In-person Meeting

October 4–5, 2017 Slides

Day 1


Dick Pool, Russ Perry, Mike Berry, Mike Urkov, Rene Henery, Cyril Michel, , Corry Phillis, Josh Israel, Mark Tompkins, Brett Harvey, Allison Collins, Chris Hammersmark, Rachel Johnson, Towns Burgess, Matt Johnson, JD Wikert, Levi Johnson, Flora Cordoleani, Christin Towns, Michelle Workman, Chuck Hansen, Felipe Carrillo, Matt Brown, Julie Zimmerman, Mike Wright, Cesar Blanco, Rod Wittler, Jim Peterson, Shelly Hatleberg, Adam Duarte

Shelly discussed the SIT Monitoring Data Needs document

  • Rachel: NMFS came out with WRCS monitoring – improvements to current data sources. IEP Genetic Workteam has monitoring program. Caswell RST was late going in (vulnerability to data sets – incl escapement data on Stanislaus River). If these are really important data to program, lot of work can be done to fund efforts and get data for SIT. Some data streams are not being funded by CVPIA (may need more outreach to get data that is not funded through CVPIA). This group can be empowering to those are unable to do survey due to funding (not making sure CVPIA funds all, but reaches out to those doing the monitoring). Populate table with risk assessment (what is needed to know is in the table, but should identify risk). Pipal paper may have helpful information.
  • Rod: need to make sure SIT has data and that funding is there to get the data needed. Overriding priority is on the ground projects. CVPIA wants to cooperate and do our share, but will not simply fund projects that aren't going to go to lead to doubling goal. Resolution (max/min) and opportunity cost of that (would expect to see statements like that in a charter). Part of the risk assessment. "Used for learning" should be replaced with "performance measure" or something similar since everything the program does is tied to adaptive management. He would like this document to formally recognize the value of monitoring so that it is supported financially.
  • Jim: formal collaboration? Everyone can use the information right? Different tiers based on available funding? How could we facilitate collaboration/consistency?
  • Rachel: have a conversation with folks doing monitoring. What is used to support surveys? Reach out to see how to get funded if not being funded elsewhere?
  • Rene: Collectively challenged by (1) lack of objectives trying to manage towards (2) different scales in objectives that monitoring is supporting. Many efforts looking at watershed whole objectives. Designing monitoring plan that supports those and has consistency across the CV would be good, but shouldn't be a bottle neck. Think about monitoring plan to meet objectives of this effort. Monitoring of existing habitat conditions. So many things we are modeling rest on assumptions of what habitat is available right now. Turns out data related to that is pretty coarse and limited by monthly CalSim. Ex…daily resolved CalSim would significantly increase our ability to understand what our habitat conditions are presently and how that relates to fish objectives in our model.
  • Josh: not CVPIA nexus. He is concerned the right people aren't here to the the nexus for monitoring data in the Central Valley. Responsibility falls on agencies with regional biologists in the field (CDFW). Not all in CVP watersheds. Part of NMFS recovery plans, not necessarily CVP watersheds. Salmon escapement team found CDFW was using different approaches and came together. Nexus seems much larger than CVPIA. Would be useful to have each line be per tributary.
  • Jim: Adam will work with Mark and Sadie on specifics in table and have everyone comment on that. Have Juvenile Escapement and then break out by trib. Asked who is doing Grand Tab data (Dan Kratville).

Mark T. and Rene discussed the floodplain proposal.

  • Matt asked if we were double counting duration based on the proposal. Mark said we are treating duration differently for steeper and lower gradient watersheds, not double counting. Rene clarified that only one type of gradient will have the benefits of long duration under this proposal.
  • Josh talked about how fish stay in areas longer then they don't survive (due to time spent), so he questions if floodplain increases survival. That is, there is a tradeoff in that you have the opportunity to grow faster, but at the cost of time spent in the river. Rene clarified that is was improved survival relative to the fish occupying other habitat types at that moment.
  • Josh agrees that growth benefits carry over to 3 or 4 weeks but he does not see that in the proposal. Rene discussed how once the terrestrial habitat is inundated and you have the food pule, there will be a drop off and there needs to be a new food pulse to maintain those benefits to growth.
  • Josh is concerned about the scale of observations brought into this submodel.
  • Rachel brought up Russ's work on survival in floodplains and that their results suggested survival is actually worse in the floodplain. Russ clarified that they found fish had the same daily survival, but that they spent more time in Yolo so overall survival was lower. He also stressed that he studied smolts, not rearing fish. Brett was interested in what habitats they were using within the Yolo Bypass.
  • Rene discussed the possibility of applying a different survival benefit for different sized fish. That is, large fish could have no benefit to survival. He said we may change larger fish using floodplain habitat first in the model as it is now. Brett asked what evidence there is that smaller fish have higher survival. Rene referred to the conceptual model originally developed by SIT. Julie things we can look at the benefit of floodplain both ways as a different hypothesis and see if it matters for management.
  • Josh would like to see the difference in growth rate based on this proposal. Jim showed it to the group.
  • Brett discussed how floodplain came out last FY and that it warrants SIT scrutinize how we are dealing with survival and growth in floodplain habitats to make sure it is not an artifact in the model.
  • Overall, SIT liked the new approach, but they would like to see the difference. Jim discussed how we can run the model treating floodplain the same as last cycle and incorporate the new proposal to see how different it is. Mark said he would gather the input data to run the model both ways.

