ITEM:

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS/STAFF REPORTS

 

17.

CARMEL RIVER FISHERY REPORT

 

Meeting Date:

July 17, 2006

Budgeted:

N/A

 

From:

David A. Berger,

Program/

N/A

 

General Manager

Line Item No.:

 

 

 

Prepared By:

Beverly Chaney/

Cost Estimate:

N/A

 

Dave Dettman

 

 

 

General Counsel Approval:N/A

Committee Recommendation:N/A

CEQA Compliance:N/A

 

AQUATIC HABITAT AND FLOW CONDITIONS:During June 2006, Carmel River streamflow conditions were good for juvenile steelhead rearing, and adult and smolt downstream migration and fair for adult steelhead upstream migration, with continuous streamflow to the lagoon.

 

During June 2006, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the Districtís Carmel River Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 53.5 cubic feet per second (cfs), and ranged from 30 to 81 cfs.

There were 0.00 inches of measurable rainfall in June as recorded by Cal-Am at San Clemente Dam (SCD), compared to the long-term June average of 0.12 inches at this site.The rainfall total for Water Year 2006 to date is 27.62 inches, 131% of the long-term October-May average of 21.12 inches.

 

CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:The Carmel River Lagoon was breached in late December 2005 and remained open until mid-January 2006 when lower river flow was unable to keep the sandbar open.During February 2006, the mouth opened and closed a number of times and the water surface elevation (WSE) ranged from approximately 10 feet above sea level, to a critically low 2.0 feet above sea level.Higher than average river flows during April and May 2006 kept the lagoon mouth open for all but short periods as shown in the chart below.In May, tidal fluctuation and waves caused the lagoon WSE to range from a high of approximately 8.1 feet to an all time recorded low of approximately 1.7 feet as the river down-cut through the beach sand berm.

 

On June 16, 2006, a sand berm was constructed across the mouth of the lagoon by State Parks, Monterey Peninsula Engineering, the Carmel River Watershed Conservancy and the Carmel River Steelhead Association to try to raise the WSE of the lagoon for the summer and help the juvenile steelhead residing there to survive.On June 19, the District received a telephone call asking for help sandbagging the failing sand berm.A total of eight District employees worked in several shifts for two days along side members of the other groups.As shown in the graph below, the WSE was raised from approximately three-feet to eight-feet and held relatively steady above the six-foot level for the next week and a half.

 

WSE at the Carmel River Lagoon, June 2006

 

 

JUVENILE STEELHEAD RESCUES:Staff expects to start fish rescues in mid-July 2006, when river flows drop to ~ 10 cfs at the Highway One Bridge.

 

SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY (Facility):Staff continued to ready the Facility for the upcoming rearing season.The computer and alarm systems were checked and upgraded, a section of the bird-netting frame that was damaged over the winter was repaired, rocks were removed from around the river intake screen, and approximately 10 young alder trees were planted along the rearing channel to provide shade.In the rearing channel, staff caulked the perimeter of the weir boards and refitted them with a smaller mesh screen to prevent small fish from moving from bay to bay.Lumber and plumbing materials were purchased for the set-up of the new fiberglass rearing troughs that should be arriving in mid-July.The Facility is now up and running and will be ready to receive rescued fish by mid-July.

 

 

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