from the mountains.

Rock River Star