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Name: Delta Fish Facilities Salvage Monitoring Program

Contact Person:
Jane Arnold Bay-Delta and Special Water Projects Division
Department of Fish and Game
4001 N. Wilson Way
Stockton, CA 95205-2424
(209) 942-6109

Purpose/Objective: The element's purpose has been to document the entrainment of delta fish species at the SWP Skinner Delta Fish Protective Facility (SDFPF) and CVP Tracy Fish Collection Facility (TFCF) due to water exports from the southern Delta. The Delta Fish Facilities Salvage Monitoring Program is the source for daily salvage and loss estimates for the monitoring of incidental take of listed fish species by southern Delta water export facilities.

Information regarding fish salvage and loss at the SDFPF and TFCF is used extensively in water project monitoring and planning. This element has one of the largest historical databases on delta species available anywhere, and has been used in assessing the effects of new facilities and programs, water project operations proposals, and proposed delta alternatives.

Geographic range of field work: The SDFPF and TFCF are fish collection facilities preceding the SWP and CVP pumping plants located in southeastern Contra Costa County.

Number of sites: There are two permanent fish facilities with four permanent fish release sites and six temporary fish release sites.

Period of Record (Start year): 1951 (TFCF) and 1968 (SDFPF) to present date for both fish facilities.

Size for complete data base for program element in MB: 80 MB with approximately 3 MB growth per year

Number of individual files: The total number of files is 2,400 with 96 final files per year with 8 files per month.

Sample frequency per time unit: Fish species entrainment is monitored 24 hours a day whenever the SWP and CVP pumping plants are exporting water. Each fish facility has bi-hourly species sub-sampling with four length surveys per day.

General category of data collected: Fish species entrainment estimates and associated life history information are collected along with fish facility physical flow parameters at the time of collection.

Comments about element: Since 1993, the SDFPF and TFCF salvage sampling procedures are to enumerated 100% of all daily fish counts into individual species and sub-species (e.g. races of chinook salmon) to facilitate threatened and endangered fish species incidental take monitoring. Previous SDFPF and TFCF species identification and enumeration were taken twice per day with only total numbers of fish recorded in all other samples, and length measurements were taken twice per day. There were instances of more than two species identification and enumeration counts per day but without any regularity.

Also starting in 1993, all fish length measurements were changed from total length to fork length, and frequency of length measurements was doubled from 20% to 40% of the daily salvage sampling. In the case of salmonids, 100% of all chinook salmon and steelhead rainbow trout are measured for lengths when observed during salvage sampling, special studies, or secondary removals. The pre-1993 daily length measurement times were 0100 and 1300 for the SDFPF and 0500 and 1700 for the TFCF. The present times for length measurement are 0300, 0900, 1500, and 2100 for the SDFPF and 0200, 0400, 1400, and 1800 for the TFCF.

Field Sampling Gear type or field instrument used: The entire fish facility structure is the collection mechanism. It consist of primary and secondary channels with separate screening systems. These systems function to concentrated the entrained fish into holding tanks. The collected fish are removed and trucked with regular frequency depending upon fish densities, special species procedures, or debris loads to the fish release sites in the western delta.

Brief description of sampling procedure, including sub-sampling, sorting, identification of organisms (this should include procedures for transport of sample from field to lab): The fish facility operates whenever water is being exported. The screening systems concentrate fish into the holding tanks. Every two hours, a fish count (sub-sample) is taken of the entire flow entering the holding tank building. This consist of diverting the flow entering the holding tank building into an off-line tank (count tank) for a specified period of time depending upon numbers of fish observed in the previous fish count, time of day, season of the year, and debris loads. The water is then drained from the count tank, and the fish are hoisted up (in water) to a fish counting station. All the fish are identified, enumerated, recorded, and released back into a holding tank that is on-line (actively collecting fish except during fish counts). Length measurements are taken four times per day.

Reference to any written protocols and how to obtain a copy: Contact the study manager for further information.

Changes in gear or procedure which affected the data over time: See comments about element in previous section.

Laboratory Analysis - Chemical
Name and address of laboratory(s) running analysis: N/A
Current since (date): N/A
Historical lab (if known) or reference to other documentation: N/A

Analytical methodology for each parameter or group of parameters: N/A

Reference to table which lists detection limits for each parameter: N/A
Current procedure since (date): N/A,br /> Historical procedures (if known) or reference to other documentation: N/A

Quality assurance/control (QA/QC) protocols (if brief) or one-line qualifier: The SDFPF and the TFCF quality control plan consists of two sections: data recording and entry, and fish identification. The fish-facility quality- control plan has undergone major revision in response to real-time monitoring concerns for incidental take of winter-run chinook salmon, delta smelt, longfin smelt, splittail, and wakasagi.

Data Recording and Entry

The SDFPF fish salvage data sheets are edited, error-checked, keypunched, and data entry cross-checked daily by DFG personnel at the SDFPF. The TFCF fish salvage data sheets are edited and error-checked daily by USBR personnel at the TFCF. The TFCF fish salvage data sheets are then transported daily to the SDFPF where they are error-checked again, keypunched, and data entry cross-checked by DFG personnel. The updated salvage databases are transferred each working day electronically to the DFG Stockton office for preliminary reporting purposes. The salvage data sheets are delivered twice per week to the DFG Stockton office where they are error-checked again, and the salvage databases are cross-checked against the data sheets. The data recording and data-entry errors are recorded during each step of the process, and a weekly error report is generated and distributed to all fish-facility personnel. The SDFPF and TFCF fish salvage data sheets are independently keypunched again at the DFG Stockton office as a final check. The two keypunched databases are compared and differences resolved to ensure accuracy before finalizing the year-end salvage database. The salvage databases keypunched at the SDFPF are available within 48 hours for downloading on the Internet. This process results in SDFPF and TFCF salvage estimates being available on a real-time basis with only minor delays to ensure adequate data quality control.

Fish Identification

The fish-identification quality-control process is based on small monthly fish classes, individual training during regular work hours, random monitoring of actual work performance, quick processing of collected fish counts for quality-control verification, and faster distribution of information on fish identification problems and seasonal changes in species composition. The goals of these new procedures are to provide quick help and feedback with fish identification problems, enhance daily fish identification by sharing species composition information between fish facilities, and have staff review quick identification keys for similar and rare fish species before they are observed in the daily fish salvage.

Coordination Between Fish Facilities

The data recording and entry problems is monitored through the weekly error reports, individual discussion of problems with fish facility personnel, and occasional meetings to discuss any on-going problems.

The fish-identification process includes monthly meetings to discuss recent fish identification problems, coordinate fish identification efforts, discuss similarity/differences in observed species composition between each fish facility, and discuss/develop new methods as needed.

Reference to any written QA/QC protocols and how to obtain a copy: Contact the program manager for further information.

Laboratory Analysis - Biological
Name and address of laboratory(s) running analysis: N/A
Current since (date): N/A
Historical lab (if known) or reference to other documentation: N/A

Methodology for each analysis: N/A
Current procedure since (date): N/A
Historical procedures (if known) or reference to other documentation: N/A
Reference used for identification of organisms:
Contact the study program for further information. Location of reference collection (if one exists):
A partial reference collection is located at the SDFPF.
Reference to table listing scientific name, common name (if any),and code used: See online references in this area or contact the program manager for further information.