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Volume 2008/09, Issue 6 January 27, 2009
In This Issue
2008/09 Juvenile Migration Monitoring
Tributary Carcass Surveys
San Joaquin River Conditions
Delta Exports
events
January 29: VAMP Biology Technical Team Meeting

February 10: San Joaquin River Restoration Program Fishery Management

links

FISHBIO

California Water Plan, 2009 Public Review Draft
 
California Data Exchange Center

Delta Vision
 

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Juvenile Chinook
Key Highlights
 
2008/09 Juvenile Migration Monitoring. Juvenile migration monitoring is underway on the Stanislaus River at Oakdale (RM 40.1) and Caswell (RM 8); on the Tuolumne River at Waterford (RM 30); and Calaveras River at Shelton Rd. (RM 28). The 2008 TID/MID bi-weekly seining surveys also began on the Tuolumne and San Joaquin Rivers.
 
2008 Stanislaus River Weir Monitoring. A total of 39 Chinook were recorded at the Stanislaus River weir between December 22 and January 12, increasing the season total to 923. In comparison, total passage prior to December 31 in previous years ranged from a low of 405 Chinook in 2007 to a high of 4,832 Chinook in 2003. Monitoring ended January 12.

Two O. mykiss were observed passing upstream of the weir during the reporting period (December 24 and December 25). Total estimated length of O. mykiss measured 610 mm and 690 mm, respectively.
 
Tributary Carcass Surveys. Preliminary estimates of fall-run Chinook in each of the tributaries were calculated by CDFG using an adjusted Petersen method. A total of 1,921 fall-run Chinook were estimated to have spawned in the San Joaquin Basin during 2008, consisting of 1,085 returning to the Stanislaus River, 372 to the Tuolumne River, 398 to the Merced River (in-river spawners), and 66 returning to the Merced River Hatchery (MRH).
  
San Joaquin River Conditions. During the reporting period, flows in the San Joaquin River at Vernalis fluctuated between 1,053 cfs and 1,317 cfs.
 
Delta Exports. Combined total exports (state and federal pumps) ranged between 2,008 cfs and 5,898 cfs.

We encourage subscribers to contribute any relevant information for future issues of the newsletter (e.g., additional monitoring studies, announcements of upcoming meetings and events, etc). If you would like to contribute, please contact Chrissy Sonke.


 
2008/09 Juvenile Migration Monitoring
 
The Calaveras River rotary screw trap at Shelton Road (RM 28) sampled 10 days between December 22 and January 18.

Calaveras RBTA total of 20 O. mykiss (Table 1) were captured during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 55. Daily catch ranged between zero and five O. mykiss (Figure 2). Average forklengths and weights of O. mykiss are provided in Table 1. The O. mykiss captured and measured were rated as parr (n=4), silvery parr (n=15), and smolts (n=1).
Figure 1. O. mykiss in viewing box. 

No Chinook were captured during this reporting period.
 
Instantaneous temperatures taken at the trap ranged from 43F to 47F, and turbidity ranged from 0.1 NTU to 1.0 NTU. Daily average flow fluctuated between 27 cfs and 38 cfs at New Hogan Dam (NHG) and zero cfs to eight cfs at Bellota (MRS). No flow was recorded at Cosgrove Creek (COS), a tributary to the Calaveras River.
 
Table 1. Biosampling data for O. mykiss captured at Shelton Road between December 22, 2008 and January 18, 2009. Parentheses indicate range.
 
Calaveras table
 

Calaveras flow and catch

Figure 2. Daily O. mykiss catch at Shelton Road and Calaveras River flow recorded by combined New Hogan Dam and Cosgrove Creek (NHG+ COS), 2008/09.
 

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The Stanislaus River rotary screw trap at Oakdale (RM 40) was installed on January 5-6 and monitoring was initiated immediately after installation was complete. The trap sampled continuously between January 6 and January 18.

A total of 6,034 juvenile Chinook salmon were captured during the reporting period. Daily catch ranged between 33 and 1,091 Chinook (Figure 3). Average forklengths and weights of Chinook salmon are provided in Table 2 for 606 fish that were measured. Most of the measured Chinook were fry (n=603) but there were also three parr/smolt (58, 121, and 151 mm).

One Age 1+ (100-299 mm) O. mykiss smolt was captured during this reporting period (Table 2).

Table 2. Biosampling data for Chinook salmon and O. mykiss captured and measured at Oakdale between January 7 and January 18, 2009. Parentheses indicate range.
 
