In-person Meeting

December 13-14, 2017 Slides

Day 1


Dick Pool, Michelle Workman, JD Wikert, Rod Wittler, Russ Perry, Mike Urkov, Mike Berry, Cesar Blanco, Mark Tompkins, Sadie Gill, Towns Burgess, Robyn Bilski, Josh Israel, Corey Phillis, Matt Brown, Chuck Hanson, Mike Hendrix, Lisa Hunt, Bret Harvey, Rene Henery, John Hannon, John Hutchings, Heather Casillas, Shelly Hatleberg, Mark Gard, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte,

Jim reviewed what the process to develop the AFP Restoration Strategy might be. SIT members discussed the importance of not proposing projects by people doing the projects. That is, we need to make sure we avoid conflict of interest on how we recommend priorities and how the Core Team funds charters. Rene discussed the importance of incorporating the experts and how important their contribution is at multiple levels. That is, it is a good thing as long as we can avoid that conflict of interest, not something we should avoid. Dick agreed and said that he does not see the conflict of interest because we make decisions as a group using the tools available to us. Jim clarified that we want the watershed experts to give us what they want done, and the SIT will evaluate the SIT's scenarios at the watershed scale. Cesar said that if someone provides a specific project that they disqualify themselves from submitting that charter. Mike B. said he worried more about who is on the Core Team and their biases. That is, they are not involved in the process so they don't know how we got there. Brett talked about how this process tries to avoid this by inclusion and the use of a fairly objective model. Heather talked about the importance of including these expertise in the SIT. JD discussed the importance of doing a better job of making the solicitation process for charters more known and available to people outside the SIT or a strictly closed process. He said the quasi-open process helps facilitate a conflict of interest. Heather said she will bring it up at the next Core Team meeting and that it may be a communication issue since this is a new process. She clarified that this is not an acquisition process. Michelle discussed that a proof of concept on the lack of a conflict is that Mokelumne did not come out as a priority last year and that is fine. She is here to make the model better, not advocate for funding. Dick agreed and said the model is the difference. It tells us what are priorities should be.

Josh mentioned that Army Corps has created a life cycle model for Sturgeon so we may check to see if there is documentation for that. Rod said we should contact Dave Smith and Brian Mulvey with the Corps for Sturgeon efforts.


Rod introduced the Food for Fish program as it relates to rice fields pumping food into the river. Rene talked about how it provides benefits to growth and survival to fish. He talked about how this process would follow the process we are using for floodplain habitat in the DSM. He said we don't have the data on the effects on fish and he thinks we may hold off on including that until we have those data. Jim discussed how Brett is thinking about this in tidal environments. Jim asked if there is a range of acres that would effected by it. Rene said for the Central Valley floodplain we could take all the existing land outside that levee (the acreage of rice) with some sort of time component based on rice production time and start with that as the maximum potential. So, in channel fish in a tributary will see some increase in growth based on the size of the rice fields and the timing of production. Brett said the river is a bit different because they all go through that area and we are assuming they spend a bit of time there. Russ mentioned that it could be changing the proportion of fish from small to medium. Dick asked about the timing of the releases and how there is a mismatch with when fish need it. Rene said that food inputs in the fall could have benefits for resident fish or fish that over summer. Brett said in tidal areas you could open it up and lose resident time and increase growth. It might be that the food is more dispersed over time in tidal. So, increase habitat or maybe a bump in survival and growth. Or they could grow faster with no change in survival. Growth could increase based on distance from the area and how long we think they will spend there. Jim asked if there are downsides of this action. Rene said that there for sure could be. Brett said that the timing needs to be considered. For example, in the delta if you are pumping the food in you are creating more biomass of everything, including predators. So, maybe you need to pump water in intermittently for the "right" timing for the species we are trying to manage. Rene said we could use the coarse resolution map of the wetlands to identify the tributaries and convert them into an affected stream area. For that, he would want to talk to Jacob a bit. It could be as simple as an acre of rice influences an acre of stream habitat for a week of benefit. Rod asked if it is limited to rice fields. Rene said that is something else he would have to talk to Jacob about, but he thinks it could be all off channel wetlands and maybe the agricultural areas as well. He thinks land cover types might differ in the results, but we could use the model to see if this is something the CVPIA should be paying attention to. He thinks it will be some time before CVPIA invests resources into until empirical data are available. Josh discussed how we need to look at this from a BACI design so we can quantify those effects. SIT would like to incorporate this scenario into the DSM simulations by allocating a bump in growth based on the size of the field. Josh said that he thinks it would be more related to the amount of water being imported. Mark T. said Josh is on the right track. It would be the proportional water imports and the amount of water in the location. Jim said we could do both options. Use a proportion and then use the acreage. Robyn mentioned that the Yuba (maybe) has some comparisons of different wetland types.

Josh reviewed the capabilities of SacPAS. There was discussion of pulse flows in March are only really useful in wet years, because you may want to save that pulse flow for April/May when fish are more motivated to leave.


