Conference Call

March 20, 2019 Slides


Bruce McLaughlin, Cesar Blanco, Felipe Carrillo, Brett Harvey, Russ Perry, Michael Prowatzke Carl Dealy, Bernard Aguilar Mike Urkov, Corey Phillis, Chris Hammersmark JD Wikert, Chester Lindley, Rod Wittler, Sadie Gill, Rene Henery, Shelly Hatleberg Robyn Bilski, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte


  1. Review proposed language change to the SIT for the Chinook salmon (all runs) in Table 18 (Cesar)

    Chris said that "restoration" may not be the right word. Either gravel augmentation or spawning habitat enhancement would be better. JD said we should mention that we care about juvenile rearing habitat that is created by gravel augmentation. Chris agreed. Carl suggested differentiating the two so we can prioritize. Rod said that this originally came from the habitat decay and the current proposal that focuses on spawning habitat. This language was directed to overcome the issue of not having a habitat decay function in the model. People agreed "gravel enhancement" was preferable.

  2. Update on Science Coordinator hiring process (Cesar)

    Hiring authority has been delegated back to the USFWS Regional Director. They identified several key vacancies they want to fill. There should be a hiring cert out in the next couple months. They are looking to hire a Science Coordinator and until that happens, Shelly will keep filling the role of Science Coordinator.

  3. Update on the relationship between CPAR and the near-term restoration strategy (Rod and Cesar)

    USBR and USFWS met with the CVPIA technical team (broader group that deals with issues relative to the operations of CVP) and provided a presentation about the process being used to identify what the CPAR list is. Rod and Cesar want to get a recommendation from the SIT on what this list is and the language. Rod showed an overall "roadmap" for this. The SIT will validate the 2019 integrated DSM. USFWS and USBR have already created a list of scenarios and the SIT will use that as building blocks to develop scenarios to run through the models. Jim said that we could have folks provide a strategy and we run that through the model or we can develop a strategy as a group. We do not need to limit it, but we do need to use the SIT proposal process. Rene said that it would be nice to have some combination. We could (1) use the SIT proposal process to develop new strategies and then (2) evaluate some of the current strategies that are already in place in the Central Valley and see what we can add to these existing strategies to make them better.

  4. Discuss Rod's meeting from Monday, March 11th, including background, objectives, and outcome (Rod and Corey)

    They spent about 4 hours brainstorming at this meeting. They identified 9 potential different strategies and started to describe them, including hypotheses and logic. They are still working on fully developing these potential strategies. Once they have fully developed this, they will be submitting these as proposals through the SIT's proposal process. Rene asked about the timeframe of the strategies and noted that the definition of "restoration" we are using really matters when looking at the spreadsheet. Carl noted that some actions don't have an effect in years 1 through 5, but they make sense in year 10. Corey noted that we are focusing on the near term, which in this case is 5 years. The next near term will consider these actions that make sense in year 10. Rod talked about limiting factors associated with habitat amounts and the doubling goal. Rene noted that we shouldn't be focusing on the habitat amounts related to the doubling goal, but rather focusing on the habitat limitations relative to the current populations. Chris noted that the FlowWest rearing habitat limitation is based on the current amount of spawning habitat and it does not consider habitat downstream. The group talked about how the Shiny Apps are a useful tool to look at static relationships, however, they do not consider system dynamics (e.g., survival, movement, growth, habitat downstream, etc.).

  5. Update on habitat decay proposal (Rod)

    They had one meeting a couple of months ago, made a lot of progress, and then things have stalled. USBR's Denver Office (Rob Hilldale and his team) have a proposal to install hydrophones on the Sacramento River from Keswick to Redding to give a surrogate signal for sediment transport to help inform this habitat decay effort. A similar effort will be done on the Stanislaus at Knight's Ferry.

  6. Proposal to adopt Bay-Delta south delta routing model (Jim)

    Jim and Adam submitted a SIT proposal to include this routing in the Chinook models. The group reviewed the proposal (via slides). Shelly sent the proposal out yesterday. The assumptions of the model can be found in the web portal (the link is provided in the proposal). FlowWest also developed a Shiny App to visualize this process. Please provide feedback on the proposal to Shelly in two weeks (by April 9) on thumbs up/down and concerns. We can talk about the responses during the next call-in meeting on April 10.

  7. Update on model calibrations (Adam and Jim)

    The issues with model calibrations continue. Adam has evaluated if scaling habitat improved model fit, as suggested by Mark Tompkins and it does. OSU and FlowWest are working together to evaluate if these scalars make sense. They are also moving forward with the integrated model to help with this evaluation and reduce uncertainty in the model calibration process. Chris and his group are developing a new habitat relationships for the American River. This will take a few weeks to develop, but will be available to the SIT to improve habitat estimates in the American River.

  8. Update on status of watershed meetings (Mike U.)

    Will be scheduled about one month after models are calibrated so FlowWest can developed visualization tools for the meetings.

  9. New Business

    Cesar said that they will be reaching out to the SIT for CPAR hopefully in the near term.

    Cesar will add the language change as an addendum in the Tech Memo for topic 1 of today's meeting. This will just be reposted with the addendum.

    Next SIT Call-in Meeting scheduled for April 10.