21. CARMEL RIVER FISHERY REPORT
Meeting Date: May 19, 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 April 2003, Carmel River streamflow conditions were good for fish rearing and fair to good for adult fish migration. Mean daily streamflow recorded at the District’s Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 109 cubic feet-per-second (cfs) and ranged from 52 - 262 cfs.
A series of small to moderate sized storms throughout April brought 19 days with measurable precipitation, making April the first “wet” month since December 2002 with a rainfall of 3.50 inches, as recorded by Cal-Am at San Clemente Dam. The long-term monthly average is 1.67 inches at this site. The following graph shows the river flow for April 2003 at the USGS Robles del Rio gage above Carmel Valley Village.
Higher river flows in April allowed the Carmel River lagoon to stay open for longer periods of time compared to February and March of this year. April water quality in the lagoon was generally good for steelhead health.
SAN CLEMENTE DAM FISH COUNTER: The fish counter was placed into service on November 1, 2002. Through the end of April 2003, 480 adult steelhead have passed over the counter, including 8 fish in November, 17 in December, 90 in January, 141 in February, 194 in March, and 30 in April 2003.
San Clemente Reservoir Fish Ladder, Monterey County, CA
4/30/2003 Nov 2002 8 Dec 2002 17 TOTAL 480
Month # of Adults
Jan 2003 90
Feb 2003 141
Mar 2003 194
Apr 2003 30
Nov 2002 8
Dec 2002 17
**Discharge measured at the MPWMD gaging station at Sleepy Hollow Weir or San Clemente Spillway
STEELHEAD REDD SURVEYS: District staff completed the second steelhead redd (nests) survey between Via Mallorca Bridge (River Mile [RM] 3.2) and San Clemente Dam (RM18.6) in early April. Both the Carmel River and the San Clemente Creek sides of the San Clemente Reservoir inundation zone were surveyed in late April. The results were given to NOAA Fisheries to be used for mitigation purposes for Cal-Am’s San Clemente Reservoir drawdown project in May or June 2003. Due to higher than expected streamflows in April, staff was unable to survey the reach between the dams. Staff hopes to complete this reach in May.
SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY: As part of the Interim Sediment Retrofit Project, District staff assisted contractors from Geo. Wilson in pulling the two river pumps from the gallery in late April. The pumps are being retrofitted with special impellers that are designed to better cope with the anticipated higher volumes of sand in the river. Work on the plumbing modifications and the installation of the centrifugal separator will continue in May.