- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

MERCED, Calif. (AP) - A stretch of the Merced River in Central California has been closed to angling earlier than usual because of high water temperatures.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife says the fishing closure began Tuesday for just over 5 miles of the river from Crocker-Huffman Dam downstream to the Snelling Road Bridge.

The lower Merced River typically doesn’t close for anglers until Nov. 1. It will reopen as usual on Jan. 1.

The early closure in Merced County comes so that fish weakened by the warm water do not die from being played by an angler, even if they are released.

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