In-person Meeting

May 24–25, 2017

Day 1 Slides

Day 2 Slides

Day 1 – spring run Chinook salmon


Dick Pool, Rod Wittler, Mike Urkov, Chuck Hansen, Cesar Blanco, Shelly Hatleberg, JD Wikert, Felipe Carrillo, Michelle Workman, Corey Phillis, Jason Hassrick, Mark Thompkins, Matt Brown, Bret Harvey, Ryan Kurth, Mike Berry, Matt Johnson, Mike Healy, Dan Kratville, Pat Fergusion, Sadie Gill, Mark Gard, Russel Perry, Flora Cordoleani, Stephanie Theis, Mike Wright, Josh Israel, Chris Hammersmark, Trisha Bradford, Rene Henerey, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte

Jim provided an overview of the fall run Chinook salmon model.

Are you looking at the smaller tributaries or creeks within those? Response: no it is a course resolution model to identify the watershed and within the charters folks can identify where. Mike Berry asked about food availability. Jim said it could be within the habitat part. Bret mentioned the growth rate as a function of habitat and that is a proxy of food availability. How were the size classes developed? They were classified by Doug Treloff after looking at the juvenile screw trap data. Jim opened it up to the group for comments.

Russell: I could see some potential collapse of size classes based on life history.

Flora: We need to better match size classes with life stages to match better with movement rules.

Matt: I would argue more diverse size classes for juveniles

Michelle: It seems the over 110 size class are two groups into one category

Flora: There is a trimodel distribution over 110

Matt: It also effects timing

Michelle: Can we put some qualifier on timing and size and what they categorized.

Rene: In my mind, there is no difference in fall and spring run except the timing of migration and where they are in the model. Then it is the environmental effects over the summer because of the timing. We might want to think about migration speed for fish that are moving through the system. I think the largest size class doesn't have a top end so we can keep it, but some portion of the fish are retained and continued to be subjected to a growth trajectory so they become outmigrating yearlings with the next cohort.

Russell: That is a good point. Beyond size class that seems like the major structural differences to the model.

Jim: I just want to make sure we are not applying the same survival when they are actually different groups. If it is a timing thing, then that is fine.

Michelle: That is what I was thinking.

Corey: I was looking at the screw trap data and they flatten out. They stop growing.

Michelle: We just don't catch the bigger ones in the screw traps.

Mike: Do we have otolith data to give us information on that?

Flora: We are working on it.

Rene: I think we should keep the same size classes but look at applying a different survival for the timing. It should achieve the effect we want for the yearling size class.

Flora: We should come up with some rules, but we shouldn't get too complicated because we do not have good data on that.

Matt: I would see yearlings have more exposure time to death in the system, so I would treat those a little differently. A yearling in the lower watershed will have lower predation I would assume.

Jim: We can run different versions of the model for these uncertainties and evaluate if that would influence our decision.

Dick: When they go in the fall entrainment should be down because of lower pumping which could be in favor of survival.

Flora: That is why late fall run is used as a surrogate, because we have a lot of data on that.

Jim: What I am hearing is we can use these size classes but the rulesets on outmigration and survival will be different. What about in ocean survival or en route survival?

Flora: There is no fishing regulation for spring.

Mike: There is also no data.

Flora: The best data we have are from Feather River. We have limited information on harvest, but probably more from Feather River but there is a potential behavioral difference because they are hatchery.

Mike: How does the weighting in the end for prioritizations done?

Jim: We tried that in the SIT but failed. The Core Team does this though.

Cesar: The Core Team bases it on science and non-science based across taxa projects.

Mike: Are we looking at "what are we going to need down the road?" for these prioritizations?

Cesar: The ultimate goal is to develop a tool based on science. We are building single run models and then running the scenarios using those models.

Jim: The SIT will communicate the benefits of actions for each taxa and the Core Team can use this information to look at across taxa benefits.

Began Building conceptual models.

Day 2 – winter run Chinook salmon


JD Wikert, Mike Urkov, Mike Berry, Shelly Hattleberg, Cesar Blanco, Dan Kratville, Felipe Carrillo, Jim Smith, Shane Hayberg, Russell Perry, Mike Wright, Rod Wittler, Chris Hammersmark, Stephanie Theis, Mark Thompkins, Mark Gard, Corey Phillis, Josh Israel, Rene Henerey, Doug Killam, Bret Harvey, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte

Jim provided an overview of the fall run Chinook salmon model

There was discussion between Mike B. and Jim S. on the opposing hypotheses on the hatchery influence on winter run.

Jim S. mentioned that winter run have longer rearing time so the size classes may not be appropriate.

Winter run returns to Red Bluff is late November through August. There is a table with percentages online where the peak is in March. But there is some delay at the dam. Based on observational data it is December, but these data are not as quantifiable. CalFed, Appendix C report has the table with the percentages of returns.

Age Distribution: mostly 3 year olds, 30-10% variability in jack returns. Best information is from carcass survey data that is in the same report. This report has estimates of prespawn mortality.

Run timing and carcass surveys are at a different time. Which will give some sense of spawn timing vs. run timing.

