Lake Merced, located on the outskirts of San Francisco near Ocean Beach and Daly City, is a major fresh water, recreational, and natural resource for the City and County of San Francisco and the surrounding area. It is also an important stop for migratory birds on the Pacific Flyway. It is surrounded by two public golf courses - the nine-hole Fleming course and TPC Harding Park, host of the 2009 President's Cup and 2020 PGA Championship. More than half of the park is managed by the Recreation and Parks Department’s Natural Areas Program, which works to restore and protect habitat for birds and other wildlife, as well as to maintain and improve trails.
To learn more about recreation opportunities at Lake Merced, visit the SF Recreation and Parks website.
Lake Water Quality Monitoring
Detailed quarterly water quality monitoring has been ongoing at Lake Merced since 1997. Lake Merced is considered a shallow eutrophic lake, meaning that it is rich in minerals and organic nutrients that promote proliferation of plant life including algae, which can lead to depressed dissolved oxygen levels. The lake is on the California 303 (d) list for pH and dissolved oxygen.
The SFPUC conducts quarterly sampling at Lake Merced to monitor the condition of the lake. Results of this sampling and analysis are summarized in the Annual Lake Merced Water Quality Memorandum and are used to determine if there has been a change in water quality at the lake.
As part of the Watershed Management activities the SFPUC measures and records surface water levels at Lake Merced using an automated pressure transducer. Lake Merced water levels are recorded at least daily. Construction activities during the Seismic Upgrades and Retrofit of the Lake Merced Pump Station resulted in a gap of the data.
Proposed Lake Merced West Project
The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (RPD) proposes to implement the Lake Merced West Project, which would create a recreational facility on approximately 11 acres located at 520 John Muir Drive, on the southwest side of Lake Merced.
See the documents here: https://sfplanning.org/sfceqadocs and search for Lake Merced.