Meeting Date:

September 17, 2007





David A. Berger,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:

Beverly Chaney

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


AQUATIC HABITAT AND FLOW CONDITIONS:  During August 2007, Carmel River streamflow conditions were poor for juvenile steelhead rearing, with low flow to Robinson Canyon Road Bridge (River Mile 8.4), and mostly dry conditions downstream of the bridge.  In addition, a reach approximately one mile long in the DeDampierre area (River Mile 13.2) has dried.   During August 2007, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the District’s Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 3.7 cubic feet per second (cfs) and ranged from 3.1 to 4.4 cfs.  There were 0.00 inches of rainfall recorded at San Clemente Dam in August 2007 by California American Water (CAW), compared to the long-term August average of 0.04 inches at this site.  The rainfall total for Water Year 2007 to date (October – August) is 11.39 inches, 53% of the long-term average of 21.36 inches through August. 


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  During August 2007, the lagoon’s water surface elevation (WSE) dropped to 2.5 feet before recovering slightly to approximately 3.0 feet after the Carmel Area Wastewater District (CAWD) released approximately 2.5 acre-feet of recycled water from their treatment plant upstream of the lagoon, beginning on August 20 (see chart below).  


                             WSE at the Carmel River Lagoon, August 2007

JUVENILE STEELHEAD RESCUES: Staff began annual summer juvenile steelhead rescues on May 7, 2007.  As of August 31, 2007, 11,971 juvenile steelhead plus 16 adults have been rescued from the lower 7.5 miles of the Carmel River between the Highway 1 Bridge and Robinson Canyon Road Bridge (RM 8.46), and approximately one mile of stream in the DeDampierre reach (RM 13.2).  Most of the fish rescued are "young-of-the-year" (YOY) steelhead that were born this year and are between one and three inches long.  Most of these rescued steelhead were transported to the District's Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility (Facility) in the Upper Carmel Valley for rearing.  Of this total, however, 828 steelhead were released in the Carmel River near Garland Park or near Garzas Creek, before the Facility came on-line for the year.


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:  The first rescued fish were brought to the Facility on May 14, 2007.   As of August 31, 2007, a total of 10,788 fish has been stocked in thirteen tanks and troughs at the Facility.  Most of the rescued YOY fish started out quite small and represented a unique rearing challenge at the Facility.  In addition, this year’s critically dry inflow conditions increased the stress level in fish rescued from drying reaches and isolated pools, and many fish were infected with one of several diseases or parasites when they arrived at the Facility.  Despite ongoing prophylactic and remedial treatments, size grading, and improved rearing conditions, these small fish suffered from disease outbreaks and predation by only slightly larger fish and have a survival rate to date of only 26%.  Survival rates for both the older juvenile fish and the larger YOY fish have been good at approximately 75%.  Altogether, as of August 31, 2007, 3,800 fish (i.e., 3,602 YOY and 198 age 1+ juveniles) have survived, for a survival rate to date at the Facility of 35%.