Conference Call

November 29, 2017 Slides


Felipe Carrillo, JD Wikert, Michelle Workman, Mike Berry, Towns Burgess, Chuck Hanson, Josh Israel, Mike Urkov, Christine, Russ Perry, Chris Hammersmark, Jim Shannon, Brett Harvey, Rod Wittler, Cesar Blanco, Rene Henery, Dan Kratville, Levi Johnson, Adam Duarte

The SIT began by reviewing the proposed units of effort. Mike B. was concerned about the use of "1 project" for screening water diversions because projects that involve screening diversions can vary markedly. Michelle and others agreed. It was suggested "1 project" be replaced with "70 cfs". The SIT agreed. Chris said the unit of effort based on cost made sense to him because it usually comes down to money. Rene agreed. There was much discussion on the cost values. Levi is concerned with how the SIT is using the information on costs associated with screening diversions and would like to discuss this in more detail. Adam discussed SIT's desire to make comparable habitat actions across tributaries and how this was the catalyst for the unit of effort. He stressed that the SIT is not using the costs to make prioritizations but simply using to costs to think about what a unit of effort would be within the scenarios they develop. He noted that prioritizations will be based on the SIT's quantifiable objectives, not the estimated cost of projects. Levi would like to have a phone call or in-person discussion to understand this in greater detail. JD discussed how there may be utility in subdividing the categories by location in the system for scenarios. Chris asked if something along the lines of having a different unit of effort in the tributaries vs. the lowland areas because the costs are likely to be very different. JD and Rene liked that. Rene mentioned that this logic is already incorporated into the new floodplain proposal. He said that he sent Mark T. a map that differentiates these lowland areas to use here. The SIT agreed to the unit of efforts based on cost, once the diversion screening was expressed in cfs (not per project) and the habitat creation units of effort differed based on location.

The SIT began to review the SIT monitoring data sheet. Rod discussed his rationale for the "coordination/utilization" column and how he plans to use the SIT monitoring data sheet to guide his thoughts on the importance of funding certain monitoring charters. JD asked about directed studies monitoring and how that fits in. Rod talked about how he thinks that fits into this and how it has to be evaluated with the needs of the program in mind. Rene asked about monitoring projects that would feed into the development of better information for the SIT to use, such as the ability to model flow on a daily scale to better quantify floodplain habitats. Rod and Josh talked about different ways in which something like that could be funded or accomplished. Adam also mentioned the project specific monitoring category in the monitoring sheet that is associated with reducing uncertainties. That is, if the SIT agreed that was a key uncertainty it could fall under that data type in the SIT's table. The SIT agreed to the structure of the current draft table.

Brett discussed some of the information he has been collecting to incorporate scenarios in the delta associated with wetland pond management. The information can be found at the end of these notes. Rene offered to help in whatever capacity would be useful to Brett since it is also something he has thought a lot about. Rod said that this may be something that would need a formal proposal so that the SIT can better understand the process that would be incorporated into this. Adam asked about the location of these actions and where it is in relation to Chipps Island. Brett said it was in the Suisun Marsh, but it may be better to think about this above the delta off the San Joaquin River. Adam asked how the NMFS winter run model accomplishes this and what they use to calibrate the model given this location is past Chipps Island. Russ said their model is calibrated to the juveniles at Red Bluff Diversion Dam and adult returns, not juveniles at Chipps Island. Brett mentioned how he thinks their model looks at improved survival based on the proximity to the marsh.

Josh brought up that there was interest in him running flow scenarios through SacPass. He said he could do this but he needs to know the base flows, the timing of the fish, and the change in flows. Adam talked about how the thought behind this was to use SacPass to help the SIT develop flow scenarios to then run through the SIT DSMs. Josh asked if giving another short demonstration on the capabilities of SacPass would be useful. Rod said it would be. Adam will email Josh to see what his availability is to do this.

Marching Orders

Rod, Cesar, Shelly, Jim, and Adam

  • Set up call with Levi to discuss how the SIT is using the information he provided to develop a unit of effort.
  • Fill out rest of SIT monitoring data sheet


  • Contact Mark T. about map to differentiate lowland environments from tributary areas.
  • Contact Josh about presenting on the capabilities of SacPass and how that might help SIT think about flow scenarios.

Brett (and maybe Rene and Russ)

  • Develop a proposal for wetland pond management scenarios (?)

Notes from Brett on wetland pond management scenarios:

2017-11-16. CWA office in Suisun. Brett updated Robert on cage study location, design and progress. CVPIA-SIT process. Based on discussion, I came up with two general scenarios of management:

1) Managed wetland as HABITAT: fish access managed wetland

Model as added habitat AREA with higher growth rate due to elevated temperature and food quantity/quality.

Future Considerations

-predation may be higher in managed wetland (avian or fish predators), but is unknown

-unknown fraction of population accesses new habitat (unknown probability of fish entering)

-unknown residence time distribution of fish in new habitat area (potentially longtime due to slow through flow relative to area)

Question: do growth benefits offset potential increased predation risk?

2) Managed wetland as food incubator and pump: little to no fish access

Model as increased GROWTH RATE in a portion of existing habitat area due to elevated food quantity/quality. Affected existing area can be modeled as dependent on area of managed wetland draining into channel, since wetland outflow rate can be changed, but food production capacity is fundamentally dependent on area.

Future Considerations

-area x degree of affected existing habitat area dependent on:

+food concentration in wetland and channel

+dilution rate: flow from wetland, flow in channel, food dispersion

+food consumption (likely unimportant relative to dilution)

+continued food production in channel (seed pulse phenomena)

+duration of pulse each tidal cycle

+seasonal timing of outflow

-concentration (may) depend on:

+flow rate through wetland, but at current typical rates is likely not dominant factor

+temperature, incubation time, in-wetland consumption…

Other considerations

-birds will be unaffected at most outflow rates because water depth is dominant factor for habitat conditions controlling bird food production and bird access to that food, and these conditions are most sensitive during periods when salmon are not being targeted (but what about Delta Smelt?).

-other potential modeling scenario: fewer more concentrated outfalls from a given wetland area or more less concentrated (much higher growth conditions over smaller area vs somewhat higher growth conditions over larger area). Assumes higher outfall concentration don't become negative (i.e. low O2).

Still to do

-track down UC Davis food concentrations in channel from Teejay O'Rear (I already have for wetlands from John Durand).

-track down heat maps of chl-a transects showing spatial extent of channel area affected by wetland outflow. Meeting with John and others at UC Davis in early December for further discussions.