In-person Meeting

February 21, 2018 Slides

FlowWest Offices, Sacramento

Participants:

Dick Pool, Mike Urkov, Mike Berry, Cesar Blanco, Mark Tompkins, JD Wikert, Sadie Gill, Josh Israel, Corey Phillis, Matt Brown, Mike Hendrick, Lisa Hunt, John Hutchings, Levi Johnson, Felipe Carrillo, Chris Hammersmark, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte

Late Fall Chinook Salmon

Dick gave a presentation on the status of late-fall run. He would like to propose that SIT include late-fall run in their modeling efforts. Late-fall run is at record low numbers, and the SIT DSMs can help shed light on opportunities to manage them (see pdf of Dick's slides).

Discussion

Jim mentioned that we had late-fall run in the original set of models in the first phase but there was disagreement on where they are. Matt said that you can find late-fall run in Clear, Battle, Mill, Deer, and Sacramento. Late-fall run are suspected to be in other areas, but this has not been confirmed. Matt said that they are able to differentiate late-fall run from other runs using a length criterion. This criterion works well in the northern tributaries, but it does not work as well as you get closer to the delta. Matt is interested in late-fall run because they have a different life history and they are at record low numbers. They reside in the upper river and a large proportion outmigrate in October – November. Carcass surveys are conducted to monitor late-fall run in the winter in Clear and Battle. Cesar said he is not oppose to including late-fall run in the SIT DSMs. CVPIA has a human intervention component and hatchery scenarios are a separate issue, but Cesar is not opposed to the SIT running Dick's scenario. Matt said that one thing that might adversely affect late-fall run is that most of the agriculture diversions occur in the summer, when late-fall run are in the river. Matt noted that the compensation plan Dick is proposing is similar to what they are looking at for winter run (i.e., the plan has been approved but not carried out yet). Josh said he thinks it is a good thing for the SIT to be thinking about. Also, it would be advantageous to include late-fall run in the DSMs to avoid adversely affecting late-fall run while implementing actions to benefit the other runs and species. Matt agreed.

Action items

  • Jim and Dick will put a proposal together to include a late-fall run DSM so that the SIT can consider it.
  • Jim will contact Russ to discuss a proposal centered on the compensation plan scenario and will help Dick create a proposal for incorporating the compensation plan into the management scenarios.

Watershed Experts and the development of restoration strategies

SIT discussed the watershed expert list and the regional watershed expert meetings. Matt said he does not think we want to break it up by diversity group, as it might not be effective given the spatial arrangements of the tributaries. He suggested the regions be the lower San Joaquin tributaries, the upper Sacramento tributaries, the Feather, Yuba and American, the east delta tributaries (Mokelumne, Cosumnes, etc.), and then the mainstem Sacramento.

Action items

  • Adam will reorganize the current watershed expert list to match this grouping so that the SIT can classify experts as "Highly desirable", "Should be there", and "Nice to have there". This will be distributed to the SIT.

Performance measures spreadsheet

SIT reviewed the performance measures spreadsheet. Matt said that some wording needs to be clarified. For example, for the predation project it should state "change in fish survival", not just "fish survival". John discussed how this spreadsheet is meant to archive information into a GIS database. Reclamation wants to use this spreadsheet to accurately depict projects and this may not feed directly into the modeling efforts. Matt noted that a lot of the currently listed categories may not be able to be filled in. John agreed and said they will fill in whatever information they can acquire. It was noted that "dollars spent" should be added to the spreadsheet. Jim reminded SIT that there is also the SIT monitoring data sheet that is directly related to the DSMs.

Action items

  • No action items necessary as the spreadsheet was consider complete and will be sent to John.

Standardized units of effort for management scenarios

SIT discussed the units of effort. Chris said the amounts in dollars in the American River projects are closer to what was submitted by Robyn for the Mokelumne. Project size in the American is approximately 2-2.5 acres of good spawning habitat. Mike Berry discussed the information he was able to gather from the Feather and mainstem Sacramento. He said we can assume 1.5 meter depth and that the gravel was placed in such a way that it is all usable fish habitat. Chris said Joe Maerz has been doing habitat work and that we should contact him for more information on amount of habitat created and the cost of those projects. Matt said that about 3 – 5 thousand tons of gravel are placed for 1 project and that he will update the values he submitted. Chris said that on the American they typically create 1 to 10 acres of spawning habitat (average ~4 acres) and about 50% of that is high quality spawning habitat. He will pull some information together for this and share with the group. Josh said we should also look at EcoRestore projects for estimates but discount the habitat for usable fish habitat.

