Meeting Date:††††††††† August 18, 2003†††††††††††††††††††††† Budgeted:Yes

Program/Line Item No.:†† Aquatic

Staff Contact:†††††††††† Thomas Lindberg††††††††††††††††††† Resources/Fisheries 2.4-11

Cost Estimate:$4,040†††††††††


General Counsel Approval: N/A

Committee Recommendation:The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on August 12, 2003 and recommended Board approval.

CEQA Compliance:†† N/A


SUMMARY:The District initiated benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) sampling in Fall 2000.BMI samples are collected at four locations along the Carmel River in the spring and fall by District staff, and sent to a certified laboratory for analysis.Results from the Districtís sampling are used in combination with other habitat quality measurements to form a more complete picture of the biological health of the Carmel River system.However a comprehensive analysis of all of the data has not been conducted to date.The previous three years of analysis and reporting of BMI have been completed satisfactorily, on time, and within the budget by the firm of BioAssessment Services (BAS).This item is for authorization to contract BAS to prepare a summary of all information collected to date. A copy of the proposal for the report is included as Exhibit 4-A.To minimize costs and save time, the principal operator of BAS, Thomas King, has estimated up to 34 hours of data entry, literature compilation and report review may be subcontracted to an assistant at a lower hourly rate, while the bulk of the analysis and report preparation will be conducted by Mr. King, as described in the Cost Summary at the end of Exhibit 4-A.


RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the Acting General Manager to expend funds totaling up to $4,040 for analysis of BMI samples and preparation of a three-year summary report.The report will summarize BMI data collected to date, comment on the status of the Carmel River, and compare it to nearby streams.The Administrative Committee considered this item at its August 12, 2003 meeting and recommended approval by a vote of two to zero.


BACKGROUND:Since 1990, the District has been the lead agency in assessing the biological health (i.e., biological assessment) of the Carmel River.Steelhead counts, both adults and juveniles, and water quality analyses (i.e., temperature and other indicator parameters) have been collected regularly in this effort.In 1999, the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) approved the California Stream Bioassessment Procedure, based on national Rapid Bioassessment Protocols approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.CDFG and Regional Water Quality Boards have recommended adding the sampling of BMIs to biological assessment and mitigation programs.Examples of BMIs include the filter-feeding larvae of insects such as caddis flies, blackflies and mayflies, as well as larvae of predaceous insects such as stoneflies and dragon flies.BMIs are frequently used as indicators of overall stream conditions because they are abundant and taxonomically diverse, provide a wide range of response to changes in the aquatic environment over time and, unlike fishes, are not as likely to move from a stressed environment.Furthermore, they are relatively easy to sample and provide a direct measure of water and habitat quality, as each species has a known relative tolerance to degraded conditions.


IMPACT ON STAFF AND RESOURCES:This item is included on page 48 of the Fiscal Year 2003-2004 Budget, as a line item under Aquatic Resources Fisheries 2-4-11, Bioassessment Sampling.The $9,500 budgeted is for both routine laboratory costs to analyze samples, and for preparation of the three-year summary report.$5,460 remains in the budget for laboratory services by BioAssessment Services in Fiscal Year 2004.†† Approximately 30 hours of staff time will be used assisting in preparation of the summary report.