In-Person Meeting

October 24-25, 2019 Slides

Day 1

By phone:

Sadie Gill, Tricia Bratcher, Kyle, Josh Israel, Towns Burgess, Chris Hammersmark, Rene Henry


Mike Urkov, Rod Wittler, Cesar Blanco, Rod Wittler, Carl Deally, Pam Taber, Bruce McGlaughlin, Priscilla Liang, Mike Berry, Erica Meyers, Dick Pool, Mike Beakes, Erica Meyers, Mark Tompkins, Mike Prowatzke, Bernard Aguilar, Susan Strahn, JD Wikert, Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte, Robyn Bilski, Mike Wright, Matt Brown, Jason Hassrick, Brett Harvey, Corey Phylis, Allison Collins

Status of Science Coordinator (Cesar)

  • Waiting for HR Announcement

Timeline for Near Term Restoration Strategy (All)

  • See Slides
  • Simulation results then in-person to choose NTRS strategies
  • The NRTS will replace annual memos
  • Will be retroactive for ongoing projects
  • Funding will remain annual

Monitoring Guidelines (All)

  • See Slides
  • Establish review committee to assign appropriate monitoring requests for each project
  • How to establish through charter process?
  • How do deal with costs?
  • JD Wikert thinks as-built survey should be done for any CVPIA-funded restoration project
  • Key consideration is how much does monitoring cost vs. value of the monitoring data to reduce uncertainty in the life cycle model.
  • How to establish which charters get in-depth get detailed monitoring?
  • Uncertainties are known (slide) - example juvenile survival
  • Progress reports: physical, financial, monitoring reports
  • Recommendation: focused effort to track juvenile wild juveniles - five years mainstem plus handful of tribs
  • PIT tags would be primary mechanism
  • Maybe some JSATS
  • Would be great to track from juvenile to adult monitoring
  • Would like to track complete lifecycle
  • Similar monitoring is conducted in Oregon and has developed a data set over 20 years
  • Idea related to population stability
  • Growth currently as average from some papers. Kind of guessing in tributaries
  • Possible to generate valuable information
  • JD - Challenge is flow- monthly time step is a challenge because he thinks model can’t consider sub-monthly flow pulse. But model actually uses monthly CALSIM modeled flows. Scenarios could incorporate a pulse in the monthly flow used by the model.
  • Talking about monitoring wild fish
  • Winter-run smolts do rear in the river.
  • Maybe otolith chemistry could help
  • Jim estimates ODFW cost of monitoring to determine survival, growth, and movement as $500k per year with additional start-up capital costs to install monitoring equipment
  • We have the opportunity to do more comprehensive look in some places because of 5-year timestep
  • People making funding decisions need information: priority, reasonable cost
  • Need to revise database so we are capturing cost data across projects
  • PIT tags in 50 mm fish, What about 38 mm fish? It is tough, maybe CWT are options. True
  • Projects funded should be coordinating directly with SIT
  • Email Susan if people are interested in focused monitoring efforts in the Upper Sac projects
  • More comments on Draft Monitoring Guidance would be welcome
  • If focused monitoring of wild fish is a priority, then should be added to NTRS
  • Will set up subgroup to refine Monitoring Guidance
  • Project monitoring separate than system monitoring

Floodplain (Mark Tompkins)

