Meeting Date:

January 24, 2008





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 November and December 2007, Carmel River streamflow conditions were poor for juvenile steelhead rearing, with low flow to Robinson Canyon Road Bridge (River Mile 8.4), and generally dry conditions downstream of the bridge.  In addition, a reach approximately one mile long in the DeDampierre area (River Mile 13.2) was dry.  In mid-December, the two river fronts began to slowly advance downstream, primarily due to the dormancy of the riparian vegetation.  During November 2007, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the District’s Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 3.6 cubic feet per second (cfs) and ranged from 3.3 to 4.1 cfs.  In December 2007, the flow averaged 4.4 cfs and ranged from 3.0 to 5.7 cfs.  In addition, during November and December 2007, 0.15 and 1.77 inches of rainfall were recorded at CAW’s San Clemente Dam, respectively.  On average, 2.15 and 3.98 inches of rainfall are expected at this site during November and December, respectively.  The rainfall total to date for Water Year 2008 is 2.49 inches, 36% of the long-term average of 6.86 inches. 


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  During November and December 2007, the lagoon’s water surface elevation (WSE) rose approximately one foot (see chart below) due primarily 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, November and December 2007


BENTHIC MACRO-INVERTEBRATE SURVEYS (BMI):  Staff completed the annual BMI survey in early November at five sites, between Mid-Carmel Valley and above Los Padres Reservoir.  Because the usual site farthest downstream, “Red Rock”, was dry this year, staff moved upstream approximately one-half mile and sampled near CAW’s Scarlett Well (RM 9.1) to obtain lower river data. The samples were sent out for analysis.


REMOVAL OF FISH MIGRATION OBSTRUCTION:  This past fall, during routine river-flow monitoring above Los Padres Reservoir, District staff discovered that a large rock slide had blocked nearly the entire river in a steep canyon approximately one mile above the reservoir.  Staff was concerned that the slide could block both migrating steelhead adults and smolts.  In early December 2007, District staff and California Department of Fish and Game personnel were able to create a small bypass channel around the edge of the slide by jack hammering out a few large boulders and filling in gaps between other rocks.  Staff will continue to monitor the site.


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:  The first rescued fish were brought to the Facility on May 14, 2007.   As of December 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.  With colder water temperatures dropping to as low as 43° F, disease outbreaks were negligible and mortality rates remained low in the last two months.  Altogether, as of December 31, 2007, 2,976 fish (i.e., 2,829 YOY and 147 age 1+ juveniles) have survived, for an overall survival rate to date at the Facility of 27%.