Meeting Date:

November 17, 2008





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 October 2008, Carmel River streamflow conditions were poor for all life stages of fish migration, and fair to poor for juvenile fish rearing.  As of October 31, due to the cooler weather and the reduced rate of riparian vegetation respiration, the river front has started to gradually advance to approximately River Mile (RM) 7.7, near California American Water (CAW) Begonia treatment plant.


During October 2008, the mean daily streamflow recorded at the District’s Carmel River at Sleepy Hollow Weir gaging station averaged 5.1 cubic feet per second (cfs) and ranged from 4.7 to 5.5 cfs.  During October 2008, 0.11 inches of rainfall were recorded at CAW’s San Clemente Dam.  The long-term average rainfall for October at this location is 0.73 inches.  The rainfall total for Water Year 2009 through October is 0.11 inches, which is 15% of the long-term average of 0.73 inches for the water year to date.


CARMEL RIVER LAGOON:  During October 2008, the water surface elevation (WSE) increased gradually from 3.8 feet to 4.7 feet above mean sea level during the month (see chart below). 


JUVENILE STEELHEAD RESCUES:  No rescues were needed in October.


JUVENILE STEELHEAD POPULATION AND EMBEDDEDNESS SURVEYS:  Staff began the annual juvenile steelhead population surveys in mid-October, finishing ten of the eleven sites, between the Narrows and the Cachagua area, by the end of the month.  The eleventh site, Red Rock, River Mile 7.8, was dry and not surveyed.  Preliminary data appear to show that 2008 juvenile steelhead abundance is significantly higher than in 2007 at most sites.   A summary table of the results will be presented within the next several months.


The annual embeddedness survey was also completed by early October at the same ten sites.  This survey measures how deeply the rocky substrate is buried in sand at each site.  This measure is important because as sand fills the interstitial spaces between rocks, the amount of habitat for juvenile fish and the production of benthic macro-invertebrates (BMI) for fish food declines.  Highly embedded gravel is also difficult for adult fish to spawn in, and migrating sand can bury redds thus suffocating the eggs.


SLEEPY HOLLOW STEELHEAD REARING FACILITY:  The first rescued fish were brought to the Facility on May 14, 2008.   As of October 31, 2008, approximately 47,657 fish have been placed in the Facility’s rearing channel and tanks.  So far, 322 fish have been lost during their initial quarantine periods and 9,770 fish have died during rearing, for a total known mortality rate of 21% to date at the Facility.  During October, there were 97 fish mortalities (including 11 fish sacrificed for disease analysis).