Meeting Date:

November 16, 2009





Darby Fuerst,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:

Cory Hamilton

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Review:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


AQUATIC HABITAT AND FLOW CONDITIONS:  Record rainfall in October resulted in high flows which reached and then breached the Carmel River Lagoon. After the October 13, 2009 storm, streamflow conditions for fish migration were good for approximately 6 days for adults and optimum for juvenile fish, with continuous flow to the lagoon throughout the rest of the month.


During October 2009, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the District’s Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 81.2 cfs and ranged from 7.7 to 1,040 cfs.  During October 2009, 5.11 inches of rainfall was recorded at California American Water’s (CAW) San Clemente Dam (SCD).  The rainfall total for Water Year 2010 which started the first of October is 5.11 inches, which is 24% of the long-term average of 21.4 inches for the entire water year. The rainfall total for the month of October was 710% above the normal mean of 0.72 inches, and is the highest October total on record at SCD.


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  During October 2009, the lagoon’s water surface elevation (WSE) ranged from approximately 1.6 to 10.5 feet above mean sea level (see graph below). The lagoon sand bar was breached by Monterey County Public Works crews on October 14, 2009 after the lagoon’s water-surface elevation (WSE) rose to approximately 10.5 feet above mean sea level. Water quality in the lagoon was considered sub-optimal for steelhead rearing with water temperatures ranging from 59 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Salinity during the sampling period ranged from 0.5 to 25 parts per thousand (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.  No fish rescues operations were performed in October.


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 (a) fish that are consumed by other fish during transport and while in the quarantine tank or, (b) numerical counting errors in the field during rescue.  As of October 31, 2009, staff has a total of 12,400 fish into the rearing channel, 10,226 young-of-year, 520 yearlings and 1,654 mortalities.  The survival rate in the rearing channel through the end of October was 86.7%.  There are also 241 fish being held in the quarantine tanks, for a total of 10,987 fish at the Facility.


ADULT STEELHEAD AT SCD:   The fish counter and video camera were installed at the ladder on October 17, 2009.  The first fish recorded over the counter was on October 17th. Two fish have been counted at SCD in October. Further evaluation of the video will determine if these are sea-run or resident fish. There were no fish reported at the CAW Los Padres Dam Fish Trap during October.