Conference Call

April 10, 2019


Rod Wittler, Shelly Hatleberg, Cesar Blanco, Mike Urkov, Felipe Carillo, Bruce McLaughlin, Chester Lindley, Carl Dealy, John Hutchins, Tanya Sheya, Mike Beakes, John Kelly, Erica Meyers, Matt Brown, Robyn Bilski, Tricia Bratcher, JD Wikert, Corey Phillis, Sadie Gill


  1. Updates on Science Coordinator hiring process (Cesar)

    a. Not much has changed since last meeting. Hiring authority at regional office (Donnie). Cert hasn't hit the streets yet.

  2. Update on habitat decay proposal (Rod)

    a. Submitted charter; if funded, will focus on Version 2, next Fiscal Year. In the meantime, slowly working on Version 1 - Conceptual model Adam presented about 6 months ago. Chris H. and Rocko B. working with Rod – making slow progress at this point.

    b. Matt B. would like to be included in that group or at least made aware of when meeting.

    c. Cesar – this is a modeling effort correct? Is there data acquisition included or just modeling? Rod – already collected data; first effort primarily on habitat spawning decay and second effort will be on rearing 'evolution'; have in hand spawning gravel data from Matt B., Chris H. and John Hannon.

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

    a. Once we get results from integrated modeling that Adam is calibrating, it will take about a month to generate some tools to take back out to watershed experts. More effective to have something to show and then ask experts what can be improved, updated, better understood.

    b. Matt – definitely need some data to look at. When will Adam have model calibrated? Mike - Unsure at this time. Will ask Adam to update.

  4. Training session on SIT Shiny Apps (Mike U.)

    a. Previous watershed meetings presented information via Shiny App to help experts understand limitations and possibilities of the model.

    b. Fall Chinook Integration Team Model – Mike demonstrated the app online to group

    c. Spawning - probability of scour is a difficult topic to pinpoint (where losses might occur).

    d. Also have rearing survival per watershed (diversions, avg. temperatures, floodplain activation).

    e. Input from watershed experts in past was helpful to ensure data input was accurate based on the area, other factors.

    f. Was this exercise helpful last time (for those who were involved last time)? Will be more complex this time around (more species – SRCS, WRCS, steelhead – in addition to FRCS). Interested in seeing how complex information can be 'boiled down'.

    g. Matt – currently the model looks at a specific watershed and how much habitat for spawning/rearing – in many areas, fish rear downstream in the lower Sac – how can this be resolved? Mike – Instream Rearing Habitat Calculator – Upper Sacramento 64 acres available for 35,000 spawners so not limited by acreage and will produce maximum # of fry; fry is habitat limited. Model will fill 55 acres of instream habitat with fry and route remaining XX million fry to next link in habitat (from Upper Sac to Upper Mid Sac). Will recalculate downstream as needed.

    h. Rod – if we were limited on spawning habitat, say 30 acres, fills with max # spawners and calculates # fry from that. Based on territory required/fish.

    i. Mike U –watershed meetings are important to identify habitat available (not all measured in same units so have had to make some assumptions to convert all to acreages). Based on watershed experts' knowledge, we can better identify accurate numbers.

    j. Tricia – when using word 'flow' is that related to stage? (Mike – yes) Cottonwood Creek – were adjustments made for habitat within creek? There are stretches without suitable habitat. Can't assume from confluence up that entire creek is suitable for spawning. Mike – yes, based on previous meetings showing that spawning is limited in Cottonwood Creek.

    k. Matt – yes, thinks this is helpful. Going back to # spawners going into # fry, how is this number calculated? Does it include hatchery fish? What about years when numbers returning is large? Mike - Yes, it was in previous and has been changed in this current version (not sure how watershed by watershed).

    l. Robyn – plans to look at egg to fry? Sadie – looking at something modeled by Chris H. – can't modify temperature – would take some additional effort and time to do this. Robyn – would be good at least on Moke. Sadie – if data is available, can talk more about getting that. Matt – same on upper Sac (lower than what is in model). Sadie – please send references/information to refine model.

    m. Matt – some recent years were about 35,000 suggesting more habitat needed in some years. Kind of variability that accommodates 'big years' and hatchery fish. Does total include hatchery fish? Mike – this is just a calculator and doesn't differentiate between hatchery and natural fish. Matt – is data including all fish in river or just wild fish? Rod – just shows # of adults, not origin. Matt – many of the fish are hatchery. Mike – this is just a calculator of habitat. Hatchery/wild is more of a function of the model and could be discussed further with Jim and Adam.

    n. Floodplain habitat calculator – showing suitable floodplain area and suitable habitat extents. Sadie did a great job of 'leaving breadcrumbs' so that people can go back and find references, set of functions, data used/sources.

    o. Rod – someone asked if there was a recent report on the model? Jim last prepared one in 2014. Once we get through this next calibration phase, there may be another report (question for Jim).

