In-person Meeting

August 23–24, 2017 Slides

Day 1


Flora Cordoleani, Mike Urkov, Shelly Hatleberg, JD Wikert, Towns Burgess, Dick Pool, Chris Hammersmark, Daniel Kratville, Rod Wittler, Mark Gard, John McMannis, Jason Hassrick, Michelle Workman, Matt Brown, Julie Zimmerman, Josh Israel, Mark Tomkins, Felipe Carrillo, Carl Dealy, Anna Sturrock, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte

Update on FY18 Charters

CVPIA received 86 charters. Roughly 29 are above the funding line this year on the fish side. Rod thinks it is a great set. The draft work plan has not been reviewed, but the process is working. Open house is scheduled for Sept 7th. It will be about 3 hours from 9AM to Noon at the regional office on Cottage Way.

Update on watershed expert elicitation meetings

There were three watershed expert elicitation meetings. One of the meetings extended to a phone call meeting afterwards. Mike U. et al. are in the process of continuing to stay in contact with the experts to refine estimates of habitat in each of the watersheds. They were able to use the apps created by Sadie, which were beneficial in helping experts visualize the problem and direct conversations. They are continuing conversation on other topics as well, such as hatchery allocation. The most recent year for hatchery allocation is based on the 2012 report. We have only 3 years of data for the expansion factors. More recent efforts have been conducted, but those reports/data were never released. Michelle said those reports have been written, but they are being held up in the review process. She suggested we send a data request to Brett Kormos. Mike U. and Mike Wright are updating temperature and diversion inputs for the models. Flora mentioned that they may want to use air temperature to estimate water temperature in some of the data-limited systems because they are highly correlated. They are collecting a list of recommended changes that they will present to the SIT at the next meeting. Mark G. mentioned that the Yuba calculates temperature differently, which may influence model results so we need to think about this some more. Jim asked about the work in the American and how fish and projected habitat match up. On the American you always get superimposition below the dam. Mark G. said we can look at this in the Shiny app perhaps. Jim mentioned that we need to develop an empirical basis for choosing between the methods. Perhaps based on which approach does a better job of predicting superimposition. Mark T. asked if the app Sadie developed would be a good tool to discuss this with watershed experts. Josh talked about asking them about previous years (How much habitat? Did you have superimposition?) and use the app to communicate this. We discussed progress on retrieving the spring run arrival times. Shelly will continue to stay in contact with experts to collate this information.

Possible modification to SJ outmigrant survival

Jim discussed what we are currently incorporating into the model and some estimates/information from a report Josh had sent. He asked the SIT if we want to incorporate these estimates or not, given they are really similar estimates and they did not consider different size-classes. JD mentioned they have data on marked fish that were 55 mm. They are in a report he will send. Josh is concerned about the timeline of incorporating route specific survival with entrainment, etc. Flora asked if there are any management actions centered on the pumps. Jim said not at this moment. Flora agreed that it may not be worth pulling in at this moment then. Josh said that Rebecca Buchannan is currently doing a multiyear survival project with 3–5 years with covariates. She has done presentations on this. Chuck would be a good contact on this. Flora said Cyril is doing a lot of predation work as well, if they want to integrate this information together. Jason said they are working on winter run outmigration survival in San Joaquin as well. He said Steve Zeug did a study of salvage and exports as well. There might be some work in the South Delta for carrying capacity that we might contact Andrew Hine.

Screw trap data

It was discussed that some tributaries have fall run Chinook leaving in all months of the year, but that these captures were minimal in some months. SIT was asked what months we should consider. Matt said we could look at the proportion of captured fish and ignore months when the proportion is below XX%. Julie mentioned that the American runs their traps from January till May, unless the temperatures get too high. It was agreed that the best approach would be to contact the watershed experts and ask them what they consider the dominant months of fall run outmigration.

It was discussed that one potential issue is that during high flows there is high movement, but traps are sometimes closed during these high flow events. That is, it may not be reasonable to smooth over these events because there may be a pulse in outmigrating juveniles. Other variables that may influence movement are barometric pressure, flow, and turbidity.