John Hutchings gave a presentation on work he has done to collate past CVPIA projects. Rod asked SIT to make changes to the performance measures excel sheet to give feedback by January 19, 2018.

Sadie reviewed some of the packages and documentation she is developing for the SIT to make the DSM inputs and the process of developing them as transparent as possible.

Mike B. talked about conditions in the upper reaches of the Sacramento River and current management efforts.


John Hannon talked about efforts on the lower American River, particularly the process they are using to manage the system.


Day 2


Towns Burgess, JD Wikert, Matt Brown, Mike Berry, Robyn Bilski, Brett Harvey, Mark Tompkins, Shelly Hatleberg, Rod Wittler, Mike Urkov, Cesar Blanco, Corey Phillis, Rene Henery, Mark Gard, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte

There was discussion on the costs associated with the units of effort. JD said you could probably build 12-15 acres of perennial rearing habitat for 2 million in the Stan. Matt brought up that the costs are probably associated with the amount of area worked on, not the amount of habitat used by fish. Mark Gard said there are reports for the amount of weighted usable area for Clear Creek, Tuolumne, and the American. We could come up with a ratio and then multiply it on the values we currently have. Robyn mentioned you could build approximately 0.5 acres of floodplain habitat for $50,000 on Mokelumne and it was brought up that 27% of the area wet creates habitat for floodplain. Mark Gard said that the Consumnes has done work to for floodplain and he will look at costs. He talked about how the unit could be in terms of acre days vs. acreage. Matt talked about looking at costs going forward, instead of looking at past obligations. Mark Gard will pull up reports, Mike Berry has upper Sac work, Matt will look up Clear Creek stuff, and Rod will go back to John to get a better feel.

Brett gave an update on the delta productivity scenario.


The group reviewed the scenarios.

  • The group decided not to evaluate predator contact point scenarios until they get the information from the ongoing predator contact point and lighting studies.
  • Corey said there may be an update to Pyper et al. 2012 from NMFS for the hatchery sceanrio. JD mentioned looking at Oregon fishery on Columbia. JD and Rene would like to have a scenario where hatcheries are moved to the coast and those fish no longer interact with in-river fish. Jim will look for estimates or straying from the PNW (OR Aqua) for this type of scenario.
  • Rod said that we should ask Levi for DWR projects on restoration in delta on estimates of usable habitat. Reclamation is funding 4 out of 16. Rene said we could reach out to Peter Moyle to see if they have habitat data that we can compare with our suitability values. Might talk with Corey Green or look at those data (ask Mark Tompkins). Corey said there is scaling value in the winter run life cycle model description on page 20.
  • Dave Smith (Army Corps) has the ratio of fish to the ratio of water from notching the Fremont weir. Brett said the ERS could be one source of data for this scenario. Russ Perry has a survival tradeoff spreadsheet for the guidance system delta scenario.
  • Rene has a map with an estimate of size of rice fields that he can share. He says an acre could be equivalent to 1.5 weeks of inundated floodplain growth rate. We look at the proportion of in channel to floodplain water we are adding to apportion the fish that way.
  • Mike B. would like Doug Killam to look at the flow scenarios for winter run scenario.
  • JD said April and May would be a 30 day pulse in the scenarios.
  • Matt said the pulse flows for Clear Creek will be 5 to 10 days each. It would be from 200 to 400 or 800 on the Clear Creek scenario. Matt will provide the hourly actual flows.
  • Robyn will check on duration for Mokelumne River.

The SIT discussed the possibility of reviewing study designs for scientific projects to improve science in the Central Valley. Rod will look into a symposium to open up communication between project managers, the Core Team, and the SIT. Rene mentioned that this could also help us with understanding some of the limitations of our modeling approach.

Marching Orders…


  • Check with Dave Smith and Brian Mulvey at Army Corps for sturgeon life-cycle model documentation
  • Check with Dave Smith (Army Corps) for the ratio of fish to the ratio of water from notching the Fremont weir.
  • Contact John Hannon to see if habitat estimates were total area disturbed or usable fish habitat.
  • Check for an update on the Pyper et al. (2012) estimates
  • Ask Levi for restoration projects in the delta. Get estimates of usable habitat and costs.
  • Might talk with Corey Green to look at usable habitat data in the delta (ask Mark Tompkins).
  • Contact Russ Perry abut survival tradeoff spreadsheet for th guidance system delta scenario and for routing fish in the delta for the Siusun Marsh delta scenario.


  • Check on Oregon fishery value on the Columbia for mark selected fishery scenario.
  • Look for estimates or straying from the PNW (OR Aqua) for the scenario where hatcheries are moved to the coast.


  • Make changes to the performance measures excel sheet to give feedback by January 19, 2018.


  • Talk to Mike Wright about 2D temperature modeling for San Juaquin tributaries.

Mark G., Mike B., Matt and Rod

  • Pull up reports on the amount of usable habitat created and the costs associated with these efforts.


  • Share map with an estimate of size of rice fields

Mike B.

  • Talk with Doug Killam about the winter run flow scenario.


  • Check on duration for pulse flow in the Mokelumne River.