The Stanislaus River in California is one of the largest tributaries of the San Joaquin River. The river is 65 miles (104 km) long and has north, middle and south forks. The north and south forks meet several miles upstream from New Melones Lake and the middle fork joins the north fork a few miles before that. The Stanislaus river is extensively dammed and diverted. Donnells Dam on the middle fork forms Donell Lake, high in the Sierra Nevada. Downstream is Beardsley Dam, which forms Beardsley Lake. McKays' Point Diversion Dam diverts water on the north fork for hydroelectricity production and domestic use. The New Melones Dam blocks the river after the confluence of all three forks. Downstream from New Melones Lake, there is Tulloch Dam, which forms Tulloch Reservoir, and Goodwin Dam, located at 37°51′46″N 120°37′47″W / 37.86278°N 120.62972°W / 37.86278; -120.62972Coordinates: 37°51′46″N 120°37′47″W / 37.86278°N 120.62972°W / 37.86278; -120.62972, which is the first major barrier for anadromous fish on the Stanislaus River. In fact, the Stanislaus River historically supported a large population of spring-run chinook salmon (McEwan 1996; Yoshiyama 1996) which was extirpated with the construction of Goodwin Dam. Below Goodwin Dam, the Stanislaus eventually meets the San Joaquin River and flows into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

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