April 8, 2020 Slides
Jim Peterson, Adam Duarte, Alicia Seesholtz, Cesar Blanco, Corey Phillis, Emanuel Rodriguez, Sadie Gill, Jane, Mike Beakes, Mike Urkov, Priscilla Liang, Brett Harvey, Brian Ellrott, Chris Hammersmark, Denise Barnard, Erica Meyers, Erin Gilligan, Felipe Carillo, Flora Cordoleani, JD Wikert, John Kelly, Kate Spear, Lisa Hunt, Mandy Banet, Mark Tompkins, Mike Berry, Matt Brown, Mike Wright, Mike Memeo, Page Vick, Ruth Goodfield, Sadie Gill, Steve Thomas, Ptaber, Susan Strachan, Mandy Banet, Tanya Sheya, Pam Taber, Rob Lusardo, Jim Early, Jason Hassrick, John Hannon, Rene Henery, Bruce McLaughlin, Rod Wittler
Welcome and introductions
Implementation of Near-term Restoration Strategy (Heather/Cesar)
- Obligation plan comments due 4/17/2020
- Information feedback part of adaptive management loop
- Get finer grade priorities set up to inform Heather as she makes decisions about FY21 work plan
- Trying to get FY21 work plan by October
- Uncertainty reduction, want opinions/thoughts on how effective work plan is
- In obligation plan, specifically Sac Rivers are on pgs. 17 and 21
- Obligation plan
- Competitive aspects for projects not ready to go this year
- Obligation Plan is a much more comprehensive look for everything tied to the CVPIA funds.
Modifications to draft document and timelines (M. Urkov)
- Going to continue discussion on obligation plan and how we relate to it
- SIT→ AFP
- Start with idea of adaptive management wheel that we’ve been on, emphasize that we’re close to completing and having first projects that have gone out coming back to us
- Almost completing first iteration of cycle
- Some pieces have shifted
- Annual work plan becoming obligation plan
- Tech memo for FY2020 informs obligation plan, NTRS now has opportunity for the first time to be the document that informs FY2021 expenditures
- Obligation plan includes projects Bay Delta office of Reclamation, directed in large part by biological opinion that was released
- Some obligations using CVPIA authority, but not really connected to prioritizations that the SIT has been considering (for example, some include smelt but SIT does not include smelt in prioritizations)
- What we were initially waiting for was an annual work plan that addressed tech memo. Then NTRS with priorities for FY21-25. Then NTRS would be the base for restoration charters going forward.
- What is the process reclamation is using to prioritize?
- NTRS emphasizes: prioritization came from SIT. Started to get problematic at a policy level. Prioritization coming from a random group of people who meet and then direct expenditures. Confusion of how this was becoming to be portrayed at policy level.
- What we’re doing is SDM. Results of NTRS are the results of SDM process, which is subject of academic expertise and has its own discipline.
- NTRS is the result of the implementing agencies committing to the SDM process, which uses a group of individuals that call themselves SIT, which meets regularly, what comes out is prioritizations which have been previously captured in tech memos. Now captured in larger time frame, now reflected in NTRS
- Obligation plan filled out a large number of expenditures, some of them relating to prioritization work, some not. Some useful to process, some not. Some maybe.
- Focus review of what’s in the obligation plan. Looking for feedback from this call who has expertise so they can better help us understand what these things are, how it’s helpful to process, and what our asset portfolio is moving forward. How to manage priorities for FY21?
- Cesar: SIT not a recommending body per say, there needs to be a separation between what the SIT is recommending and what the agencies select and put on the ground. We need to do our best to make that clear in the NTRS.
- Mike: Yes, subject of rewrite, important to note SIT is independent and does not obligate money for direct implementing agencies. SIT is part of SDM process, result of process is prioritizations that are at a coarse scale (not project scale).
- Obligation plan summary: 17 restoration projects align with SDM. 10 research, 4 align in terms of information need, 12 monitoring, 8 of which align with information need, 6 smelt specific projects, of which 0 align with what we do (we don’t deal with smelt)
- Cesar: Bulk of money needs to go to implementation
- Switch from annual work plan to annual obligation plan
- Rod: Will be talking about the collaborative decision making process that is now in the LTO (long term monitoring plan). Success is publishing an annual tech memo. Now it’s NTRS. We in future are going to see changes. SIT should not get too wrapped around dollars, maybe a bit on proportions. Want to focus on what are priorities we need to meet to do effective SDM. What is information we need to inform DSM, so that we get the best decision support we can get? Need to be based on the best available science.
