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Volume 2008/09, Issue 14
July 2, 2009
In This Issue
2008/09 Calaveras River Juvenile Migration Monitoring
2009 San Joaquin River Juvenile Migration Monitoring
2009 Stanislaus River Juvenile Migration Monitoring
2009 Tuolumne River Juvenile Migration Monitoring
San Joaquin Conditions
Delta Exports
events
 
Sept 10: Tuolumne River Technical Advisory Committee 



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FISHBIO

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field notes
RBT
Key Highlights
 
2008/09 Calaveras River Juvenile Migration Monitoring. The Calaveras River rotary screw trap at Shelton Road (RM 28) sampled eight days between June 1 and June 14. A total of 54 O. mykiss were captured during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 1,254.
 
2009 San Joaquin River Juvenile Migration Monitoring. A total of three juvenile Chinook salmon were captured at Mossdale during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 638.

2009 Stanislaus River Juvenile Migration Monitoring. Stanislaus River seining surveys were conducted during the reporting period.   No Chinook were captured at any of the four sites that were sampled; including Riverbank (RM 33), McHenry Recreation Area (RM 28), Caswell (RM 9) and Two Rivers (RM 0).

The Stanislaus River rotary screw trap at Oakdale (RM 40) sampled eight days between June 1 and June 14.  A total of 60 juvenile Chinook salmon were captured during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 59,672.

The rotary screw trap at Caswell State Park (RM 8) sampled continuously between June 1 and June 14.  One juvenile Chinook salmon was captured during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 763.

2009 Tuolumne River Juvenile Migration Monitoring. The final TID seine survey was conducted during the reporting period. A total of 275 juvenile Chinook salmon were captured in the Tuolumne River between Old La Grange Bridge (RM 50.5) and Hickman Bridge (RM 31.6) on June 2. No juvenile Chinook salmon were captured in the San Joaquin River during the survey.

The rotary screw traps at Waterford (RM 30) and Grayson (RM 5) sampled continuously between June 1 and June 9. A total of six juvenile Chinook salmon were captured at Waterford during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 3,680. Zero juvenile Chinook salmon were captured at Grayson during the reporting period, keeping the season total at 140.
 
San Joaquin River Conditions. Flow in the San Joaquin River at Vernalis exhibited an overall decreasing trend ranging between 1,165 cfs and 1,608 cfs. Average daily water temperature in the San Joaquin River recorded at Vernalis, Mossdale, and Rough n' Ready Island ranged between 69.1F and 75.1F. Average daily dissolved oxygen in the San Joaquin River recorded at Mossdale and Rough n' Ready Island ranged between 5.1 mg/L and 12.4 mg/L.

Delta Exports. Combined (state and federal pumps) total exports fluctuated during the reporting period ranging between 1,415 cfs and 1,660 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.
 

 
2009 VAMP Update 

The Vernalis Adaptive Management Plan (VAMP) period began on April 19 and ended on May 19, with a target flow of 2,200 cfs at Vernalis (VNS) and combined exports of 1,500 cfs.  The Head of Old River Barrier (HORB), the only measure clearly demonstrated to improve the survival of San Joaquin fall-run Chinook salmon smolts, was not installed for the second consecutive year due to concerns of potential impacts to Delta smelt. However a fish guidance system that uses underwater lights, sound, and bubbles will be installed and tested. The lights, sounds, and bubbles are expected to deter juvenile Chinook salmon from migrating down the Old River, and preliminary results of the barrier performance evaluation are promising.

StitchesThe San Joaquin River Group (SJRG) conducted a smolt survival study using acoustic-tagged salmon for the third consecutive year. Stationary receivers were deployed at several locations in the San Joaquin River and Delta between Durham Ferry and Mallard Island, including the Head of Old River split to track the migration route selection and survival of tagged smolts (Figure 1). In addition to stationary receiver stations mobile tracking was also used to locate tagged salmon between the fixed stations.

Juvenile salmon were implanted with acoustic transmitters at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Tracy Fish Facility and were then transported to Durham Ferry and held in the San Joaquin River for 24 hours before release. Seven releases were made between April 22 and May 13, with a total of 938 tagged salmon released. Release times were either day (1700 hours) or night (2100 hours). Five tagged Chinook were sacrificed prior to being released to estimate the distance downstream that a smolt carcass may travel after mortality. See Table 1 for more information about release dates and number of tagged Chinook released.
 