Action items

  • Adam will ask Robyn how suitable habitat was calculated for floodplain.
  • Corey said he can help dig up estimates for levy projects in the delta.
  • Adam will contact Joe Maerz to determine if the information on habitat created will be available.
  • Adam will look into the EcoRestore projects, with Josh's help, for estimates and will discount the habitat for usable fish habitat.

Management Scenarios

SIT reviewed the management scenarios. The group started with the hatchery scenarios. Matt asked about the stray rates for the 100% trucking scenario. Mike Berry suggested we reach out the Dan Kratville for the coded wire tag data for this year to look at this. Matt suggest that we contact personnel from particular tributaries and that Doug Killam would be a good contact for this. Corey said Will Satterthwaite may have information on fishing impacts on spring run. When looking at the delta scenarios, Corey pointed out that using that habitat values for Lindsey Slough is problematic because it is not located in the central delta. Adam will contact Bret and Rene to get clarification of increasing carrying capacity in the central delta scenario. Matt suggested we add a salinity barrier scenario to rout fish into high survival corridors. Adam will contact Russ on how we can do this. Adam has contacted Dave Smith for information on how to route fish when notching the Fremont weir, but has not received feedback. It was suggested he contact Josh and Mark T. about that information. Adam will check with Rene and Bret for an update on the Suisun March and rice field scenarios. Matt would like to see more clarity in the titles of these scenarios. SIT began looking at the flow scenarios. It was noted Rod had suggested a 17,500 cfs pulse flow in the Sacramento. Matt said that a 5000 cfs bump in the spring (April) has been proposed, but that is a special case because of limited amounts of water. Also, this proposal is not agreed on. Matt will share the proposal. Matt said the Mill and Deer Creek scenarios are a bare minimum in a drought scenarios, but he is good with going with these. Mike Berry said the water branch has also proposed a 260cfs for Mill and Deer Creeks. JD said we can also evaluate a scenario for the Stanislaus without the February pulse to see what we are getting for that water.

Action items

  • Adam will check with Rene and Bret for an update on the Suisun March and rice fields scenario.
  • Adam will contact Matt to get the minimum flow proposals.
  • Adam will check with Josh and Mark T. to obtain Fremont weir scenarios
  • Adam will check with Russ on the barrier and routing scenario for the North/Central delta.
  • Adam will develop specific narratives for each scenario and distribute to SIT before next phone call

Updates

  • Cesar gave an update on the SIT Science Coordinator position. Shane Abeare who is from the USFWS Lodi Office will be filling in the position through the end of the fiscal year.
  • Cesar said the Core Team has met and officially proposed that a 2019 open call for charters not happen. It was clarified that new projects might still be funded based on availability of money. The implementing agencies have also agreed to use the same scoring rubric this cycle to rank charters/projects.
  • Corey gave an update on the predation project. Allison presented this work as a poster at a conference and it was well received. They are in the process of acquiring a statement of work from Cyril's group.

  • Flow West gave an update on their efforts. Sadie showed some of the input data with the associated documentation. Mark said that they almost have all the data collated and should be able to hand that off at the end of next week.

  • Jim and Adam gave an update on the DSMs. Once they have the input data they can move forward with modeling efforts.

Summary of Marching Orders…

Adam

  • Reorganize the current watershed expert list to match proposed groups
  • Ask Robyn how suitable habitat was calculated for floodplain
  • Contact Mike Berry to crosswalk the amount of gravel place into usable fish habitat and for 260 cfs proposal for Mill and Deer Creek.
  • Contact Joe Maerz and Chris for information on amount of habitat created and the cost of those projects.
  • Look up EcoRestore values for habitat created in the delta.
  • Contact Dan Kratville and Doug Killam for most recent coded wire tag data.
  • Contact Will Satterthwaite for information on fishing impacts on spring run.
  • Contact Bret and Rene to get clarification of increasing carrying capacity in the central delta scenario.
  • Contact Russ about routing juvenile fish into high survival migratory corridors.
  • Contact Josh and Mark T. about routing rules for notching the Fremont weir.
  • Check with Rene and Bret for an update on the Suisun March and rice fields scenario.
  • Create narrative to go with each of the proposed scenarios to clarify what they are.

Jim

  • Work with Dick to develop a proposal to include late-fall run in the Chinook DSMs
  • Work with Dick and Russ to develop a proposal centered on a compensation plan scenario

Corey

  • Provide habitat created and cost associated with levy projects in the delta.

Matt

  • Update habitat values and resubmit
  • Send out proposal that has flow scenarios.

SIT

  • Classify experts in each new region (tributary group) as "Highly desirable", "Should be there", and "Nice to have there".