- Mike: Dollars to show relative concentration. In a lot of ways not very useful in terms of what we’re talking about here. If limitations in biological opinion that require monitoring and those monitoring efforts are informing operations somehow, it’s a restoration cost in a way because you’re changing how things operate. Dollars are a great indication of overall what’s happening in system, our efforts are mostly restoration dollars.
- Rod: indication of how much of the NTRS/tech memo were accomplishing. 17⁄20, looking at big picture, we’re focusing a lot of our resources in priorities that we identified in FY20 tech memo, will get better with NTRS
- Restoration priorities, information needs review
- Rod would like to have finer grain priorities set up today as Heather makes decisions for 2021 work plan. They want to hear from the SIT on what information they need, when they need, and how important it is.
- Brian wanted to know what type of comments they are looking for the obligation plan. Rod said he wanted comments from everyone’s agency perspective. What do they think the priorities, the list of obligated funds and how they relate to CVPIA. He noted this list is based on the 2020 Tech Memo, NOT the Near-term Restoration Strategy. They want opinions and thoughts on how effective the program is in communicating this information since this is the first try at the Obligation plan. The program wants to be as transparent as possible. April 17th is the deadline. Brian noted it is a bit of a short window.
- Mike Berry noted that some of the Upper Sac stuff became unobligated. Rod said that was a separate issue with the BOR Acquisitions group. They want a new contract for new work with work starting in 2020. That does not have to do with the SIT. Mike said these are on page 17 and 21.
- Urkov talked about how the SIT and NRS is related to the Obligation Plan. Cesar noted the obligation plan has funds from multiple offices. Not all of the funds listed are CVPIA restoration funds.
Relationship to LTO BiOp
- We need to prioritize information needs list
- Rod said the relationship to Biop is not clear other than the BIOP saying there is going to be a collaborative decision making process that the SIT clearly fulfills. Rod said we probably just need to keep an eye on this and then see where and when we can step in.
Prioritization for FY2021 (information needs)
- Urkov reviewed information needs that have been funded as part of the obligation plan so the group can better evaluate what information needs priorities need to be prioritized in 2021.
- Urkov reviewed the “unknown” scored projects in the obligation plan. Cyril Michel is in charge of CalFish project to follow real time movement and survival of tagged fish. You can download tasked data from 2018. Will have Chinook and O. mykiss. There is another website that has Sturgeon. 69Qhrtz tech is another website. Survival studies are focused on hatchery fish. No. 3 is focused on Lodi office for EDSM.
Chinook salmon research
Chinook salmon monitoring
- Calculates survival estimates in real time
- Going over Obligation Plan Summary projects
- Noting who to contact for more information on certain listed projects
- From Flora- This is the UC Davis website fo 69 and 180khz tagging projects mainly, so this is to study juvenile and adult sturgeons for instance
- Identifying information needs for projects
- Update habitat modeling and estimates for: Sacramento River upstream of American River, American River, Stanislaus River, San Joaquin downstream of Stanislaus to Vernalis, Clear Creek, Battle Creek, Feather River, Yuba River
- Figure out habitat needs, and what’s being used out of potential habitat
- Chris- Mark and Mark gather a lot of information to be able to populate model, they fall in bin of habitat estimates, methods that are used impact number of acres that are reported out, think that there’s considerable room for improvement to model to get things as consistent as possible. Rene says it’s not habitat unless there’s food there.
- Restoration funds for Clear Creek estimates
- Stanislaus focus- get an estimate of population size, how many juveniles are producing, juvenile production estimate. Goals of research and monitoring are getting basic demographic information for Stanislaus’ population. Better handle on factors that are affecting that.