Oakdale table 

One trap efficiency experiment was conducted on January 16 using 254 naturally spawned juvenile Chinook salmon marked caudal fin green (CFG). A total of 126 marked Chinook were recaptured, yielding a preliminary estimated trap efficiency of 49.6%. Mean length of marked Chinook salmon released (35.3 mm) was similar to the mean length of marked Chinook salmon recaptured (35.5 mm).

Instantaneous temperature recorded at the trap ranged from 44F to 47F, and turbidity ranged from 0.2 NTU to 2.4 NTU. Daily average flow at Goodwin Dam (GDW) was relatively stable ranging between 174 cfs and 178 cfs, and flows at Ripon (RIP) were also relatively stable ranging between 219 cfs and 229 cfs.

Figure 3. Daily Chinook salmon catch at Oakdale and Stanislaus River flow recorded by Goodwin Dam (GDW) and Ripon (RIP), 2009.
 
 

Oakdale Catch and Flow

 

The Stanislaus River rotary screw trap monitoring at Caswell State Park (RM 8) was initiated during the reporting period, but data is not yet available.

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The Tuolumne River rotary screw trap monitoring at Waterford (RM 30) began immediately after installation on January 6, 2009. The trap was operated continuously between January 6 and January 18.

A total of eight juvenile Chinook salmon were captured during the reporting period. Daily catch ranged between zero and two Chinook (Figure 4) and size ranged from 63-125 mm. Average forklengths and weights of Chinook salmon are provided in Table 3. One salmon was a parr (50-69 mm) and 7 were smolts (>70 mm), with no fry captured during the reporting period.

No O. mykiss were captured during this reporting period.

Instantaneous temperature taken at the trap ranged from 46.0F to 51.2F, and turbidity ranged from 0.3 NTU to 5.1 NTU. Daily average flow at La Grange (LGN) was relatively stable ranging between 159 cfs and 164 cfs.

Daily catch numbers were insufficient to conduct trap efficiency tests during this reporting period.

Table 3. Biosampling data for Chinook salmon captured and measured at Waterford between January 7 and January 18, 2009. Parentheses indicate range.
 
 Waterford table

Waterford catch and flow

Figure 4. Daily Chinook salmon catch at Waterford and Tuolumne River flow recorded by La Grange (LGN) and Modesto (MOD), 2009.

 

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Tuolumne River rotary screw trap monitoring at Grayson (RM 5) began immediately after installation on January 7, 2009. The trap was operated continuously between January 7 and January 18.

No salmonids were captured and no trap efficiency experiments could be conducted during this reporting period.

Instantaneous temperature taken at the trap ranged from 47.0F to 50.9F, and turbidity ranged from 0.2 NTU to 2.0 NTU. Daily average flow at Modesto (MOD) was relatively stable during this reporting period ranging between 214 cfs and 220 cfs.

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Bi-weekly seining surveys (2009 TID seining study) on the Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers were initiated on January 13. No salmonids were captured during the first survey.

Survey results are available at www.tuolumnerivertac.com/data.htm.

2008 Stanislaus River Weir Monitoring

During this reporting period, a total of 39 Chinook were recorded passing upstream of the weir, increasing the season total to 923. No salmon or steelhead were recorded after December 29 and Stanislaus River Weir monitoring ended January 12. In previous years, total Chinook passage prior to December 31 ranged from a low of 405 Chinook in 2007 to a high of 4,832 Chinook in 2003 (Figure 5). During this sampling period, daily upstream passage ranged between zero and 16 Chinook. One adipose fin clipped (ad-clipped) Chinook was observed, increasing the season total of ad-clipped salmon to 37 (4.0% of passage to date). During the reporting period, total length (estimated by the Vaki Riverwatcher) of Chinook passing upstream ranged from 439 mm to 1,021 mm with 47% ranging between 700 mm and 849 mm (Figure 6).

Two O. mykiss were observed passing upstream of the weir during the reporting period (December 24 and December 25). Total length (estimated by the Vaki Riverwatcher) of the O. mykiss measured 610 mm and 690 mm, respectively.

weir cumulative counts

 

Figure 5. Cumulative Chinook salmon upstream passage recorded at the Stanislaus River Weir, 2003 to 2008.

weir length frequency


Figure 6. Length frequency of Chinook salmon recorded passing upstream of the Stanislaus River Weir, 2008.

