Conference Call

October 18, 2017 Slides


Mike Urkov, Felipe Carrillo, Jim Shannon, Flora Cordoleani, Russ Perry, Shelly Hatleberg, Michelle Workman, Robin Bisque, Cesar Blanco, Brett Harvey, Chris Hammersmark, Rod Wittler, Chuck Hansen, Mark Tompkins, Matt Brown, Heather Cassillas, Josh Israel, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte

Jim asked the group if they would like more information on the charter scoring process. Matt would like to see the Reclamation scoring sheet. Shelly said she would send it out.

Rod talked about the potential to evaluate cost effectiveness. He talked with OMB about this potential. Heather said OMB was pleased to hear about how SIT is operating. Rod said he understands that is not the original intent of getting cost estimates. Matt said that one clarification is that we could say we are using costs in the process, but it is not directly going into the prioritizations, particularly given the resolution of the information we have gathered. Cesar agreed with Matt and cautioned that the SIT is here to look at priorities based on science, not financial backing etc. Heather asked how cost is included into the model at this point. Jim talked about how the scenarios have looked at amounts of habitat that SIT thought would be biologically valuable, but that we are trying to do a better job of comparing apples to apples concerning the amounts of habitat in each location as a unit of effort. Jim thinks that if the Core team wants to look at the average dollar values they can do that and that information can be provided, but currently there is not a marginal gain (i.e., fish per dollar) in the objective function of the model. Heather said her and Cesar will talk with the rest of the Core team to see what that might look like. Jim also mentioned that if the Core team wants us to include a specific unit of effort we can do that as well. Jim advised that the SIT should stay out of the realm of budgets and focus on the science. Chris agrees that economics should not drive our prioritization. He is good with the unit of effort approach. Brett thinks it is a big job to come up with those costs for particular projects. He thinks that should be at the charter level or Core team level, not the SIT level. Rod would like to talk at the next in-person meeting about how the unit of effort will be calculated.

Rod talked about how John has being compiling a list of CVPIA projects that have occurred in the past. He has been making great progress, but has a lot of work to do. He can present what he is doing at the next in-person meeting or call-in meeting. Adam mentioned how the hope is to use this information to reduce uncertainties in our current DSMs using a hind casting approach.

Mike U. and Mark. T. talked provided an update on the model inputs.

  1. Wet/dry years

Currently we have two 20 year periods to look at the wet and dry scenarios. They are proposing to change temperature and flow scenarios to a 1980–1999 period. That period has enough variability to contain wet and dry years, it has the advantage of being more recent, and it allows them to fill data gaps with measured values. Rod is generally okay with it. He thinks it might address some of the climate change issues of seeing more of the extreme conditions. He wondered if we are limited to the 20 years. Mike clarified that they are still using modeled output that only runs to 2003, so last year would not be included in that hydrology. Mark said he will send out a summary of the information they are proposing to use so they can see how variability the data really are. Matt was concerned that we will lose the ability to look at purely wet and purely dry periods. Jim clarified that the previous wet and dry periods also included a mix of years. That is, the wet period had dry years as well etc. Russ said that he doesn't think we are losing that information because of the set of years they are proposing. Mark talked about how the previous periods were selected based on a 20 year average and clarified that we are not losing variability. We are losing the bias in the low or high overall mean. Chris liked the idea in addition to the summary Mark is going to prepare. He said it would be also helpful to see this for the previous scenarios. This information can be found at the bottom of these notes.

  1. Temperatures

There are several data gaps for temperature in the watersheds we are modeling, including the Yuba and Feather Rivers. He talked about approaching this similar to what was done previously (i.e., relating it to a nearby watershed). Flora asked about correlating it to air temperature. Mark said we could, but there is a near term and longer term need. The timeline does not allow for the way we approached this to change, but we can improve this approach going forward. Also, we will include the improved temperature values where we have them.

  1. Habitat

They are filling some of the gaps, particularly around Antelope Creek. They are taking the relationships they have to model/predict the missing values. They are pretty close on this. Rene is finalizing the duration weighting for the floodplain proposal. Mark would like to talk to Corey or anyone more familiar with the delta to get a better handle on delta habitat updates. Russ said the only real information he is aware of is work by Corey Green, but he focused on the north and central part of the delta. Flora agreed. Josh said the modeling was done on a GIS across the delta, but because the observed data led to the masking process removing habitat values for the south delta. He said it is possible that some of the earlier products may include the south delta.

Modified November SIT schedule:

In-person SIT 15-16 meeting is canceled.

We have SIT call on Nov 15 10–12

Sturgeon call is on Nov 17 10–12

Steelhead call is Nov 20 10–12

Juvenile output metric

Matt mentioned the high juvenile biomass values in the output that was sent to the SIT. Adam said it has to do with the model changes. He will re-run the model to calculate the output after he receives the new input from Flow West. The group tabled that discussion and will come back to it after the new output is provided.


Jim reviewed some of the specifics that are missing in the new scenarios. We will put the information in a spreadsheet so that it can be sent to the SIT and they can fill it out. Matt said the flows all have proposals that specify the time. He has some and will ask Matt Johnson for the rest. Flora will send information of pulse flows in the Sacramento. Josh thinks we can learn something about the delta productivity scenarios from other efforts (i.e., like efforts for understanding tidal marsh), but he thinks we can increase carrying capacity. Brett does not know if the model can handle delta productivity scenarios in its current state. Jim said we could just increase growth if that is how we are thinking about this. Brett thinks at this point the increase in carrying capacity or growth are good places to start. SIT was asked if anything needed to be added to the scenarios. No one had any suggestion.

New business

Cesar wanted to remind folks that looking at the process for a new open call for charters (or not) is still in discussion and is still not set in stone.

Information concerning wet/dry years

  1. The 1923–1942 period (used in analyses to date) is the driest
  2. The 1970–1989 period is (used in analyses to date) is the wettest, but also quite representative of the entire period of record (1901–2016)
  3. The 1980–1999 period (proposed today) is more "extreme" (more wet and critically dry years, no "below normal" years)
  4. For ease of use and availability of empirical data to validate and fill data gaps, we prefer 1980–1999
  5. But 1970–1989 is fine too, and representative of the mix of water year types in the entire period of record

Complete period of record Order of wet and dry years for 1980–1999