Meeting Date:

June 16, 2008





Darby Fuerst,




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 May 2008, Carmel River streamflow conditions were generally fair for downstream juvenile fish migration, and juvenile fish rearing, and fair to poor for upstream and downstream smolt and adult fish migration.  There was continuous, but low flow to the Carmel River Lagoon.


During May 2008, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s (District’s) Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 24.3 cubic feet per second (cfs) and ranged from 19 to 33 cfs.  During May 2008, 0.0 inches of rainfall were recorded at California American Water’s (CAW’s) San Clemente Dam.  The long-term average rainfall for May at this location is 0.44 inches.  The rainfall total for Water Year 2008 to date is 19.61 inches, which is 93% of the long-term average of 21.06 inches for the water year to date.


ADULT STEELHEAD COUNTS AT SAN CLEMENTE and LOS PADRES DAMS:  The fish counter was installed at the San Clemente Dam fish ladder in December 2007 for the 2007-2008 season.  The first upstream migrating fish was counted on January 10, and the last one on April 14, 2008 (a period of 95 days).  A total of 412 steelhead were counted this season, 186% of the total 2006-2007 season, when approximately 222 adults were counted through early April.  The start of this year’s adult migration was approximately four weeks earlier than the previous season due to the early January storm and lagoon opening.  The opportunity for further immigration ended when the lagoon closed on April 29, 2008, and was probably restricted after flows at Highway 1 declined below 40 cfs on April 12, 2008.  This year’s total is the highest since 2003, and near the mean for the last decade.  All fish are being digitally videotaped for future analysis.


A total of 158 adult steelhead have been counted passing CAW’s Los Padres Dam fish trap and truck facility (the eighth highest number since 1949).  This number amounts to 38% of the fish that passed San Clemente Dam.  The run past Los Padres Dam began on February 12, and ended on April 3, 2008 (a period of 51 days).


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  The lagoon closed naturally on April 29, 2008.  To enhance steelhead rearing habitat in the lagoon over the summer, California State Parks crews fortified the sand berm with bulldozers on May 5, 2008, by pushing beach sand to raise the berm elevation and prevent future breaching.  The lagoon filled over the next eight days, reaching a water surface elevation (WSE) of 8.5 feet above mean sea level (see charts below) before starting to slowly drop.





WSE at the Carmel River Lagoon, April and May 2008


JUVENILE STEELHEAD RESCUES: District staff began its annual summer juvenile steelhead rescues on May 14, 2008.  As of May 31, 2008, approximately 10,273 steelhead have been rescued from the lower three miles of the Carmel River between the Highway 1 Bridge and Rancho Cañada Golf Course.  Most of the rescued fish are "young-of-the-year" (YOY) steelhead that were born this year and are now about 1.5-2.0 inches long.  All of these rescued steelhead were transported to the District's Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility (Facility) in upper Carmel Valley. 


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:  The first rescued fish were brought to the Facility on May 14, 2008.   As of May 31, 2008, approximately 10,218 fish (all but seven are YOY juveniles) are being held in the rearing channel and quarantine tanks.  So far, 33 fish have been lost during their initial quarantine periods and 22 fish have died during rearing, for a total mortality rate to date at the Facility of 0.5%