Corey, Allison, and Cyril discussed their draft study plan for their funded contact points charter using predation-event recorders (PERs)

see Demetras et al. 2016, Development of underwater recorders to quantify predation of juvenile Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in a river environment. Fishery Bulletin 114(2). for more information.

  • Russ is worried the number of contact points will be too few to pick up a signal. Allison discussed how these contact points are ones in the works to be removed, so they are taking advantage of that. She mentioned how it would be beneficial for CVPIA to fund the removal of others so they can increase the sample size.
  • Mike Berry and crew measured light intensity and type along the Sacramento River. These efforts may be integrated with the contact point study. There was lots of discussion on how to balance the original charter of studying contact points in the delta and examining the influence of lighting, particularly near Sundial Bridge.
  • Russ was concerned the PERs will not pas close enough to the contact point. Cyril discussed how the PERs are released across the river to cover the area, but that the current may push them around. He also discussed how he believes the PERs that do not pass close to the contact point may be the best control treatment they will have.
  • Josh discussed how Sundial Bridge is not a Reclamation structure. That the group needs to be clear that this is not something CVPIA has control over or will pay money to fix even if it is a problem.
  • Cyril discussed how they currently have enough funding to cover 2 to 3 sites with 3 years/seasons of monitoring, but it will largely depend on how they break up their effort. Mike Berry said they can help with field work at Sundial Bridge. JD offered to help as well. JD discussed how it would be beneficial if the charter was funded for 4 years in order to have 2 years of pre- and post-removal.
  • Rod discussed that in addition to the inventory of light sources, Mike Berry and his group are also conducting a literature review on the topic. Rod appreciates all who are working to decrease the uncertainty around predation and to actually reduce predation. This was the only charter addressing this FY 18 priority and he appreciates how responsive and receptive they have been He sees this as an opportunity to leverage appropriate restoration actions. He takes full responsibility for the idea of combining the two charter and he hopes he did not stage a shotgun wedding. The CVPIA management action is to reduce predator habitat, thus reducing the number of contacts between predator and prey. If the biologists conclude that it is better to keep the two separate, he will entertain that. What he is looking for is a functional relationship between a reduction in predator habitat and predation rates. He knows the lighting guys wanted to go into action this year. He made the decision to delay that action and study more. He suggested the group not press too hard for a 2018 start. It is still going to be a challenge to get them the money by then.

Towards a 5-year plan

  • Rod would like to see more communication between SIT and the project managers
  • Rod and Cesar will put together a draft proposal on how to facilitate this.
  • Rod discussed the potential for CVPIA to not issue an open call for charters in FY19. There were several good charters submitted this past FY that were not funded due to a lack of funds. The implementing agencies are considering not issuing an open call for charters in order to continue to fund and potentially accelerate existing on-the-ground projects, take time to streamline the prioritization and charter submission process for the next FY, and give SIT time to advance the science in current DSMs. It was stressed that this is not a sure thing, but the management agencies are currently discussing the possibilities.

Adam, Mike U., Mark T., and Jim discussed changes made to the fall-run model based on the feedback from the watershed expert elicitation meetings.

From the "new" fall-run model, Adam discussed changes that were made to develop the winter-run and spring-run models. Changes can be found in the power point slides. Below is the feedback received by the SIT.

  • Michelle said the CWT data up to 2016 will be available early next year. This information could help with discussions focused on the implementation of hatchery management actions.
  • JD would like to see a genetic component linked to movement associated with flow cues. Jim said he will send out some information on this.
  • Corey will send some information concerning the proportion of yearling life history for spring run.
  • For in-ocean survival, Will Satterthwaite might have better information for this. Shelly will contact him for information on all 3 runs.
  • Adam asked SIT what they wanted "extra" fish to do if they cannot return to their natal tributary due to a passage issue. They suggested half go to the Sacramento and other areas and half die.
  • The behavior of yearling fish needs to be changed. In November, all yearling fish should be sent to the bay.

Day 2


Mike Wright, Felipe Carillo, Cesar Blanco, Flora Cordoleani, Brett Harvey, Russ Perry, Towns Burges, Michelle Workman, Matt Brown, Levi Johnson, Christin Towns, JD Wikert, Corey Phillis, Shelly Hatleberg, Mike Urkov, Rod Wittler, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte

Rod reviewed the FY18 process and how CVPIA arrived at the priorities and funded charters

  • He presented this information at the open house for the work plan but had not presented this information to the SIT, yet.
  • SIT members would like to see a general description of the metrics used for selecting the charters.
  • JD and Matt suggested the agencies need a similar criteria to rank the charters. Cesar mentioned that before the moratorium of the Core Team, the Core Team was working on a unified ranking criteria. The Service and other fish agencies used it, but Reclamation used a different one this FY. Rod reviewed the spreadsheet Reclamation used to rank the charters.
  • Matt would like to see why or why not a charter got funded. Rod referred to the Reclamation spreadsheet he reviewed, which shows how Reclamation ranked charters. Flora asked for that spreadsheet to be made publically available. Cesar discussed the possibility of including an appendix to the work plan that lists the unfunded charters and reasons they were not funded.

SIT discussed the scenarios and objectives

  • Levi Johnson would like a formal request for the screening diversion costs so that he and others are clear on how SIT plans to use it.
  • Matt suggested looking at Feather River actions as a reference.
  • Russ like the juvenile biomass metric because it integrates life stage and size.
  • Matt is concerned with the juvenile biomass metric because he thinks it has a lot to do with where in the system you are measuring it.

Jim discussed progress on the O. mykiss DSM and current unanswered questions. Shelly will set up a WebEx meeting to discuss this with the O. mykiss experts.