Meeting Date:

December 13, 2010





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:  During November 2010, Carmel River streamflow conditions for fish migration were inadequate for adults, but marginal for smolt and juvenile passage, with continuous flow to the lagoon throughout the entire month.


During November 2010, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the District’s Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 16.5 cubic-feet per second (cfs) and ranged from 14 to 23 cfs.  Unimpaired runoff at San Clemente Dam (SCD) for the month of November 2010 was 1,072 AF.  Unimpaired runoff at SCD for Water Year (WY) 2011, which starts on October 1st, has totaled 1,706 AF or about 2.5% of the long-term annual average of 68,900 AF.  During November 2010, 2.26 inches of rainfall was recorded at California American Water’s (CAW) SCD.   The rainfall total for WY 2011 is 2.88 inches, which is 13.5% of the long-term annual average of 21.41 inches.


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  During November 2010, the lagoon’s water-surface elevation (WSE) ranged from approximately 6.54 to 8.89 feet above mean sea level (see graph below).  The Monterey County Public Works crews breached the lagoon sandbar on November 24, 2010, and closed the sandbar on November 26, 2010, after lowering the WSE approximately 2 ft.  The November 24th opening was in anticipation of a predicted storm; the storm never materialized and the lagoon was then reclosed on November 26th. Water quality was sampled on November 8, 2010.  Data from this sampling show that the salinity and dissolved oxygen measurements were adequate for steelhead rearing down to approximately one (1) meter of depth. Below 1 meter of depth the dissolved oxygen gradually decreased to suboptimal conditions for steelhead. There is a halocline at approximately 1 meter depth, where salinity increases from 10 parts per thousand (ppt) to 24 ppt, which is stressful for juvenile fish but acceptable for smolts and adults.  Water temperature ranged from 56 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit (ºF) throughout the vertical column, and is considered adequate for all life stages of steelhead.


District staff, assisted by volunteers from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Monterey County Water Resources Agency, California State University Monterey Bay, Carmel River Steelhead Association and Carmel River Watershed Conservancy, hauled a beach seine through various sites in the Carmel River Lagoon in order to estimate the steelhead population residing in the lagoon.  Only nine fish were captured; eight juvenile smolt-sized fish and one adult female kelt.  A Petersen Population Estimate for the whole lagoon will be computed from these sample numbers and included in the Fishery Report for December 2010 next month.


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY: Staff started releases on November 1, 2010, and finished on November 8, 2010.  A total of 1,957 fish were stocked at the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility (SHSRF) during the 2010 Rescue Season.  Staff released 1,684 fish; 447 were released into the Carmel River Lagoon (estimated fish length of 7 inches and larger), and 1,237 were stocked in the lower river, from approximately river mile 4.5 to 3.5 (estimated fish length less than 7 inches). A total of 107 (5.5%) mortalities were observed and 166 (8.5%) fish were unaccounted for.  The survival rate at SHSRF for the season was 86% (1,684 released).