Life history of juveniles

Emergences starts in mid to late July and go till early November. Screw trap fish will be seen up until March. Peak at Red Bluff is mid-September till early November. Catch them all the way till March and April. There is no yearlings for this run, but this is a key question as we develop habitat higher up because they may stick around if the colder habitat is available, like spring run. There seem to be a portion of fish that just move downstream, regardless of habitat availability. Jim S. thinks there is a temperature relationship with movement. Jim S. mentioned that they don't start really moving down till you get fresher flows. Russel said that in the delta there is work that suggest they move there from October through February that is linked to fresher flows and then they rear till March and March is a pretty hard boundary based on winter run sized fish (which is consistent with the Red Bluff size data). Josh also suggest that they have results from 2016 that these size classes are pretty good with very little overlap. Rene said there is definitely smolts in the upper Sac. Jim S. said they around but they could be anywhere and they do move without being smolts. Russell said they also rear in downstream and delta areas. There are very few that are greater than 110 in the upper areas (leaving Bend area) at January other than the hatchery fish. Corey's work suggests there is a decent amount of non-natal rearing fish. Mike B. mentioned that given the opportunity they will stick around and get big. Corey thinks we can reduce the size classes. Group agreed the fall run structure would work for winter run. Jim S. said the size breaks don't bother him so much for winter run. Jim said that they don't see many over 110 at Red Bluff and there is usually 2 pulses at Red Bluff that are related to fresh flows. Could calibrate to JPI at Red Bluff. Jim S. offered the data from Red Bluff for calibration purposes as they have the size data for the individuals. End January and first part of February hatchery releases are larger fish. They generally go straight to the Delta but there are exceptions.


The group started developing the conceptual model.

Enroute survival

There is incidental ocean harvest. You can get it from coded wire tag data. There is seasonal, spatial and size class restrictions. The ocean salmon people should be able to identify the proportion that are winter run (historically is has been 0.22 or 22%). Last year ca. 25% of the wild fish were removed for brood stalk. There are monthly targets for the number removed. More recently they have tried to focus on wild fish. This year was ~90% hatchery fish because that is the only thing returning. There is a plan but they vary from it. Prior to 2014 it was 120 fish they could take. Since drought it has been 200-600 adults. Fisheries agencies want it to be 120 but they deviated from it because things were really bad. They are going back to 120 thoughAt most, they keep 1000 fish for reintroduction studies, which is a small fraction. There is a reintroduction plan for this that lays out the process/plan for this. In this case, if a fish strays it is dead. It does not spawn anywhere else. Stray rate information suggests it is very very low.

Prespawn survival or stay in river to survive

Temperature could be a factor in later years, but right now you probably won't come across those temperatures.

Egg viability

When the diversion dam was there temperature was an issue, but it is not a problem now. Fish they bring into hatchery have disease but they don't seem to affect the viability of eggs.

Incubation success

Flows never really go up high enough for scouring. Jim S. will send information on hatchery effect on incubation success. Mike B. said it may be different now that it is F2 and beyond.

Juvenile rearing survival in the river

Rene suggested they use the fall run model but take into account time of year that influences the inputs. The group agreed. Jim P. asked if there were differences in temperature tolerances. Jim S. said no, not that they have information on. Mike. B. would like to add food to predation, body size and fitness. Jim S. mentioned some hatchery fish are too fat and come back earlier. Shelly would like to add invasive species into predators. Doug and Jim S. would like to add competition with other runs to food. Mike B. mentioned the timing of when they arrive compared to other runs for competition. Mike B. mentioned for generic survival is artificial lighting to predation and survival for all the runs. Lighting in the delta is not as big of a deal because of water depth, turbidity and the size of the area. Contaminants, invasive species (aquatic), competition with invasive species and habitat change. Invasive species affect habitat availability. DCC operations goes into route selection which then feeds into entrainment, predation, duration, and habitat. At a minimum, going to southern delta reduces survival. DCC reduces flows which reduces survival. Russell's work can give us some of this information. He mentioned making a certain proportion going north or south, and DCC is on or off, and they survival is applied that way. There is a flow relationship to Georgiana slough in that fish can go to south Delta when DCC is off, but it is low. DCC is starting to be closed in December, January and February to help protect winter run, but it is open for fall run.

Outmigrant survival

The grouped worked off the spring run conceptual model. There is no hatchery winter run, but other hatchery fish are released like steelhead.


Juvenile growth model

The group worked off the spring run model. Don't have salinity issue in river area and a little bit of ag return flow issues. Bret mention that ag return flow from rice farms may not boost nutrients but increases algal and zooplankton in the Yolo Bypass.

Juvenile movement model

The group worked off the spring run model. There was discussion on the relevance of timing on emergence for winter run. Timing of emergence here is probably more dam operation. Mike B. wants to ad hatchery release to the juvenile movement for spring run. In Battle Creek, they were in the lower 5 not upper part.

Winter run ocean entry survival

The group worked off the spring run model. Russell is going to look up some stuff NMFS are doing. He looked and it is constant and not based on body size, but there was a different survival based on delta vs. river. Corey pointed out that our model incorporates that because of size.

Sources of information for evaluating these relationships

NMFS uses 5 years of genetic id data at Chipps and Red Bluff data for calibration. Removal or use of brood stalk is Kevin Nemolith from Jim S.'s office. Size at release table is a growth table. It is based on a growth model (Fischer growth model). Jim S.'s office has a report that provides that information. Mike B. offered to gather artificial light information. Mike B. said Chico State is doing work focused on food.

Rod is going to talk to Mike Wright about temperature models