Conference Call

July 10, 2019 Slides

By phone:

Kate Spear, Bruce McLaughlin, Cesar Blanco, Erica Meyers, Corey Phillis, Flora Cordoleani, Matt Brown, Rod Wittler, John Kelly, Mike Urkov, Sadie Gill, Carl Dealy, Chris Hammersmark, Tricia Bratcher, Page Vick, Mark Tompkins, Tanya Sheya, JD Wikert, Heather Casillas, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte

Status of interim Science Coordinator (Cesar)

  • An issue has arisen with the candidate for the interim position. Will not be able to add interim Science Coordinator until maybe October.
  • The current solicitation is close to being ready for circulation.
  • Question: has the previous description changed?
  • Answer: it has been generalized to accomodate a FWS GS-13.
  • Jim and others will be included in review and may be able to help circulate final solicitation.
  • Heather thanked Cesar for keeping effort moving along.

Update on habitat decay proposal (Rod)

  • Still waiting to hear from folks about gravel augmentation. Currently have Keswick-Redding. Data from the American is being provided by Chris H
  • A report on Clear Creek exists, and will be provided by Matt Brown, but it would also be helpful to understand what kind of data is needed.
  • Rod will re-send request.
  • JD mentioned that John Hannon might be a source for data from Stanislaus.

Calibration update (Adam)

  • Presentation:
  • The chinook calibration has taken longer than expected, for several compounding reasons.
  • One difficulty has been scaling habitat from small reaches to expanded areas. On some cases proxy values have been estimated for areas with no prior studies.
  • Use of synthetic CALSIM years for recent fish monitoring data could also cause some future difficulties, because the synthetic years may not accurately reflect carryover storage.
  • There have also been challenges related to missing fish data and limits on CWT reports.
  • Lastly, the model itself is complex and requires complex inputs.
  • Dubbed the “Newish” approach, because it builds on previous presentation, the most recent effort updates the calibration.
  • Started by allowing some parameters to float, and then iterated adjustments to habitat estimates.
  • Looked to keep everything reasonable, using scalar adjustments.
  • Notable big caveat to consider are the effects of changes to Upper Sac Spawning and Lower Sac Rearing
  • Some habitat adjustments varied to reductions of 50 percent and increases of 200 percent.
  • The calibration effectively suggested adjustments to habita amounts
  • The calibrated DSM is being delivered to FlowWest today.
  • Question: is there an easy way to check the dates of the habitat estimates?
  • Answer: we are developing documentation for that.
  • Should be a good point of emphasis for the watershed expert outreach efforts
  • Will need to emphasize that the calibration essentially identifies uncertainty in the habitat estimates.
  • Example: the American River estimates were provided to FlowWest two weeks ago, but are not represented in the model.
  • Mark and Sadie have been updating the documentation, which will be useful in the watershed outreach sessions.Big question will be determining which estimates are reasonable.
  • Current theory is that the variability in estimates partially stems from changes in the system, and partially from differences in methodologies.
  • For example, on the American River, the methodology was updates from previous efforts.
  • The first step was to use CVFED estimates scaled by suitability factor, which was updated for 2D RAS model. Then feedback was used to adjust cover estimates. Which should be reviewed again.
  • The calibrated estimate should be compared to the updated estimate.
  • Another big issue will be timing of habitat availability.
  • Zach Leady has been building methods for remote sensing. Current efforts for estimating floodplain look good. Instream less so. There might be ways to estimate spawning areas. Dave Smith / USGS and Yueng Li / USBR Denver have also been involved. There may be a way to stitch together multiple 2D models to generate a more comprehensive model for the entire CV.
  • FlowWest has also been updating metadata on 2D modeling.

Policy Plots (Jim)

  • Presentation
  • Habitat availability varies by month, and in some places habitat expands later in the season
  • Spawning appeared to be fairly stable throughout the year.
  • This could lead to a possible grouping of streams according to habitat dynamics. (see presentation)
  • The resulting policy plots indicate further similarities between watersheds with large / small decreases in instream habitat and those with large / small increases in habitat.
  • Review of the hydrologies driving this effect should be undertaken by watershed experts.
  • The effect could be resulting in population bottlenecks in certain parts of the system.
  • Comment: looks like could be a factor in boom-bust cycles of population. Is average habitat best measure? Maybe median?
  • Question: could the size requirements of juveniles be driving the effect.
  • Answer: Looks to be driven more by hydrology. However, main point is to take these concept to local experts to ensure we are getting things right.
  • There’s a definite tie to hydrology, and we should review locations of CALSIM nodes to make sure we are accurately reflecting instream hydrology.
  • Should be a good topic for watershed experts. Are these effects real?

New Business (All)

  • After July screen sharing will be using Zoom instead of WebEx. Need to test Zoom to ensure it is compatible with State / Federal IT limits.
  • Mike: a group convened a conference call yesterday to discuss data / monitoring / standardization developed from projects. We will be developing a data guidance document for review at the next SIT meeting
  • Next call-in meeting scheduled for July 24 10:00 AM