A tag life study is currently being conducted to determine how long the acoustic tags function after they are turned on. . Fifty of the 1,000 tags purchased for this study were programmed on May 13 and then placed in a tank equipped with hydrophones to listen to the tags. Tags are continuously monitored in a closed system under simulated ambient San Joaquin River water conditions (e.g., similar water temperatures to those at Rough and Ready Island)
 
Table 1. Acoustic-Tagged juvenile Chinook salmon number of live fish with Tags, number of dead fish with tags, total number released, time of release, and date of release.
 
  
 VAMP table
 
VAMP map
 
Figure 1. Map of acoustic monitoring sites and release locations.
 
To view the 2008 VAMP technical report, click here.
 
 
2008/09 Calaveras River Juvenile Migration Monitoring 
 
The Calaveras River rotary screw trap at Shelton Road (RM 28) sampled eight days between June 1 and June 14. A total of 54 O. mykiss were captured during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 1,254. Daily catch ranged between four and 11 O. mykiss (Figure 1). Average forklengths and weights of 51 O. mykiss are provided in Table 1. Measured O. mykiss (Figure 2) were rated as parr (n=35), silvery parr (n=14), and smolts (n=1).

Chinook salmon have not been captured this season.
 
Instantaneous temperatures recorded at the trap ranged from 56F to 63F, and turbidity ranged from 0.4 NTU to 1.9 NTU. Daily average flow fluctuated during the reporting period ranging between 145 cfs and 205 cfs at New Hogan Dam (NHG), between 28 cfs and 45 cfs at Bellota (MRS), and no flow was recorded at Cosgrove Creek (COS).

 
Table 1. Biosampling data for O. mykiss captured at Shelton Road between June 1 and June 14, 2009. Parentheses indicate range.

  Calaveras biosample
 
 Calaveras catch
 
Figure 1. Daily O. mykiss catch at Shelton Road and Calaveras River flow recorded by combined New Hogan Dam and Cosgrove Creek (NHG + COS), 2008/09.
 

 
 Calaveras lengths

Figure 2. Individual O. mykiss forklengths at Shelton Road, 2008/09.


 
2009 San Joaquin River Juvenile Migration Monitoring
 
California Department of Fish and Game conducted eight days (ten tows per day) of Kodiak Trawling (Mossdale Trawl) on the San Joaquin River near Mossdale between June 1 and June 14. A total of three juvenile Chinook salmon were captured during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 638. Catch ranged between zero and one Chinook per ten tows (Figure 3).
 
Mossdale catch
 
Figure 3. Chinook salmon catch (per ten tows) at the Mossdale Trawl and San Joaquin River flow recorded by Vernalis (VNS), 2009.
 

 

 
2009 Stanislaus River Juvenile Migration Monitoring
 
Stanislaus River seining surveys were conducted on May 26.  Four sites were sampled including Riverbank (RM 33), McHenry Recreation Area (RM 28), Caswell (RM 9) and Two Rivers (RM 0).

No Chinook were captured at any of the locations during the surveys. Average daily flow at Ripon was 723 cfs.
 
The rotary screw trap at Oakdale (RM 40) sampled eight days between June 1 and June 14.  A total of 60 juvenile Chinook salmon were captured during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 59,672. Daily catch ranged between zero and 30 Chinook (Figure 4). Average forklengths and weights of Chinook salmon are provided in Table 2 for 55 Chinook that were measured. Most measured Chinook were smolts (n=54), but one fry was also observed.

Two O. mykiss were captured during the sampling period. One O. mykiss was rated as a silvery parr and the other was not rated.

No trap efficiency experiments were conducted due to insufficient daily catch.

Instantaneous temperature recorded at the trap ranged from 56F to 63F, and turbidity ranged from 0.4 NTU to 1.9 NTU. Daily average flow on the Stanislaus River ranged between 351 cfs and 704 cfs at Goodwin Dam (GDW), and between 415 cfs and 738 cfs at Ripon (RIP).

 
Table 2. Biosampling data for Chinook salmon captured and measured at Oakdale between June 1 and June 14, 2009. Parentheses indicate range.

Oakdale Biosample
 
 
 

 
Oakdale catch 
 
 

Figure 4. Daily Chinook salmon catch at Oakdale and Stanislaus River flow recorded by Goodwin Dam (GDW) and Ripon (RIP), 2009.

 
Oakdale lengths 
 
Figure 5. Individual Chinook salmon forklengths at Oakdale, 2009.
 
The rotary screw trap at Caswell State Park (RM 8) sampled continuously between June 1 and June 15.  One Chinook salmon smolt (84 mm) was captured during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 763.

