Meeting Date:

November 19, 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 October 2007, Carmel River streamflow conditions were poor for juvenile steelhead rearing, with low flow to Robinson Canyon Road Bridge (River Mile 8.4), and dry conditions downstream of the bridge.  In addition, a reach approximately one mile long in the DeDampierre area (River Mile 13.2) is dry.   During October 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 3.2 to 4.4 cfs.  There were 0.57 inches of rainfall recorded at San Clemente Dam in October 2007 by California American Water (CAW), compared to the long-term October average of 0.73 inches at this site.  The rainfall total to date for Water Year 2008 is 0.57 inches, 78% of the long-term average of 0.73 inches. 


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  During October 2007, the lagoon’s water surface elevation (WSE) slowly rose from approximately 3.3 feet at the beginning of month to approximately 4.2 feet at the end of the month (see chart below) due to storm waves overtopping the sand berm.   The lagoon’s water quality remained suitable for steelhead rearing and survival.



WSE at the Carmel River Lagoon, October 2007

JUVENILE STEELHEAD RESCUES:  No rescues were conducted in October 2007.


JUVENILE STEELHEAD POPULATION AND EMBEDDEDNESS SURVEYS:  Staff began the annual juvenile steelhead population surveys in mid-October, finishing ten of the eleven sites, between the Narrows and the Cachagua area, by the end of the month.  The eleventh site, Red Rock at River Mile 7.8, was dry and not surveyed.  Preliminary data appear to show that 2007 juvenile steelhead abundance is significantly lower than in 2006 at most sites.


The annual embeddedness survey was also completed by mid-October at the same ten 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 benthic macro-invertebrates (BMI) for fish food declines.  Highly embedded gravel is also difficult for adult fish to spawn in, and migrating sand can bury redds, thus suffocating the eggs.


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:  The first rescued fish were brought to the Facility on May 14, 2007.   As of October 31, 2007, a total of 10,846 fish has been stocked in thirteen tanks and troughs at the Facility.  Most of the rescued young-of-the-year (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 approximately 26%.  Survival rates for both the older juvenile fish and the larger YOY fish have been good at approximately 70%.  Altogether, as of October 31, 2007, 3,007 fish (i.e., 2,841 YOY and 166 age 1+ juveniles) have survived, for an overall survival rate to date at the Facility of 28%.