  • See website tools
  • Floodplain habitat versus instream habitat conditions. Existing conditions are available in inputs model app
  • See deer creek floodplain habitat
  • Flow to suitable habitat acreage
  • For scenario results we will see what criteria is being satisfied: frequency, duration, timing, suitability.
  • Interannual frequency needs to be activated 2 out of 3 years. Relatively high frequency,
  • How many months: 2-4 of continuous rearing period months: January - April
  • Model only considering suitable acres
  • Feasibility of multiple watersheds for comparison?
  • Potentially, would depend on the use case, right now can open two copies of app
  • Currently based on hydrology - flow to habitat relationship
  • Is suitable habitat defined for SIT?
  • Difference between existing and proposed floodplain
  • Total inundated converted to suitable
  • Factor is 0.27 of total is suitable
  • Assumption is that it is possible to create, but not necessarily true
  • Some of this has been done in CVFPP
  • Remember that this definition is describing what the model saw, not necessarily what is possible in a given place.
  • Feasibility - related to Clear Creek - it’s feasible to build flood plain, but no inundation.
  • Relative importance of priority is what’s being developed by the SIT
  • Amount and type of habitat in the model is driving results
  • Everyone wants the model to be used realistically, but just because model isn’t perfect doesn’t mean results aren’t meaningful.
  • Habitat is being distributed uniformly, not distributed.
  • Developing guidance on how frequently to update information.
  • What’s the plan for updating habitat? NTRS
  • We have subgroup that’s working on that in terms of how it should be pulled in, frequency, and what form it’s being requested. Plan for that right now, and will go into the NTRS and get worked out

Review output from fall, winter, and spring run Chinook salmon rulesets and finalize list of Chinook strategies (All)

  • See Slides
  • Scenario evaluation
  • Markov Decision Process (MDP) Slides
  • Focus on what really matters–maximize the number of adult equivalents, state variables
  • Model is good at counting fish in different areas
  • State dependent policy development
  • Flow and temperature are captured in the model as habitat and survival
  • Flag: limitation otolith data suggests parr sized fish do the best
  • Rene concerned with a focus on in-watershed survival and doesn’t think the monthly time step in the model allows for enough size difference in out migrating juveniles.
  • Jim clarified that the model does deal with part of this though tradeoff between survival and growth benefits associated with holding fish in watersheds.
  • Dick Poole asked whether 300-400% survival improvements from trucking hatchery fish is in the model. Jim responded that it’s not currently in the model, but could be considered in the next version of the model.
  • Dick Poole: has future Yolo Bypass routing with the proposed notch in Fremont Weir been included? Answer is not yet. Would like to see these things evaluated in the model.
  • Rene asked about using the model to look at what would happen if we implemented the priorities indicated by the model. Jim replied that we could do this and then report out the habitat deficits in different locations.
  • Expect to learn a lot over the next 5 years to see the amount of habitat we can put in
  • Adam noted that habitat decay is in model so some of the results could just be replacements of decayed habitat.
  • Choices matter, can choose restoration actions that are worse than doing nothing
  • Eisenhower Decision Matrix–Edited for prioritization
  • Corey Phyllis noted that the decision matrix is binary (restore or don’t restore). Therefore it doesn’t capture don’t restore cases that are due to infeasibility versus due to uncertainty about their improvement.
  • Next step is to get final strategies for Jim/Adam to run based on results so far. Should SIT think about the value of four different bins in the Eisenhower matrix.
  • Cesar expressed concern about the difference between watersheds that end up in the the model suggests restore / SIT doesn’t and model doesn’t suggest restore / SIT does categories.
  • Brett Harvey agreed with dropping the watermarks. The upper right and lower left boxes are really both “discuss” in SIT subgroups (or the DSM “Master Class” so SIT understands why the model produced the result it did or why the SIT thinks what they think).
  • Audience is CVPIA decision makers
  • Dick Poole described that he is working on projects that could cause other actions to move higher in the priority list.
  • Question about why Yuba isn’t shown as important by the model anymore? Jim asked if habitat input has changed. Mark replied yes, since the last iteration of the life cycle model. But most watershed habitat inputs have changed since then.