SIT began to discuss data needs in general for the SIT. Jim will send out a list/table of SIT monitoring needs for the SIT to review. Rod wants to include co-funders on the table. Jason suggested breaking up the data needs by run and species. Flora agreed. Josh said that if the list centered on the SIT DSMs there may be less of a need for a partner/co-funder column since some of these data are not shared. But it may also shred the cooperation because CVP is not funding monitoring in other places. "What is the impact of this on what CVP should fund?" should be considered when distributing this list. Matt said another category would be to identify data gaps for species that we want more information on. Josh would like to add a need/purpose column and that "annual" monitoring should probably be "compliance" monitoring. Rod likes the idea of having a list of consequences or how it influences the SIT's efforts if we don't have this information. Jim will send this table out and the focus is on what SIT wants. It is important to recognize partners because they are providing a great deal of information for the SIT DSM efforts.

Review of O. mykiss efforts

The plan is to have model running by the October meeting. SIT member were asked for clarification on some of the proposed scenarios in which individuals were identified as a point of contact. JD mention that there might be low DO/high temperatures for passage barriers in Stan. He said that redd dewatering is probably not a problem in the Stan. Michelle said it's not an issue in the Mokelumne. Josh said they haven't caught any steelhead in the Colusa Drain but he would check with John Collins. He thinks fish passage criteria will be met in the new gated notch, but they don't really catch that many. Julie said redd dewatering is sometimes an issue, but not usually, in the American. It is during the drought and also temperature. Michelle said the O. mykiss releases are in Thornton at the top of the Delta forks with tidal influence to minimize overlap with naturally produced fish.

Floodplain proposal

Shelly will send it to the group and the SIT will discuss it at the next SIT phone call meeting to make a decision ASAP, so that we leave enough time for this process to take place. Josh discussed his concern with using acre days. Mark G. and Mark T. discussed this some but said information concerning the habitat exchange will need to be clarified in discussions with Rene. Josh said it would be useful to see if the acreage value changes based on the approach we are using to do this. Mark T. will provide an example of the before and after values and how they changed during the next call-in meeting. Mark G. had 3 scenarios: 1) the existing model; 2) don't do aggregation and disaggregation; and 3) the full approach. Mike U. is concerned about not picking up the signal of the benefits of floodplain by breaking it up. Josh also mentioned that the proposal should incorporate the realities of the model. That is, the model looks at floodplain weekly and the proposal had 10 and 21 days. It should probably 7 and 21 days (i.e., whole weeks).


Tracy Fish Collection Facility

Carl Dealy with Reclamation presented some of the work taking place in the Tracy Fish Collection Facility. They are planning for a PIT antenna system at the facility, which may be of interest to folks for data availability. Their current data are available on the web with the state of California. More information on their efforts and data can be found here - . Carl offered to be the point of contact for data queries. Dan added that the department has plans to put more PIT antennas in different tributaries, which will integrate with these efforts well. The first efforts will be on the Sacramento. Rod asked the SIT to think about what we can do with Tracy in the future. Carl mentioned that there will be a need to replace the facility, given the facility is already 60 years old, and that is something we should all be thinking about.

Revisiting the Black Duck example

JD mentioned different sources of information for previous projects on the Stan, including CHRP (California habitat restoration p).


Anna talked about her work concerning salmon hatchery releases

There was discussion of what explanatory variables may be predict probability of straying. . Huber and Carlson (2015) Temporal trends in hatchery releases of fall run Chinook salmon in California's Central Valley. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science. Supplementary material has data available. She is open to question or comments –


SIT discussed objectives

Matt talked about how the current objectives are set to mimic some of NMFS's work and we should consider this when/if modifying these objectives. Dick talked about his fundamental objective is abundance at the Golden Gate and then at the tributaries. Josh mentioned an objective of "reduce the sacrifice of one species in favor of another species". Julie said spatial structure, life history diversity and genetic diversity are all really similar at getting spatially diverse spawning. JD agreed that abundance is the fundamental but sustainability is also fundamental. JD talked about the importance of life history diversity and what they have found on the Stanislaus. Jim clarified that these causal mechanisms are in the model, but he wants to help SIT think about how to measure the success or failure of a management action. Rod talked about causal chains, cause and effect, and correlation. Jason said for him the fundamental objective is maintaining biodiversity. That is, the most number of species. Dan said the goal is abundance in some way and the rest are just means to that.


