20.†††††† CARMEL RIVER FISHERY REPORT†††††
Meeting Date:†††††††††† February 27, 2003††††††††††††††††† Budgeted:† N/A
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Program/Line Item No.: Aquatic Staff
Staff Contact: ††††††††††† Dave Dettman/†††††††††† †††††††††† Resources Fisheries, 2.4
Committee Recommendation: N/A
CEQA Compliance:† N/A
AQUATIC HABITAT AND FLOW CONDITIONS:† During January 2003, Carmel River streamflow conditions were excellent for fish migration and rearing.† During January, mean daily streamflow recorded at the Districtís Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 175 cubic feet-per-second (cfs) and ranged from 84 Ė 402 cfs.† †
January rainfall of only 1.30 inches as recorded by Cal-Am at San Clemente Dam, was far below the long-term monthly average of 4.43 inches at this site.† Fortunately, the heavy rainfall in December 2002, nearly three times the long-term average, kept the river base flow above 100 cfs through most of January.
The lagoon filled in mid-December 2002 from ocean waves and river flow.† Monterey County Public Works breached the lagoon the evening of December 15 and again on December 16, 2002 as the water surface elevation (WSE) reached 11.0 feet.†† Throughout January 2003, the lagoon continued the pattern of draining and filling as river flows and ocean waves cut and filled the sand berm.
Lagoon water surface elevation in feet (NGVD) for January 2003.
SAN CLEMENTE DAM FISH COUNTER: The fish counter was placed into service on November 1, 2002.† Through the end of January 2003, 115 adult steelhead have passed over the counter, including eight fish in November, 17 in December, and 90 in January.
1/31/2003 Nov 2002†††††††† 8 Dec. 2002†††††† 17 TOTAL† †††††† 115
Month††† † †# of Adults
Jan. 2003†††††† 90
Nov 2002†††††††† 8
Dec. 2002†††††† 17
TOTAL† †††††† 115
STATUS OF SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY (Facility):† No fish are currently being held at the Facility.
Sediment Mitigation Project:† In August 2002, District staff completed repairs of the river pumps on the water intake gallery at the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility (Facility).† On October 23, 2002, District staff attended an interagency meeting at the Department of Water Resources, Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) in Sacramento, where DSOD presented details of a fundamental change in California-American Water Companyís (Cal-Amís) operation of San Clemente Dam.† This change, which is being required as an interim measure to minimize risk of dam failure during a major earthquake, involves lowering the water surface elevation in San Clemente Reservoir to an elevation of 515 feet, beginning on May 15, 2003.† This change in Cal-Amís operation will result in significant bypass of fine-grained sediment into the river channel below the dam, especially during periods when flows range below the capacity of the outlet structure.† As a consequence, District staff expects that the large quantities of fine-grained sediment, including silt and sand, will pass into the Facilityís intake structure.† This is problematic because deposition of fine-grained sediment and passage of silt will harm fish in the Facility and may lead to rapid failure of the recently repaired pumps.† Given this situation, District staff believes that retrofit of the intake structure will be needed to make the Facility operational next year and into the foreseeable future. The estimated total cost for this retrofit could range up to $500,000.†
Time is of the essence in this situation because the District must have the Facility operational by early June 2003 to meet its obligations under the Allocation Mitigation Program.† District staff contacted List Engineering Company (LEC) of Monterey to review this situation and they proposed a design and build approach to retrofit the Facility to avoid entrainment of sediment into the water intake system. LEC has assembled a design team with LEC as the lead engineering firm and John F. Otto, Inc. of Sacramento as the general engineering contractor.† In addition, the District plans to include peer review of the retrofit design by Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM).†
At their December 16 Board meeting, the Board approved spending up to $125,000 to contract with John F. Otto, Inc. on the initial phase of the retrofit project. In January, staff received the LECís Phase 1 report that outlined eight retrofit options.† Staff presented the Board with an update at their January 30, 2003 meeting.† The Board will consider funding the remainder of the project and other options at their February 27, 2003 meeting.
Storm Damage:† In late December 2002, a large storm with high winds hit the Central Coast.† In early January, staff was able to cross the river and inspect the Facility for possible storm damage.† The inspection showed that fallen tree limbs and debris damaged approximately 200 feet of the bird netting and supporting framework over the rearing channel.† Staff was able to remove the fallen limbs and repair the canopy.† In addition, one of the largest oak trees at the Facility split in half, but was still standing.† Cal-Am Water Company hired a professional tree service to remove the tree before it could cause any damage to the canopy and rearing channel.† A large sycamore tree with severe heart rot will be trimmed in February.