Meeting Date:

September 19, 2016





David J. Stoldt,




General Manager

Line Item No.:




Prepared By:

Beverly Chaney

Cost Estimate:



General Counsel Review:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  N/A

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


AQUATIC HABITAT AND FLOW CONDITIONS:  August flow conditions in the lower Carmel River were poor for migration and generally poor for rearing for all steelhead life stages.  Rearing conditions in the upper watershed were fair.

Mean daily streamflow at the Sleepy Hollow Weir dropped from 6.6 to 5.7 cubic feet-per-second (cfs) (monthly mean 6.3 cfs) resulting in 373 acre-feet (AF) of runoff, while Highway 1 was dry.

No August rainfall was recorded at Cal-Am’s San Clemente gauge. The rainfall total to date for WY 2016 (which started on October 1, 2015) is 22.25 inches, or 106% of the long-term year-to-date average of 20.98 inches.


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:   August water surface elevations (WSE) dropped from approximately 6.2 to 5.9 feet above mean-sea-level (see graph below).


Water-quality profiles were conducted in early August at five lagoon sites. Water conditions in the main body, north, and lower south arms were generally “fair” for steelhead rearing with water temperatures between 66 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit, dissolved oxygen (DO) ranging from 1 - 14 mg/L, and low salinity levels between 2 - 4 parts per thousand (ppt). 


STEELHEAD RESCUES:  Summer steelhead rescues started on June 13, 2016 in the main-stem.  Only five days of rescues were needed in August and through the end of the month a total of 655 fish had been rescued, including 421 young-of-the-year (YOY), 113 age 1+ year juveniles (1+), 115 age 2+ year residents (2+).  There were six mortalities (0.90%). 


Of the 655 rescued fish, 242 were from the drying and isolated plunge pool below Los Padres Dam. They were released back into the river ~100m downstream.  An additional 14 rescued fish were released in the Robles Del Rio area when access to SHSRF was limited due to the Soberanes Fire.


Rescues were conducted on the lower sections of three tributaries in late May/June.  A total of 247 fish were captured and released into the Carmel River near the confluences. Hitchcock Creek – 177 fish (mostly YOY); Robinson Canyon Cr. – 0 fish; Garzas Cr. – 70 fish (mix of YOY and 1+ fish).   There were also two mortalities (0.81%).


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:  The first rescued fish were brought to the Facility on June 13, 2016.  On August 24th, District and NMFS staff  PITT tagged (Passive Integrated Transponder Tags) and transferred 361 fish from the holding tanks to the rearing channel. PIT tagged fish are individually numbered and can be tracked as they migrate past fixed electrical arrays placed in the river.


At the end of August there were 350 steelhead in the Facility including 241 small/medium YOY/1+, 92 large 1+ fish, and 17 extra-large 2+ fish.  There have been 42 mortalities (10.6%) (six in quarantine, 11 post tagging mortality, and 25 missing/presumed cannibalism).