16.†††††† CARMEL RIVER FISHERY REPORT†††††
Meeting Date:†††††††††† August 18, 2003†††††††††††††††††††† Budgeted:† N/A
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Program/Line Item No.: Aquatic Staff
Committee Recommendation: N/A
CEQA Compliance:† N/A
AQUATIC HABITAT AND FLOW CONDITIONS:† During July 2003, Carmel River streamflow conditions were critical for smolt out migration and fair for fish.† Mean daily streamflow recorded at the Districtís Carmel River Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 20 cubic feet-per-second (cfs) and ranged from 14 - 25 cfs.††
No rainfall was recorded by Cal-Am at San Clemente Dam (SCD) in July 2003.† The long-term monthly average is 0.12 inches at this site for July.
The Carmel River Lagoon was closed beginning July 2, 2003.† Lagoon water quality was good to fair for steelhead during the month, but the water depth declined throughout the month.† Streamflow at the Districtís Highway One Bridge averaged 2 cfs during July, and declined from a maximum of 7 cfs on July 1 to zero on July 27.
SUMMER STEELHEAD RESCUES:† Staff started the 2003 summer steelhead rescues on June 30, 2003 as flows neared 10 cfs at the Highway 1 bridge.† By July 31, approximately 26,000 fish had been rescued from the lower four miles of stream and stocked between the Narrows and Robles Del Rio, in the Lagoon, or at the Sleepy Hollow Rearing Facility. Most notable is the abundance of juvenile steelhead throughout the reach above Via Mallorca Road.† For example, the staff rescued over 1,900 fish in one day from a quarter-mile long section of the river upstream of San Carlos Bridge.† The record numbers are probably a reflection of improved substrate conditions, increased numbers of returning adult steelhead due to past rescues of juvenile steelhead in this reach, and high reproductive success due to low, but adequate flows for spawning, embryo incubation, and fry emergence.† In addition, the increased turbidity below San Clemente Dam, resulting from California-American Water Companyís drawdown project may have increased dispersal of fish from rearing areas upstream of the Narrows to the lower river.
SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:† Currently, the Facility is in production mode with all pumps functioning normally and the cooling tower running.† By July 31, 2003, staff had stocked approximately 9,600 fish at the Facility.† Most fish are doing well, except for a small group of intermediate-sized fish that have contracted fungal infections.† Staff has quarantined this group, is culling the sick fish, and will keep the survivors separate from other fish, until the mortalities stabilize.