Model Forward Simulation Winter Run Chinook

  • Slides
  • Battle Creek not included
  • More actions are better
  • Timing of outmigration matters
  • Why no spawning? Not limited
  • Maybe NMFS supported side channels because of similar life cycle to spring run

Model Forward Simulation Spring Run

  • Slides
  • No Feather / Yuba
  • Extra actions start adding actions in Low and Lower mid sac
  • Feather shows up as actions because so many fish stray
  • Sac Mainstem for all three is most beneficial above RB and below Feather
  • Lower Sac differs between fall/spring/winter runs
  • 34% of ocean fish this year were from the Mokelumne, and 100% of those fish were barged past the Delta pumps.
  • See spreadsheet summary of Scenarios developed
  • Next step is to take these thirteen and run with stochasticity
  • Stochasticity will give us a sense of resilience
  • How to demonstrate habitat decay treatment in the model
  • Sensitivity will vary from zero decay to maximum decay
  • Will tell us importance of decay rate
  • If rankings don’t change then, not important to decision making
  • Adaptive management takes time. Four years ago, we kicked off this effort. Thanks everyone. Decision-making has improved. Agencies are appreciative. Our work is becoming more important as understanding of the process is understood.


Day 2

By phone:

Mark Tompkins, Tricia Brachter, Mike Beakes, Chris Hammersmark, Brian Elrott, Matt Brown, Bruce McLaughlin, Towns Burgess


Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte, Mark Gard, Cesar Blanco, Mike Berry, Susan Strahn, Mike Prowatzke, Erica Meyers, John Kelly, Mike Wright, Carl Dealy, JD Wikert, Felipe Carrillo, Priscilla Liang, Mike Urkov, Rod Wittler, Alicia Seesholtz

Review O. mykiss and Sturgeon objectives and decision alternatives, Discuss O. mykiss and Sturgeon strategies (All)

  • Slides
  • Question: why so many size classes for O Mykiss? Because the sub group recommended it
  • Model is calibrated, but no good data
  • Used available habitat, all habitats used, population growth rate of 1–not sure how much confidence in this
  • Question: do we want to run whatever we can with model scenarios, or run a subset of them to get a feel of what’s going on in the model, rely on expert judgement to address strategies for O. mykiss
  • Question: how confident are we in the model? Comfortable to show results, but not too confident in outputs. Needs to be reviewed by SIT
  • Seasonal tributaries are included in the model
  • USFWS has relied on RBDD monitoring. Additional data not likely available. Overall, data is spotty
  • VA discussions have included discussion of passage issues
  • Connectivity also important
  • Brian: NMFS perspective relative to O Mykiss: Seems reasonable
  • Sturgeon: See slides
  • Not able to quantify predation
  • Selenium better known in San Joaquin, less understood elsewhere
  • Can try to calibrate on what we have, then run sensitivity analysis
  • Will still require expert analysis
  • Propose: try to run scenarios identified by Sturgeon group, then replicate FY2020 process.
  • Score monitoring needs for usefulness for SIT process.
  • Note that access to habitat no necessarily the same as improving passage
  • Two actions: Improve access to Battle Creek, and adaptively manage tributary flows / habitat / temps to increase frequency of anadromy
  • Don’t know what causes things to anadromous, wanted to let folks be able to evaluate if we can make the environment so we can increase the frequency of anadromy
  • PWT discussed how to increase anadromy
  • Maintenance of flows to maintain fish is contrary to stressing fish to increase anadromy.
  • Stan has stable habitat year over year
  • Tuolumne / Merced have more extreme summer temps
  • Need intermediate flow schedule
  • CDFW used hoop traps to pit tag steelhead in Delta on way to Tribs. Never really worked. Maybe the project could be worked in reverse? Could help to focus approach. Ephemeral streams versus regulated streams
  • CALFED researched this previously on otolith study, but requires harvesting adults
  • Difficult to understand life history
  • Perhaps a narrow set of priorities would be more useful? Could help direct research to improve understanding of O Mykiss
  • Even if it were a five year effort, would be valuable
  • Should tie monitoring into that with actions
  • Steelhead can benefit from many Chinook habitat efforts
  • Direct request for research
  • JD: Not sure CVPIA can do much for flow management tasks
  • Hard to study because not too many of them
  • Tricia: Department has steelhead monitoring program, may be worth having staff present information what they’re doing
  • Running models might require some habitat manipulation from Mark T
  • Mark G: Juvenile habitat should be 1:1 with Chinook. Spawning would be different.
  • Juvenile O Mykiss will have larger size classes, so more territory
  • QUESTION: Use previous list? Or new list
  • Need some method to know where they are.
  • Questions that need to be solved.
  • Emphasis on research makes sense, but wouldn’t want to exclude restoration.
  • CVPIA not able to pay someone to not do something
  • Restoration for O. mykiss not for chinook? Brian: Depending on passage
  • Redirecting funding from hatchery operations to something else would be difficult because of mitigation obligations
  • Investigate the mechanisms to influence / cause / encourage anadromy
  • Can request steelhead experts to identify key uncertainties.
  • Can also comb through NMFS steelhead recovery actions for ideas
  • Erica will check with Ryan to see what PWT is up to these days
  • What is steelhead group doing now? Low catch numbers, growing studies. Ryan running PWT.
  • Adam will set up a call with Steelhead PWT
  • Cesar: Continuity between years has been an issue in the past. Hopefully new five year strategy will be able to address some of those continuity issues
  • CVPIA scope changeable? Yes, example: Striped Bass
  • CVPIA can’t really control water operations
  • SJRRP is partially funded by Restoration Funds
  • Need for clearly defined needs for explicit research
  • Previously was desire to identify physical projects, but clearly a need for more information.
  • Monitoring after physical projects indicates that O. mykiss using habitat projects
  • Sturgeon: Slides for previous recommendations
  • Not much work for sturgeon has been done.
  • Don’t know what conditions are needed
  • San Joaquin conditions for sturgeon have been studied, but not much confidence on specific limits
  • Is there any appetite for modeling?
  • Sturgeon group has had some turnover and is fairly new
  • Revisit existing list and pick five.
  • Remember to consider five year period.
  • This year we only received white sturgeon charters
  • CVPIA as fish doubling program rather than ESA program
  • Something more integrated over five year period would be helpful.
  • PWT meeting in December

