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Volume 2009/10, Issue 2
November 4, 2009
In This Issue
2009 Stanislaus River Weir Monitoring
2009 Tuolumne River Weir Monitoring
2009 San Joaquin Basin Escapement Surveys
2009 Mokelumne River Fish Ladder Monitoring
San Joaquin Conditions
Delta Exports
events
 
Nov 1-5: CERF Biennial conference

Nov 7: Stanislaus River Salmon Festival

Nov 19: VAMP Biology Technical Committee Meeting

Dec 10: TRTAC Meeting

links

FISHBIO

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field notes
underwater fish
  Underwater photo by FISHBIO.
 
Key Highlights
 
2009 Stanislaus River Weir Monitoring continued during the reporting period. A total of 330 Chinook salmon were detected as they passed upstream of the Stanislaus River Weir increasing the season total to 586.

2009 Tuolumne River Weir Monitoring continued during the reporting period. A total of 20 Chinook salmon were detected as they passed upstream of the Stanislaus River Weir increasing the season total to 25.
 
2009 San Joaquin Basin Escapement Surveys. Annual carcass surveys conducted by CDFG continued during the reporting period. Peak redd counts typically occur in mid November.

Mokelumne River Fish Ladder Monitoring. As of October 27 a total of 1,039 Chinook passed upstream of Woodbridge Dam, and all but one of these passed during October.

San Joaquin River Conditions. San Joaquin River flows at Vernalis increased from 1,226 cfs to 2,809 cfs between October 12 and October 23. Water temperatures in the San Joaquin River have remained relatively stable ranging from 60.5F to 67.8F. Average daily dissolved oxygen (DO) in the San Joaquin River fluctuated between 6.4 mg/L and 9.9 mg/L.
 
Delta Exports. Combined total exports (state and federal pumps) during the reporting period ranged from 4,220 cfs to 8,250 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 Stanislaus River Weir Monitoring 
 
Between October 12 and October 25 a total of 330 Chinook salmon were detected as they passed upstream of the Stanislaus River Weir increasing the season total to 586. Daily passage ranged between 12 and 42 Chinook salmon. Total year to date passage of Chinook salmon this year is similar to total passage during the same period in 2006 and 2008 (Table 1 and Figure 1).

Table 1. Annual Fall-run Chinook passage prior to October 25, 2003-2009.

Data table

Cumulative passage

Figure 1. Cumulative Chinook salmon upstream passage recorded at the Stanislaus River Weir, 2003 to 2009.

Daily average flow in the Stanislaus River at Goodwin Dam (GDW; RM 58) increased from a base flow of 200 cfs to 1,500 cfs for the fall-run migration attraction pulse flow. Flows remained at 1,500 cfs for three days before returning to a base flow of 200 cfs (Figure 2). Flows at Ripon (RIP; RM 15) ranged between 249 cfs and 1,307 cfs (Figure 3). Note: flows downstream of Goodwin Dam may be higher than dam releases due to irrigation returns and other factors.

Instantaneous water temperatures measured at the weir ranged between 54.6˚F and 62.0˚F and daily average water temperatures at Ripon (RPN; RM 15) ranged between 56.8˚F and 65.7˚ (Figure 4). Instantaneous turbidity ranged between 0.1 NTU and 4.4 NTU (Figure 5). Instantaneous dissolved oxygen ranged between 8.0 mg/L and 10.2 mg/L and daily average dissolved oxygen at Ripon (RPN; RM 15) ranged between 6.7 mg/L and 11.1 mg/L (Figure 6).
 

 
base flow pulse flow

Figure 2. Stanislaus River weir operating under base flow conditions (200 cfs; left) and during the fall-run attraction pulse flow increases (~1,000 cfs; right).
 


Passage and temperature

Figure 3. 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), 2009.

 
Passage and turbidity

Figure 4. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Stanislaus River Weir in relation to instantaneous turbidity recorded at the weir, 2009.

 
Passage and DO
 
Figure 5. 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), 2009.
 


Passage and Flow
 
Figure 6. 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), 2009.


 
2009 Tuolumne River Weir Monitoring
 
Between October 12 and October 25 a total of 20 Chinook salmon were detected as they passed upstream of the Tuolumne River Weir increasing the season total to 25. Daily passage ranged between zero and eight Chinook.

Daily average flow in the Tuolumne River at La Grange (LGN; RM 51.8) increased from a base flow of 247 cfs to 715 cfs for the fall-run attraction pulse flow. Flows remained at about 700 cfs for eight days before returning to a base flow near 225 cfs. Flow at Modesto (MOD; RM 17) ranged between 297 cfs and 801 cfs (Figure 7; Figure8). Note: flows at Modesto may be higher than La Grange due to accretion and Dry Creek inflow.