    p. Mike has been working on the CVPIA SDM website. Where Shiny Apps, meetings, calendars, additional information will be found.

    q. Chinook Carrying Capacity Calculator – developed for previous model and could be used for future modeling. For Upper Mid Sac, first year of model run shows very large fish in March accumulating and moving downstream. Was not fully developed, but just want to show concepts. Ex. San Joaquin River – peak juvenile outmigration in April, very large fish moving from Merced, Stan and Tuolumne. Can also show where fish are showing up in South Delta around August. Contrast with Lower Sac – many small fish in January generated from American River (showing that the American must have been habitat limited for juveniles and routed fish to Lower Sac River). Intent of showing this is how model changes size/survival in different places in the model and to give reviewers of model a chance to update as needed to improve information. Rod – also useful to develop strategies for future projects (habitat 'choke points' – is there habitat downstream? If not, strategy could be developed for habitat improvement, pulse flows, etc.). Matt – does seem to be a helpful tool.

  5. CVPIA Habitat Restoration Strategy Tool Walk Through (Corey & Sadie)

    a. Going back to Rod's request to develop strategies for the Near-term Restoration Strategy – we are proposing an organizing principle for developing strategies – developed an Excel spreadsheet that people can use to come up with strategies – Sadie then developed Shiny App for strategy development based on Corey's Excel spreadsheet. What we're looking for from SIT is whether or not this tool is useful, putting unit costs for all potential actions (have some that Adam had generated previously), and input on what different restoration strategies are. Ex. on Sadie's Shiny App – Core Team Restoration Builder ("Eggs in One Basket" – for example, everything put into spawning habitat on SJR).

    b. Sadie – can be shared with Jim, Adam and Sadie to run through model and determine total biomass at Chipps. Current unit costs are "stand-in" numbers, but is being worked on. If there are things beyond habitat, can discuss that and add as needed. Should rename "Restoration Builder", not Core Team Restoration Builder.

    c. Carl – what about screening diversions? Can that be added? Rod – adding habitat is easy for input table. Seems easy to screen diversions. Sadie – using PAD which is closest thing to figuring out screening. There is no on or off switch to represent screening.

    d. Matt – some strategies will have multiple actions – can that be done and how would cost be calculated?

    e. Mike B – it would be helpful for people to see what model limitations are as well as develop restoration strategies.

    f. Tricia – when it comes to cost, can a 'complexity factor' be added to it? For example, the fish ladder on Antelope Creek was more expensive than if it were done on the Valley floor. Sadie – yes, costs can be changed based on location/complexity. Mike – important to remember we are trying to see if action is being recorded as an effect in the model as it should. Don't think passage project needs to compete with other projects. Rod – idea is we can't do everything everywhere so trying to see which strategies give us the best progress towards the doubling goal (good tool to develop strategies to input into model).

    g. Matt – can folks modify costs themselves? Sadie – doesn't want everyone in the app changing things, but should identify where information can be updated. Mike – this isn't the end point by any means, just a way of helping further identify strategies to help meet doubling goal. Rod – using unit costs was more of an 'apples to apples' comparison. Need to describe actions as best we can.

    h. Erica – acres of habitat improved? Static representation – quality/location, etc., at project scale varies. Will there be guidelines for folks when making restoration scenarios? Sadie – yes, good point.

    i. Sadie – are folks generally in favor of this tool? Multiple yeses. Carl – if one thing is chosen over another thing, wouldn't that have to be captured in the model? Rod – we don't have unlimited resources; tool not looking at individual actions, but strategies – still have limited time and resources to fund so what we're looking for is the 'best' strategy (need to define best) for next 5-10 years moving forward. The DSM is our 'screening tool' to identify which may be best. Mike – this is not the decision making tool, but just helping folks organize a strategy of using resources over a modeled 20-year period. Acknowledge that 'real world' is more complex than 'modeling world'.

    j. Will continue discuss next meeting. People can submit suggestions as they come up.

    k. Matt – when can we get into the app? Sadie – numbers within app are currently 'made up'. Mike – Sadie and Corey and Mike can get together to further refine (and anyone else who would like to help). Matt – is there another way to put together strategies or is this the tool we'll need to use?

    l. Corey – timing? Rod – Shelly working on schedule with Adam and Jim – dependent on model calibration, etc. Primary development of this tool should be done soon. Strategy development May/June timeframe. Modeling strategies after July 4? Not sure what status is of model calibration. Can have schedule for next call.

  6. Any discussion on South Delta Routing Proposal or Near-term Restoration Strategy Proposal (Shelly)

    a. Matt – request (S3) from John Plumb? How does that fit? Rod – Trinity program? Matt – says something about Sacramento Basin?

    b. Carl – seems biased. 20 years of projects on South Delta.

  7. Other issues/topics?

  8. Next meeting April 24 (call-in meeting rather than an in-person meeting)