Meeting Date:

October 19, 2009





Darby Fuerst,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:

Cory Hamilton

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


AQUATIC HABITAT AND FLOW CONDITIONS:  During September 2009, Carmel River streamflow conditions for fish migration in the lower river were inadequate for both adults and smolts with no flow to the lagoon.  The current river front is slowly moving downstream from its farthest dry back point at River Mile 7.7, and is currently rewetting the area around California American Water’s (CAW’s) Schulte Well, at River Mile 6.5.  Juvenile fish rearing was adequate above the Narrows as flows have been stabilized around 8 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the Sleepy Hollow Weir. Habitat conditions below the Narrows are improving as flow is increasing downstream.


During September 2009, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the District’s Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 8.1 cfs and ranged from 7.5 to 8.6 cfs.  During September 2009, 0.06 inches of rainfall was recorded at CAW’s San Clemente Dam (SCD).  The rainfall total for Water Year 2009 through September is 18.14 inches, which is 85% of the long-term average of 21.4 inches for the water year to date.


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  During September 2009, the lagoon’s water surface elevation (WSE) ranged from approximately 3.7 to 5.6 feet above mean sea level (see graph below). A large tidal event increased the water level on September 13th, as seen in the graph below. Water quality in the lagoon was considered stressful for steelhead rearing with water temperatures ranging from 64 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Salinity increased rapidly after the September 13th tidal event from less than 1 part per thousand (ppt) to around 9 ppt at the surface of the lagoon. Salinity during the sampling period ranged from 0.5 to 29 ppt throughout the vertical water column.


FISH RESCUE:  Fish rescues began on June 22nd at the Highway 1 Bridge and ended on September 1st at CAW’s Begonia Well, at River Mile 7.7.  A total of 13,477 fish were rescued, 12,658 young-of-year, 710 yearlings and 109 mortalities.  Staff brought 12,773 fish to the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility, 138 were released into the Lagoon and 457 were released at the Sleepy Hollow Ford.


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:  All fish brought into the Facility go through a quarantine process, after which they are recounted and stocked into the rearing channel.  During this process, there are some numerical differences between what is brought in for quarantine and what is stocked into the channel.  These differences represent fish that are consumed by other fish during transport and while in the quarantine tank or numerical counting errors in the field during rescue.  As of September 30, 2009, staff has stocked a total of 12,400 fish into the rearing channel, 11,353 young-of-year, 602 yearlings and 1,465 mortalities.  The survival rate in the rearing channel through the end of September was 88.2%.  There are also 245 fish being held in the quarantine tanks, for a total of 11,180 fish at the Facility.