Meeting Date:

November 21, 2005





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:


Beverly Chaney /

Dave Dettman

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


AQUATIC HABITAT AND FLOW CONDITIONS:  During October 2005, Carmel River streamflow conditions were good for juvenile steelhead rearing in the reach upstream of the Schulte Road Bridge, but poor to critical below Schulte Bridge.


During October 2005, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the District’s Carmel River Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 9.7 cubic feet per second (cfs) and ranged from 9.1 to 11 cfs.


There were only 0.04 inches of measurable rainfall in October as recorded by Cal-Am at San Clemente Dam (SCD), a substantial difference from last year’s four inches of October rain.   The long-term October average is 0.7 inches at this site. 


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  The river mouth closed in early July and the lagoon filled with water, creating good fish habitat in the new South Arm.  Unfortunately, the sand berm breached, and much of the accumulated water drained from the lagoon. As reported in the June 20, 2005 fisheries staff note, the main body of the lagoon has a high level of accumulated sand this year and coupled with the low water surface elevation (WSE), the amount of steelhead rearing habitat is limited.  During October WSE ranged from approximately 4.0 feet to 5.6 feet. Water quality became more variable with high tides washing seawater and marine organic debris over the top of the sandbar and causing sharp salinity stratification throughout the lagoon.



Carmel River Lagoon Water Surface Elevation (Feet NGVD)

JUVENILE STEELHEAD RESCUES:  No rescues were needed in October.


JUVENILE STEELHEAD POPULATION AND EMBEDEDNESS SURVEYS:  Staff began the annual juvenile steelhead population surveys in Mid-October, finishing nine of the eleven sites, between Mid-Carmel Valley and the Cachagua area, by the end of the month.  The final two sites will be completed in early November before the fall benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) survey is started.


The annual embeddedness survey was completed by mid-October at all eleven sites.  This survey measures how deeply the rocky substrate is buried in sand at each site.  This measure is important because as sand fills the interstitial spaces between rocks, the amount of habitat for juvenile fish and the production of BMI for fish food declines.


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY (Facility):  On July 14, 2005, staff began accepting rescued steelhead from the lower Carmel River.


As of October 31, approximately 19,073 fish were being held at the Facility, including 2,702 yearling fish and 16,371 young-of-the-year (YOY) fish, with a known overall survival rate of 78%.