Releases from Goodwin Dam (GDW; RM 58.4) ranged between 174 cfs and 250 cfs and flow at Ripon (RIP; RM 15) ranged between 226 cfs and 310 cfs (Figure 7). Instantaneous water temperatures at the weir ranged between 44.0˚F and 49.8˚F, while daily average water temperatures at Ripon (RPN; RM 15) ranged between 46.6˚F and 50.8˚F (Figure 8). Instantaneous turbidity at the weir site ranged between 0.2 NTU and 2.6 NTU (Figure 9). Instantaneous dissolved oxygen at the weir ranged between 10.1 mg/L and 11.9 mg/L, while daily average dissolved oxygen at Ripon (RPN; RM 15) ranged between 10.4 mg/L and 11.5 mg/L (Figure 10).

weir flow and passage



Figure 7. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Stanislaus River Weir in relation to daily average flows (cfs) recorded in the Stanislaus River at Goodwin (GDW) and Ripon (RIP) and in the San Joaquin River at Vernalis (VNS), 2008/09. Note: flows downstream of Goodwin Dam may be higher than dam releases due to irrigation returns.

weir temperature and passage


Figure 8. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Stanislaus River Weir in relation to instantaneous water temperature recorded at the weir and daily average water temperature recorded in the Stanislaus River at Ripon (RPN) and in the San Joaquin River at Vernalis (VER), Mossdale (MSD) and Rough & Ready (RRI), 2008/09.

weir turbidity and passage


Figure 9. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Stanislaus River Weir in relation to instantaneous turbidity recorded at the weir, 2008/09. Note: Instantaneous turbidity recorded at the weir on November 1 was 31 NTU.

weir DO and passage


Figure 10. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Stanislaus River Weir in relation to instantaneous dissolved oxygen recorded at the weir and daily average dissolved oxygen recorded in the Stanislaus River at Ripon (RPN) and in the San Joaquin River at Mossdale (MSD) and Rough & Ready (RRI), 2008/09.


 

Tributary Carcass Surveys
 
Stanislaus and Tuolumne river carcass surveys concluded during the week of December 22. Merced River carcass surveys concluded during the week of January 5. Preliminary estimates of fall-run Chinook in each of the tributaries were calculated by CDFG using an adjusted Petersen method. A total of 1,921 fall-run Chinook were estimated to have spawned in the San Joaquin Basin during 2008, including 1,085 returning to the Stanislaus River, 372 to the Tuolumne River, 398 to the Merced River (in-river spawners), and 66 returning to the Merced River Hatchery (MRH). Comparisons to escapement estimates in the San Joaquin Basin since 2000 are provided in the table below.

Table 4. Escapement estimated of fall-run Chinook in the San Joaquin Basin tributaries, 2000-2008. Source: CDFG GrandTab database (2000-2006), Tim Ford (2007 preliminary estimates), and Steve Tsao (2008 preliminary estimates).

Escapement estimates

Of the 66 Chinook spawned at the MRH this year, thirteen of which were females yielding 65,000 eggs available for fertilization. In comparison, 265,000 eggs were taken during 2007.

San Joaquin River Conditions 
 
During the reporting period, flows in the San Joaquin River at Vernalis ranged between 1,053 cfs and 1,317 cfs (Figure 11). Average daily water temperatures in the San Joaquin River ranged between 46.4F and 50.6F at Vernalis, between 46.4F and 50.6F at Mossdale; and between 47.3F and 48.7F at Rough 'n Ready Island (Figure 12). Average daily dissolved oxygen (DO) in the San Joaquin River ranged between 9.5 mg/L and 10.5 mg/L in the deep water ship channel (measured at Rough 'n Ready Island) and between 9.6 mg/L and 10.9 mg/L at Mossdale (Figure 13).
 

SJR flow



Figure 11. San Joaquin River flow at Vernalis, 2008/09.
 

SJR temperature



Figure 12. San Joaquin River daily average water temperature at Vernalis, Mossdale, and Rough 'n Ready, 2008/09.
 
 

SJR DO



Figure 13. San Joaquin daily average dissolved oxygen at Mossdale and Rough 'n Ready, 2008/09.

Delta Exports

Mean daily pumping at the C.W. Jones Pumping Plant (federal pumps previously known as Tracy Pumping Plant) ranged between 1,018 cfs and 2,843 cfs (Figure 14). Mean daily pumping at the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant (state pumps) ranged between 989 cfs and 3,090 cfs. Combined total exports (state and federal pumps) ranged between 2,008 cfs and 5,898 cfs.
 

Exports


Figure 14. Daily exports at the C.W. Jones Pumping Plant (federal) and Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant (state), 2008/09.

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