Merced County Times Newspaper
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Boating access opened for nearby residents of Lakes McClure, McSwain


(Merced Irrigation District press release)

Another step toward reopening recreation at Lakes McClure and McSwain was announced this week, providing local access to boating beginning on Saturday, May 2nd.

For the time being, the opening will be strictly limited to those considered to be local nearby residents, as defined, for boating, shore fishing, biking and hiking. While intending to support as much recreation as possible, Merced Irrigation District is complying with the State Health Officer’s Stay-At-Home order related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boaters and others visiting the parks are expected to be responsible with social distancing – maintaining six feet at all times. There should be no boat mingling or close interaction between boats.

Those who intend to visit are expected to bring their own soap and sanitizer with them. All visitors are expected to maintain social distancing of six or more feet from each other. The fee per car is $8 and must be paid in exact cash or by check under current social distancing measures. Boat trailers cost an additional $7.

Those considered local nearby residents intending to access their houseboat may do so overnight with immediate members of their family: those with whom they have been staying at home together under state orders. For those not from the defined local area but needing access to their houseboat, they will continue to have access on Saturdays for essential maintenance and security checks, during the prior available times of 10 am – 4 pm.

Nearby residency at this time is considered to encompass the following:

  •   Those from Mariposa County.
  •   Those within 10 miles of the park as well as residents around Coulterville and La Grange.
  •   Those from the Eastern Merced County communities of Snelling, Planada, Le Grand, Merced, Atwater, Winton, Cressey and Livingston.

    Enforcement of boating safety will be monitored by MID and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office Boating Safety Unit, which will be actively patrolling.

    All camping remains closed at this time. The Barrett Cove Exchequer Bike Park is open. Bagby and Horseshoe Bend recreation areas remain closed at this time.

The two reservoirs are located within Mariposa County. MID has been continuing to coordinate park operations with county health officials and operating under state guidelines intended to minimize non- essential travel. County health departments are tasked with interpreting and implementing emergency health orders originating with the Governor of California.

“This is another step forward in providing access to MID Parks and Recreation facilities and opportunities,” said MID Parks Director Brooke Gutierrez.

“Our goal is to have the parks open and accessible for everyone who wishes to be here – and with full consideration of public health,” she added. “This is going to take time and depend on the orders given by the Governor of California and State Public Health Officer. We appreciate the ongoing support and patience of all who enjoy our parks and are anxious to return. We also appreciate the ongoing communication with Mariposa County health officials.”

In early March, all facilities were closed in response to the coronavirus state of emergency declared in California. Since that time, MID has continually monitored orders, directives and recommendations from state and local health officials with an intent to restore recreation as quickly as possible, while protecting public and employee health.

Those who have questions about COVID as it relates to recreation activities in Mariposa County can call the Coronavirus hotline at 209-259-1332 or email [email protected]

For more information specific to MID facilities, please visit or click here. ###

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