- Lots of lab work involved
- Mike Memeo: Scaled analysis from fish during carcass survey, trapping adults in Clear Creek and tagging them, outmigrating smolts
- Jim asked if anything recent has been done for Chinook habitat modeling so we can say “yes, something is being done for this”. Chris provided some for American which is best available but it can be analyzed a different way, which he will be talking about more today. What they currently use is more of a habitat index rather than a total habitat amount. Chris said the habitat subgroup needs to talk more about that but it would be a relatively easy thing to do. He discussed how we need to think about how to make the habitat estimates across tribs to be as consistent as possible. He said they are currently doing an update on Yuba habitat amounts. Matt said they are continuing with restoration funds to look at habitat change/decay on Clear Creek.
Habitat change over time
O. mykiss demographics (M. Beakes)
- Rod would like to get steelhead conversations with other interested agencies
- We have habitat estimates in R package, is that specific to O.mykiss? Could it be improved, is it a high priority?
- Habitat estimates for O.mykiss borrowed from fall/spring run Chinook as a placeholder
- No habitat estimates for O.mykiss
- Are we using habitat suitability criteria? Not applying different suitability criteria because we don’t have modeled output from all areas
- We don’t have O.mykiss specific habitat estimates
- Habitat survival for Chinook vital for rearing survival for Chinook
- We do have steelhead specific habitat inputs for some locations - see here
- What about demographic information? Should we wait and see on other efforts, build on other efforts now, see later if we should make O.mykiss research/monitoring a higher priority later for FY21?
- Is there a plan/study on what it’ll take for O.mykiss demographic information? What scale?
- Depends on annual variability
- Interest in getting Central Valley O.mykiss information, at beginning of process in trying to coordinate this
- No. 5 is a Brett Harvey study looking at caged growth. They will also get distribution information based on trawl and EDNA studies.
- No. 7 related to dam releases related to O. mykiss growth. They will be building a model compatible to SIT efforts. Might be a way to parameterize for Chinook. More of a food web study than salmonid growth.
- Mike Beakes reviewed their efforts for the SJ O. mykiss efforts for survival, movement, life history variation, etc. He has been talking to Ryon Kurth on how to get some of these projects discussed within the PWT to build a comprehensive plan. He is hoping the monitoring will start this fall but a lot of work won’t start till the spring. There is a Sac River plan out there that Rod has access to. It is not clear what is currently being implemented vs. what they are looking for funds for. Mike Memeo said on the upper Sac they are doing scale analysis and tagging some fish on Mill, Deer, and Clear Creek. Urkov will include this draft document in the notes.
- Alicia noted RST is just seeing what is happening in the year and is not tied to survival. John said it does give us info on recruitment. Matt said they look at outmigration timing, not really survival and growth.
- If anyone has 2-D models, let us know
- Improving habitat estimates across board, is that a priority?
- Is sturgeon lower/higher priority because of lack of information?
- Chinook more important
- More effort to prioritize sturgeon?
- In terms of sturgeon research/monitoring, sounds like lots of things are getting started. Anything that could complement these efforts?
- Alicia: Most important for the near term, all out effort to get adults tagged, figuring out where they’re going so we focus on studies better. After this year, 100-200 tags left, so we’ve been talking about different ways we can get out there and try to get out a bunch of tags so that we can get that information. Hitting up rivers later in fall. Not sure when it’s going to happen, discussion that’s starting now.
- Sitting on 14 years of acoustic tag data, would like to see more effort to mining that and see what’s there. Could extract habitat use data from that.
- Thoughts about focus tagging/studies/research for monitoring sturgeon, both adults and hatchery juveniles as well? Sounds like high priority because older tags are almost out, going to lose ability to track these sturgeon. Agreement
- Places adult sturgeon like to go are not easy places to be tagging them
- This is easily achievable goal, to tag. Also identified in near-term sturgeon needs in NTRS. Would meet Strategy priorities.
- Page Vick: For NOAA, this is a huge priority that we want to see through and it’s a part of our recovery plan and having more of that data available would be beneficial to species
- Should look at habitat change over time, is a priority
- Four priorities: juvenile Chinook (demographic rates), O.mykiss and Chinook habitat estimates, all out tagging effort of sturgeon (primarily adults and subadults as well)
- Lots of ways to prioritize: output of SDM, cost, etc, balancing these things is difficult.
- Proportionality, is it 50⁄50, is it ⅓ / ⅔, something SIT needs to keep in mind is that financial resources are limited
- Mike Berry: We go in post construction, make sure we meet guidelines. We get habitat addition from that, how much was created from construction. Part of every project is post-construction assessment.
