Meeting Date:

June 21, 2004





Staff Contact:

Dave Dettman

Program/Line Item No.:Fisheries 2-4-2B



Cost Estimate:$16,000


General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on June 7, 2004 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:N/A


SUMMARY:The limited-term Water Resources Assistant position is designed to assist with the District=s fisheries and aquatic resources program, as well as assist staff in groundwater and surface water monitoring programs within the Water Resources Division.Funding for this position is included in the 2004-2005 Fiscal Year (FY) budget. Authorization is requested to rehire a contract Water Resources Assistant, with that individual entering into an agreement with the District for up to 1000 hours of work between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005.


RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the expenditure of funds to rehire a limited-term Water Resources Assistant to assist the fishery biologists and hydrologists with field and administrative tasks, for up to a total of 1000 hours during FY 2004-2005 at a salary of $13.75 per hour. The Administrative Committee considered this item at its June 7, 2004 meeting and voted 3 to 0 to recommend approval.


IMPACTS TO STAFF/RESOURCES: The budget for FY 2004-2005 includes funds to pay the part-time, limited-term Water Resources Assistant position for a maximum of 1000 hours.Funds totaling $16,000 are included in the Fisheries Mitigation Program as line item 2-4-2B in the Summary of Project Expenditures section of the FY 2004-2005 Budget. A similar amount was budgeted during FY 2003-2004. The Board should note that other than an hourly wage, this employee receives no District benefits except for those required by law (e.g. workers compensation coverage.) In the process of analyzing possible budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year, staff has investigated the consequences of not funding this limited-term position.If this position is not continued through FY 2004-2005, the following impacts on staff and resources are projected to occur:


1)                  As in the case of the Fish Rescue Workers, if staff attempted to conduct rescue with fewer workers, more fish would be lost because a smaller crew cannot effectively keep up with the number needing rescue and cannot work fast enough to keep up with the retreating river front.††


2)                  If other fisheries staff were required to spend more time on fish rescues, their hours would have to be reduced on other tasks.This would reduce weekend coverage at the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility.

3)                  The Districtís ability to adequately monitor spawning habitat and perform population surveys would be significantly reduced.

4)†††††††† The District routinely collects a significant amount of groundwater level and quality data in the Carmel River and Seaside Basins.The Water Resources Assistant position has been instrumental in getting these data entered into the Districtís databases and manipulating the data for analysis and report presentation.If this position is not continued, the ability to conduct these tasks would be severely impacted.


5)†††††††† Each summer, staff conducts surveys of wetland vegetation in the vicinity of the Carmel River Lagoon in an effort to determine if changes are taking place in response to upstream diversions.The method involves an intensely focused effort to identify every species along eight transects and 20 quadrats.If this position is not continued, the ability to continue and complete these surveys would be compromised.


6)†††††††† The Water Resources Assistant position has been integral in conducting the California Stream Bioassessment Procedure (CSBP).The CSBP was developed by the Department of Fish and Game as a rapid bioassessment protocol, and provides a method to track overall stream health. Because the CSBP involves a team working rapidly in the field, the loss of the Water Resources Assistant position would cause a significant reduction in the efficiency of staff conducting this task and a loss in data continuity and validity.



BACKGROUND: The Water Resources Assistant position was created in December 1998 to assist staff in the Water Resources Division with field and administrative tasks, including†† rescuing of juvenile steelhead in the lower Carmel River, surveying of steelhead spawning habitat, and monitoring of groundwater and surface water resources within the Monterey Peninsula Water Resources System. This position is needed to help ensure that tasks for the District=s Fisheries Mitigation Program are completed on schedule.The duties of the Water Resources Assistant are listed in the job description attached as Exhibit 11-A. The Assistant works in the Water Resources Division and will be supervised by the Senior Fisheries Biologist.††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††