Day 2


Shelly Hatleberg, Mark Gard, JD Wikert, Mike Urkov, Jason Hassrick, Rod Wittler, Flora Cordoleani, Josh Israel, Michelle Workman, Matt Brown, Dan Kratville, Elissa Buttermore, Mike Wright, Felipe Carrillo Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte

SIT continued to discuss objectives

The SIT had to review 1872 metrics last fiscal year. Jim reviewed this process and then reviewed the process for making pairwise comparisons of objectives. Going through the exercise, three objectives came to the top: total number of viable spawning populations per diversity group, naturally-spawned juvenile abundance, and total number of spawning natural origin adults. Matt suggested adding the total number of naturally-spawned juvenile abundance per spawner (both natural and hatchery). It was discussed how this metric was hard to interpret in the past. Mark G. suggested looking at juvenile biomass because of the tradeoff between many small and few large juveniles leaving past Chipps Island. It was discussed how SIT is not dropping the other objectives, but that when making the priorities SIT will focus on these 5 metrics.

SIT discussed scenarios

It was discussed that the SIT is not comparing apples to apples. That is, 25% of the ESHE value is very different for Clear Creek and the mainstem Sac.

Dan Meier could give estimates on costs for number of screens of a certain size. Tim Mussen has papers on entrainment risk. He focused on ag pipe diversions and how to deter fish.

For Mill and Deer Creek, there are a couple different pulse flows depending on which species and runs. Flora proposed a project to have a pulse flow in the Sacramento over 3 days in the spring to move fish downstream. Matt said the ones on Clear Creek were to get fish upstream. JD said on the Stan pulse flows are sometimes used for temperature and floodplain habitat manipulation… and winter stability pulse flows to redistribute fish by mimicking rain events. Matt said they also have sustaining pulse flows to maintain geomorphology, sediment transport, etc. Josh stated that he is not sure we want a pulse flow in Jan-March if there is rearing habitat. That is, we want them eating and growing to improve survival. We don't want them being pushed out to the Delta at this time.

For reduce % hatchery origin spawners, JD doesn't see big changes in this by the CVPIA. Michelle agreed and asked if folks wanted to incorporate actions by the hatchery group. There is an HSRG recommendations report. Dan said that it is still useful to just evaluate and see, but he would be okay with dropping it to save time. Rod agreed that it would be nice to maintain the ability to model the influence of hatchery practices. It was discussed that the model won't drop this capability either way.

The single action in multiple watersheds vs. multiple actions in one watershed. Josh prefers to drop this scenario because it was too difficult to interpret. Matt thinks it is still worth looking at and appreciates it if we can make it so we are comparing apples to apples. Michelle brought up that this alternative is counter to the spatial diversity objective. Flora suggested reducing hatchery and creating rearing habitat in 1 watershed based on the values in the current scenario table. She said she will think about this some more and perhaps propose it at the meeting we talk about this some more.

JD is concerned with what "viable population" means. The current approach is to add up the number of populations that continue to reproduce each year across the simulations. JD will lead the effort to propose a modification to this at the next in-call meeting.

Michelle talked about her proposed scenario. Send fish out early vs. late by creating rearing habitat or manipulating flows. A pulse flow could be done in April when fish are smaller or May when fish are bigger. JD agreed that this could be done in the Stan too. He said that they did a pulse flow in March previously, but the fish did not respond as they had hoped.

Josh thinks we should think more about the idea of productivity in the Delta. That is, it could be that there isn't enough food in the Delta so the carrying capacity is relatively low. Dan agreed that we don't focus enough on food and just jump to the predation hypothesis, which is why he has less value in the predation hypothesis in general.