- North Central Office: John Kelly said bulk of tags are fading out and there is increased effort to put tags on adults. They are making stronger effort to mark green and white.
- Spawner abundance historically run by NMFS. Peter Dudley is contact with NMFS sturgeon stuff. HE will be continuing work by Ethan Mora. Alicia said DIDSON surveys year round in the Feather. They are getting species id working. They have not started juvenile studies yet but they are on track to start 2021. John said they are doing similar work on the Yuba with egg mattes out. John said we have a decent handle on green sturgeon spawning habitat but rearing habitat is a bit of a black box, particularly in the lower Sac.
- Brett agreed chinook habitat specific survival estimates for rearing survival. Need large scale studies for habitat amounts and habitat specific estimates. JD agreed. Flora noted the difficulty in marking smaller fish. In Upper River Sac Mike Memeo is putting together a tagging committee to talk about tagging fish in side channels.
- Mark T. noted we have some info on o mykiss habitat information but prioritizing areas where we are using chinook as a proxy makes a lot of sense.
Sadie noted that if they had the hydrodynamic model they can apply a new ruleset to get at habitat, but if they only have the curve they cannot.
- Chris and Brett discussed the importance of gaining information from the Southport levee setback. This project is already built so we don’t need to wait on that. there are a lot of projects near this region are about to be implemented and learning using a before-after sampling design could be done here to learn about how fish use, move, and survive in these habitats. It was suggested there be a contrast. There and maybe upstream to get at a gradient of habitat. Matt also said getting some information in middle sac with different habitat types would be good.
- Matt thinks Chinook may be the priority. Chris said there is an economy of scale. If we have the hydrodynamic model then we can populate habitat estimates for other species. John said that we have projects underway bit there is not an easy solution for this since you can’t find them. Alicia agreed.
- Brett asked if there was an evaluation on what it would take to get at the demographic information needed for o. mykiss and sturgeon. Mike Beakes said it depends on the year-to-year variability. In the Stan, they are starting with a 3 to 5 year period and then evaluating what they are dealing with.
- What is not currently being done for sturgeon that would complement current efforts to reduce uncertainty? Alicia said the easiest to get done is do an all-out effort to get adults tagged. This gives information on spatiotemporal variation in distribution. John agreed and said we are sitting on 14 years of acoustic tag data. He would like a dedicated effort to mine that. Page said this is a huge priority for NOAA, it is important for the species and is directly related to their recovery plan.
- Chris said he thinks we can learn a lot about habitat decay from the information we currently have, but we are actively collecting more data on spawning habitat evolution. Matt said spreading it out to look at other watersheds is important, particularly for more natural rivers. Chris agreed, particular for natural, not constructed, habitat. Rod said he thinks how habitat changes over time is a priority.
- Matt says relating how these uncertainties come out through sensitively analysis in DSMs is important.
- Rod would like Jim, Mike, and Adam to put together a summary and run it by the SIT before sending to Cesar and Heather by mid-May.
Code Review (Flow West)
- Upper Sac Steelhead Monitoring Plan
- Using a number of R tools and github, we can ensure compatibility between data and package
- We want to make it easy to use from a user standpoint
- Timeline-wise, aiming for end of month for first cut done
- Don’t anticipate all documentation optimized at this point
- Want feedback with how we’re implementing it (functions, etc.)
- Work in progress, nothing to show yet, aim for end of month as a checkpoint
- Emanuel discussed how he going through and making the code more efficient.
- See slides
- Monthly timestep, same locations, still have functionality
- Plan is to use same DSM inputs for fall-run, we have fall-run inputs for all 12 months of the year
- GrandTab information very important, we use to calibrate model, helps identify where the populations here
- Easier to optimize code before moving forward with late-fall? Want to go ahead and do it, do it.
- See slides for proposed timing for late fall-run chinook salmon
- Adam to report back after this meeting
- Make outmigration through December. Not in Calaveras
Sturgeon DSM needs
- Sturgeon O.mykiss has always been on the list. We have old model, no updated model.
