Meeting Date:

January 23, 2019





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:  This action does not constitute a project as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act Guidelines Section 15378.


AQUATIC HABITAT AND FLOW CONDITIONS:   After slowly filling over the last month, Los Padres Reservoir (LPR) spilled on December 18, peaking at 60 cfs following a moderate storm. The river front reached the lagoon on December 19, 2018.  Rearing conditions for juvenile steelhead are now good all the way to the lagoon. Most lower-valley tributaries remain dry at their confluence.

Mean daily streamflow at the Sleepy Hollow Weir ranged from 17 to 53 cfs (monthly mean 28.5 cfs) resulting in 1,750 acre-feet (AF) of runoff. Mean daily streamflow at the Highway 1 gage ranged from 0 to 27 cfs (monthly mean 8.2 cfs) resulting in 506 acre-feet (AF) of runoff.

There were 2.45 inches of rainfall in December as recorded at Cal-Am’s San Clemente gauge (3.64 inches at LPR). The rainfall total for WY 2019 (which started on October 1, 2018) is 4.66 inches, or 68% of the long-term year-to-date average of 6.81 inches. 

CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  The lagoon mouth is closed and the water surface elevation rose from 9.5 to 12.75 feet (North American Vertical Datum of 1988; NAVD 88) due to waves overtopping the beach berm during a large mid-month storm event, and then river inflow starting on December 19, 2018 (see graph below).


Water quality depth-profiles were conducted at five sites on December 18 while the lagoon was closed and no river inflow (the river reached the lagoon the next day). The water surface elevation was 9. 5 feet with foamy seawater and ocean debris on top. Steelhead rearing conditions near the surface were “fair to good” down to ~1 meter depth with moderate salinity and oxygen levels, but conditions generally worsened in deeper water with higher salinity and lower oxygen levels. Throughout the lagoon, salinity ranged from 10-25 ppt, dissolved oxygen (DO) levels were 0.1-9 mg/l, while water temperatures were slightly lower again this month, ranging from 53-60 degrees F.  


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:  General contractor Mercer-Fraser Company of Eureka, CA, was hired for the Intake Upgrade Project and started construction in September on the $2 million project. The main features of the project include installing a new intake structure that can withstand flood and drought conditions as well as the increased bedload from the San Clemente Dam removal project two years ago, and a new Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) that can be operated in times of low flow or high turbidity to keep the fish healthy. December work included re-contouring of the disturbed area, some revegetation, completion of the plumbing for the return water at the end of the rearing channel, foundation work for the settling basin, and pouring the new concrete foundation for the equipment building.