Quick review of Upper Sac Restoration Projects

  • Susan Strahn / Mike Berry presentation on Sac River Forum projects
  • About ten years of partnership between CSU Chico / DWR / CDFW / USBR
  • 3 implementation partners: settlement partners, resource conservation district (Tehama County), and river partners (based out of Chico)
  • Yurok Tribe new partner - brough great implementation skills to the team.
  • Slides with pictures
  • Current projects: three side channel projects
  • Landowner cooperation has been key
  • Reading island moving along well
  • Still waiting for some corps permits to finalize projects
  • Anderson River Park phase 1
  • 2020: 3 projects- South Cypress, Anderson River Park Phase 2 and 3 (4,500 linear ft excavation, 2.2 acres rearing habitat)
  • 2021: Last construction season in agreement.
  • Also coordinate between CSU grad students and pacific states and CDFW
  • Reading island description. Was the result of private landowner in the 1950’s building levees to accommodate farming
  • Yurok have been great to work with because they are willing to work time and materials
  • No 408 permits needed because no federal facility
  • Clear Creek Phase 3C breaking ground today
  • Working on tying in some ongoing projects in order to update habitat estimates and to understand projects coming online soon,

New Business

  • When will FY2020 work plans be available?
  • Significant review from DOI in Washington DC
  • Hoping to have an announcement by the end of December
  • Tracy to send Rod info
  • Susan: with upcoming project schedule, need input on pre-construction monitoring. Rod will get small group at USBR to start advising them on that
  • Jim: Looking for input on monitoring guidance that was sent out
  • Willamette example: Slides
  • Water budget for Willamette
  • Big issues for Chinook adults is thermal exposure, getting hit with hot temperatures (april to october)
  • Lots of faith in Chinook model because there’s a lot of data behind it