Instantaneous water temperatures measured at the weir ranged between 56.3˚F and 62.0˚F and daily average water temperatures at Modesto (MOD; RM 17) ranged between 57.2˚F and 62.2˚F (Figure 9). Instantaneous turbidity ranged between 0.3 NTU and 5.8 NTU (Figure 10), and instantaneous dissolved oxygen ranged between 7.0 mg/L and 9.6 mg/L (Figure 11).

base flow pulse flow
Figure 7. Tuolumne River weir operating under base flow conditions (200 cfs; left) and during the fall-run attraction pulse flow (700 cfs; right).


Passage and temperature

Figure 8. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Tuolumne River Weir in relation to instantaneous water temperature recorded at the weir and daily average water temperature recorded in the Tuolumne River at Modesto (MOD) and in the San Joaquin River at Vernalis (VER), Mossdale (MSD) and Rough & Ready (RRI), 2009.

Passage and turbidity
 
Figure 9. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Tuolumne River Weir in relation to instantaneous turbidity recorded at the weir, 2009.

Passage and DO

Figure 10. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Tuolumne River Weir in relation to instantaneous dissolved oxygen recorded at the weir and daily average dissolved oxygen recorded in the San Joaquin River at Mossdale (MSD) and Rough & Ready (RRI), 2009.

Passage and Flow
 
Figure 11. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Tuolumne River Weir in relation to daily average flows (cfs) recorded in the Tuolumne River at La Grange (LGN) and Modesto (MOD) and in the San Joaquin River at Vernalis (VNS), 2009.



 
2009 San Joaquin Basin Escapement Surveys 
 
Annual carcass surveys conducted by CDFG continued during the reporting period. Similar to 2008, numbers are low on all tributaries with peak live counts on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced Rivers were nine, six, and three, respectively during the week of October 12.

Few redds have been observed, but peak spawning does not typically occur until mid to late November.

No salmon have been spawned yet this year at the Merced River Fish Facility (MRFF). During 2008 fish were not spawned at MRFF until early November.
2009 Mokelumne River Woodbridge Dam Fish Ladder Monitoring

 
Mokelumne River Fish Ladder Monitoring
 
Fall-run Chinook salmon returning to the Mokelumne River are counted annually by East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) as they ascend the fish ladder at Woodbridge Dam. Escapement to the Mokelumne River has declined drastically in recent years from a high of 16,000 in 2005 to just a few hundred in 2008. In an attempt to increase returns during 2009 EBMUD allotted approximately 18,000 acre-feet of water from Camanche Reservoir to help attract adult salmon to the river this fall. Releases from Camanche Dam were scheduled with the intent to mimic two storm events and resulted in peak flows of 1,817 cfs on October 8 and 1,194 cfs October 16 through October 18 (Figure 12). Passage through the fish ladder increased following each of the flow events but passage was greater during the second peak. As of October 27 a total of 1,039 Chinook passed upstream of the dam, and all but one of these passed during October.

Passage and Flow

Figure 12. Daily upstream Chinook passage recorded at the Woodbridge Dam fish ladder in relation to daily average flows (cfs) recorded in the Mokelumne River at Camanche Reservoir (CMN), 2009.


 
San Joaquin Conditions
 
During the reporting period, flows in the San Joaquin River at Vernalis increased from 1,226 cfs to 2,809 cfs between October 12 and October 23 (Figure 13). Water temperatures in the San Joaquin River have remained relatively stable ranging from 60.5F to 67.1F at Vernalis; from 61.7F to 67.8F at Mossdale; and from 64.7F to 65.9F at Rough 'n Ready Island (Figure 14). Average daily dissolved oxygen (DO) in the San Joaquin River fluctuated from 7.1 mg/L to 9.9 mg/L in the deep water ship channel (measured at Rough 'n Ready Island) and fluctuated between 6.4 mg/L and 8.7 mg/L at Mossdale (Figure 15).
 
 
SJR flow

Figure 13. San Joaquin River flow at Vernalis, October 1, 2008 through October 25, 2009.

 

SJR temperature 

 
Figure 14. San Joaquin River daily average water temperature at Vernalis, Mossdale, and Rough 'n Ready, October 1, 2008 through October 25, 2009.
 


 SJR Dissolved oxygen
 
Figure 15. San Joaquin daily average dissolved oxygen at Mossdale and Rough 'n Ready, October 1, 2008 through October 25, 2009.

 
Delta Exports 
 
Mean daily pumping at the C.W. Jones Pumping Plant (federal pumps previously known as Tracy Pumping Plant) varied during the reporting period from 2,390 cfs to 4,119 cfs (Figure 16). Mean daily pumping at the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant (state pumps) increases during the reporting period from 456 cfs to 4,643 cfs. Combined total exports (state and federal pumps) during the reporting period ranged from 4,220 cfs to 8,250 cfs.
 

Exports 

Figure 16. Daily exports at the C.W. Jones Pumping Plant (federal) and Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant (state), October 1, 2008 through October 25, 2009.

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