No O. mykiss were captured during the sampling period.

No trap efficiency experiments were conducted due to insufficient daily catch.
Instantaneous temperature recorded at the trap ranged from 63F to 67F, and turbidity ranged from 1.95 NTU to 7.32 NTU. Daily average flow at Ripon (RIP) fluctuated between 415 cfs and 738 cfs.


 
2009 Tuolumne River Juvenile Migration Monitoring
 

The eleventh and final 2009 TID seining survey was conducted June 2 on the Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers. A total of 275 juvenile Chinook salmon were captured in the Tuolumne River between Old La Grange Bridge (RM 50.5) and Hickman Bridge (RM 31.6) and none were captured in the San Joaquin River. More detailed survey results are available at www.tuolumnerivertac.com/data.htm.

The rotary screw trap at Waterford (RM 30) operated continuously between June 1 and June 9, which was the last day of the sampling season. A total of six juvenile Chinook salmon were captured during the reporting period, increasing the season total to 3,680. Daily catch ranged between zero and two Chinook (Figure 6). Average forklengths and weights of Chinook salmon are provided in Table 4 for six fish that were measured. All of the measured Chinook were smolts.

No O. mykiss were captured during the sampling period.

Instantaneous temperature recorded at the trap ranged from 64F to 66F, and turbidity ranged from 1.4 NTU to 6.7 NTU. Daily average flow at La Grange (LGN) fluctuated during the reporting period ranging between 144 cfs and 281 cfs.

No trap efficiency experiments were conducted due to insufficient daily catch.

Table 3. Biosampling data for Chinook salmon captured and measured at Waterford between June 1 and June 14, 2009. Parentheses indicate range.
 
Waterford Biosample

 
 Waterford Chinook catch
 
Figure 6. Daily Chinook salmon catch at Waterford and Tuolumne River flow recorded by La Grange (LGN) and Modesto (MOD), 2009.
 
 
 
 Waterford lengths
 
Figure 7. Individual Chinook salmon forklengths at Waterford, 2009.

 
The side by side rotary screw trap configuration at Grayson (RM 5) operated continuously between June 1 and June 11, which was the last day of the sampling season. No Chinook salmon were captured during the reporting period.

No O. mykiss were captured during the sampling period.

Instantaneous temperature recorded at the trap ranged from 66F to 73F, and turbidity ranged from 4.0 NTU to 12.0 NTU. Daily average flow at Modesto (MOD) fluctuated during the reporting period ranging between 222 cfs and 421 cfs.

No trap efficiency experiments were conducted due to insufficient daily catch.

 
Grayson Chinook catch
 
Figure 8. Daily Chinook salmon catch at Grayson and Tuolumne River flow recorded by La Grange (LGN) and Modesto (MOD), 2009.



 
San Joaquin Conditions
 
During the reporting period, flow in the San Joaquin River at Vernalis exhibited an overall decreasing trend ranging between 1,165 cfs and 1,608 cfs (Figure 9). Average daily water temperatures in the San Joaquin River fluctuated during the reporting period ranging between 69.1F and 71.8F at Vernalis, between 70.2F and 71.7F at Mossdale; and between 73.4F and 75.1F at Rough 'n Ready Island (Figure 10). Average daily dissolved oxygen (DO) in the San Joaquin River ranged between 5.1 mg/L and 5.7 mg/L in the deep water ship channel (measured at Rough 'n Ready Island) and between 9.6 mg/L and 12.4 mg/L at Mossdale (Figure 11).
 
 
 SJR Flow

Figure 9. San Joaquin River flow at Vernalis, 2008/09.

 

 SJR Water Temperature

 
Figure 10. San Joaquin River daily average water temperature at Vernalis, Mossdale, and Rough 'n Ready, 2008/09.
 

 
 SJR Dissolved oxygen

Figure 11. San Joaquin daily average dissolved oxygen at Mossdale and Rough 'n Ready, 2008/09.

 
Delta Exports 
 
Combined (state and federal pumps) total exports fluctuated during the reporting period ranging between 1,415 cfs and 1,660 cfs. Mean daily pumping at the C.W. Jones Pumping Plant (federal pumps previously known as Tracy Pumping Plant) ranged between 1,002 cfs and 1,020 cfs (Figure 12). Mean daily pumping at the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant (state pumps) ranged between 413 cfs and 652 cfs. 
 
Exports 

 
Figure 12. Daily exports at the C.W. Jones Pumping Plant (federal) and Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant (state), 2008/09.

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