Meeting Date:

May 21, 2009





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 April 2009, Carmel River streamflow conditions were good to excellent for all life stages of fish migration, and excellent for juvenile fish rearing with continuous flow to the ocean.


During April 2009, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the District’s Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 71 cubic feet per second (cfs) and ranged from 52 to 103 cfs.  During April 2009, 0.43 inches of rainfall (25% of the long-term April average of 1.69 inches) were recorded at California American Water’s San Clemente Dam (SCD).  The rainfall total for Water Year 2009 through April is 17.64 inches, which is 86% of the long-term average of 20.61 inches for the water year to date.


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  The lagoon sand bar was breached by Monterey County Public Works crews on February 16, 2009 after the lagoon’s water-surface elevation (WSE) rose to approximately 10.5 feet above mean sea level.  The breach was accomplished by having the County’s bulldozers dig a short channel in a north-westerly direction across the south-central portion of the beach and allowing the rising lagoon to spill into it.  The outlet channel quickly down cut and shifted to the center within eight hours, eventually re-establishing an exit to the southwest.


During April 2009, the lagoon’s WSE ranged from approximately 1.5 to 10.1 feet above mean sea level in a fairly typical April pattern with the mouth opening and closing with the tides and sandbar buildup (see 1st graph below). 


ADULT STEELHEAD COUNT AT SCD:  The fish counter and video camera were installed at the ladder in January 2009.  The first fish was recorded over the counter on February 15, 2009, and through the end of April 94 adults had been counted (see 2nd graph below).  By comparison, 412 fish had been counted by the end of April 2008.


ADULT STEELHEAD COUNT AT LOS PADRES DAM:   Through the end of April 2009, 14 adult fish had been captured and transported above Los Padres Dam (LPD) (see 3rd graph below).  By comparison, 158 fish had been counted at LPD by the end of April 2008.

STEELHEAD REDDS, ADULTS, AND PASSAGE SURVEY:  In April 2009, fisheries staff walked and surveyed the Carmel River from the Highway 1 Bridge (River Mile 1.1) to San Clemente Dam (SCD) (River Mile 18.6).  The survey’s goals were to: a) quantify the number of spawning redds (nests) and adult fish (including spawning pairs, singles, kelts, and carcasses) in the mainstem river below SCD, and compare those numbers to the fish passage counts at SCD in order to make a better estimate of the river’s total steelhead run size this year; b) assess locations where adult  steelhead may become stranded and need to be rescued as flows decrease; c) assess the relative numbers of steelhead smolts that may be remaining in the river; and d) note the relative numbers and locations of steelhead fry in the lower river.


Summary of 2009 Redd Survey:  Between Highway 1 and SCD, only 39 redds, one adult, four smolts, and approximately 20 non-smolting juveniles, and a few fry were observed (compared to 2008 when 135 redds, 30 adults, and many fry were observed).  Of these totals, eight redds were counted downstream of Robinson Canyon Bridge (RM 8.5).  At 55 cfs, no upstream or downstream migration barriers were observed.  The lack of smolts continues an unexplained three-year pattern.  The lack of fry is consistent with the mid-February lagoon opening and low numbers of adults and redds in the lower river. 


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:  During April, staff began preparing the Facility for the 2009 juvenile steelhead rescue and rearing program.  Staff anticipates the first rescued fish arriving at the Facility in mid-June.






Text Box: TOTAL 
Through 4/30/2009




Text Box: TOTAL 
Through 4/30/2009