- Mike Thomas at UC Davis has been looking at the data, we have section 6 grant
- See slides for DSM needs
- Suggest to talk to Rob.. FWS, interested in sturgeon
- SIT proposal process form/review
- Every change we’ve made to DSM has to go through proposal process. SIT has two weeks to review, then its approved, declined, or suggest changes. No one’s ever been declined, but has asked for additional information on several occasions
- Are revisions to NTRS called tech memo, strategy revision memo?
- Annual review is where updates are
- If there is substantial change, if we have radical new findings, can reissue NTRS
- 69 khz data run by uc davis. Repository of a lot of tracking data. The interface is not perfect but page, Alicia, and john have been wanting someone to look at it. A lot of it is movement in delta and bay, a little bit up to redding. Mike Thomas at UC davis have been looking at some of that. Erin will contact John Kelly, Alicia, and Bill Poytress, etc.
Outstanding proposals (~15 min ea)
Side channel rearing habitat (M. Berry)
- Last Mike Berry meeting. He is retiring. Mike Memeo taking over. Habitat group is looking at this
Ephemeral tributaries (M. Brown, M. Berry)
- The habitat group is not look at this yet. Matt is initiating study on this. But nothing is solidified on what they are going to monitor. The technical group that advises that charter will help with that. Mike Memeo has been doing some mapping work. Has found 80 miles of potential habitat between Keswick and redd bluff. Mike Berry said it sounds like a side phone call on this would be worth doing.
Yuba fish (B. Ellrott)
- Not on call anymore
Hatchery operations and returns (R. Wittler)
- Rod has not made progress on this yet. He has talked with hatchery folks and he was struck by how much it varied year to year. Cesar noted that the hatchery issue is a complicated issue. The majority of hatchery actions are outside scope of CVPIA.
Reporting out from sub-groups (~20 min ea)
- End of tech memo, asked to grade different sections of model, future improvements. This is where subgroups came from
Fish for food (R. Henery)
- One to collect empirical data on result of exporting floodplain-derived secondary production into rivers for fish growth, turning that into something model can use
- Develop a model that will, using bioenergetics
- Data on fish food that we would be collecting, what that turns into in terms of model proposal is a change to the percentage of available habitat in different habitat categories. Effectively adding subcategories of river/floodplain habitat. Changing growth rate in those habitats based on changes in growth rates that we’re seeing and measuring in the field and what would trigger change would be the amount and the number of inundation cycles of off-channel habitat that
- In the measured growth rates, so far all of the in-channel growth rates have increased significantly with off-channel exports, seems like it works feeding fish in-channel. All growth rates have been lower than those on the floodplain, which suggests there may be bioenergetic control on growth rate in river that is different
- Wants to add subcategories to river and floodplain habitat based on the amount of inundation cycles. Working alongside the habitat group so that it is a straightforward change to the existing DSMs. Plan to share some initial results later. Would like to check with Jacob and Jacob on that. Urkov can share some of the results from last year’s efforts, but Rene would like to present the actually growth rates, and area/inundation times those things relate to. Mike Berry suggested Rene reach out to Mike Memeo to discuss some of the projects he is working on.
Fish food growth (B. Harvey, M. Beakes, C. Phillis)
- Not technically a SIT subject
- What goes into bioenergetics model is a number of things including temperature, ration (what we’re trying to extract from this food)
- Ration is a function of what maximum ration of what fish can take in
- Borrowed information from paper
- See slides
- Model can get complex and unruly
- Make decay function a function of temperature?
- Temperature not feeding back in which prey declines
- Here is one source for the RAS NSM
- The NSM’s also work with SRH-2D.
- Second source for the RAS NSM
- Not technically a SIT subgroup, but a side project folks from the SIT are working on. Their goal was to keep it simple and only add complexity where needed. Interested in what percent of the river needs to be subsidized to change fish mass and whether that change in mass relates to a population-level effect.
Habitat (M. Tompkins, C. Hammersmark, R. Wittler)
- Charge of the habitat subgroup
- Example of improved habitat input- Hammer/Yuba
- Call for participants
- Scope to plan to deliver on four charges, follow up discussion on how to improve hydrology input’
- Point for all things habitat
- Doesn’t have to be, if there are others that want to stay independent of this
- Want to improve habitat inputs in DSM
- See habitat input improvements
- Which species we prioritize for improving habitat?
- Feather high priority based on numbers
- Try and come up with prioritized list and have a couple of questions that we’ll answer in our habitat improvement proposal
- Right now we have instream and floodplain habitat input, instream is for chinook broken down into spawning and rearing, hav talk through time about side-channel.
- Need proposed path on if/how we delineate side-channel habitat in addition of instream and floodplain
- Do we have information on growth, survival, movement?
- There is consideration on floodplain duration in model, but coarse very now because of monthly time step hydrology that counts them out, lots of uncertainty
- As long as its a month-long timestep tied to CALSIM model, harder to improve
- Without supply of food, not really habitat. That’s why we sequence food presentation before this one
- Need to include food for fish efforts to determine if there’s a way to modify habitat inputs
- Have you talked about habitat on the Delta? Not really. Should it be bigger?
- When we’re doing habitat input, assuming temperature on survival is being handled
- Typically rearing habitat is quantified through covermap including vegetation types, cobble
- Current approach builds upon previous methods, utilizing depth velocity. Significant addition of inundation duration, using as proxy for food availability
- Not habitat if there’s no food there
- HQT, habitat quantification tool, similar to this, not identical
- Get time series of habitat, need time series of flows to get that
- Using daily/hourly flow data to reconstruct with a hydrograph would’ve been originally based on monthly data and feeding that into habitat model? Haven’t figured it out yet. Just getting to this topic.
- See slides for habitat decay. Different from spawning decay/rearing change
- Spawning in a limited gravel system is always losing it/its moving downstream
- Getting measured rate of change instead of estimated change based on historical data
- See slide for sub-group participants
- Want to improve habitat inputs, including decay and fish food information. Want to switch from WUA to modeled suitability to make more direct comparisons across tribs. All habitat inputs are WUA based but they are bringing in updated estimates right now.
- They also want to work on prioritizing which species and locations habitat information we should go after first.
- They have not talked about the delta yet, but it is a small blip on the radar screen.
- Mark reviewed some of the improvements they are considering for the inputs.
- Chris discussed the approach to these improvements, which is similar to the HQT. They will be producing WUA and suitable habitat values. One challenge they are thinking about is that you get a time series of habitat you need a time series of flow to use. So it may be a multi-step process to quantify habitat amounts.
- Jim asked about suitable cells that would be too hot to be suitable, particularly in floodplain. Chris said they have the opposite problem in the Yuba, but he could see that being applicable in other areas. He said that he might be able to bring it into the resident time (length that a cell is wet).
- Rod asked folks to send him information on hydrodynamic model that exist for different tribs throughout the central valley
- Matt mentioned some work he and John Hannon are working on in relation to refuges and they will be in contact with habitat subgroup.
- The subgroup will report out during next meeting
Winter run DSM inputs for Battle Cr (FlowWest, M. Brown)
- FlowWest received info from Matt. Mark said they are still working on that update.
New CalSim runs (M. Urkov)
- New CALSIM baseline should be ready in ~6 months according to Josh
- Still waiting to see if they should incorporate new calsim runs from biological opinion. it is a question of tracking down the new estimates. Mike will coordinate with mike wright and beakes to incorporate the new runs.
Reporting out from sub-groups (cont.)
- Southport: if folks are interested in hearing more about this just let M. Urkov, R. Wittler, and M. Beakes know
- Chico State: Many presented some of their habitat monitoring results from the Sac River
- Predator contact points (C. Phillis): Reed gave an update on predator contact points and illumination studies. Next planned project is sundial bridge
- Predator contact points: 5 sites in Delta experiment, would deploy floating lines, artificial illumination, cameras
- Predator contact points: Experiment for around 4 hours, constantly recording
- Predator contact points: Predator density metric = looked at number of large fish pings (> 200mm) divided by total number of pings for 30 minutes
- Predator contact points: Combines higher numbers of fish and number of fish in frame
- Predator contact points: As night went on, density of predators increased (see this 3 hours past sunset, especially)
- Predator contact points: If temperature was high, fish density was high, more predation
Timelines and Next steps
- Need all proposals submitted and approved by August 1, 2020
- Next call-in meeting on July 8
- Topic: follow up on follow on model improvements and proposal status new propsal new information/studies