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Middle Fork Project AQ 6 – Fish Passage Technical Study February 3, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Middle Fork Project AQ 6 – Fish Passage Technical Study February 3, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Middle Fork Project AQ 6 – Fish Passage Technical Study February 3, 2009

2 Fish Passage Barriers

3 Document upstream fish passage barriers Document upstream fish passage barriers Bypass and peaking reaches Bypass and peaking reaches River tributary confluences River tributary confluences Inlets to Project reservoirs and diversion pools Inlets to Project reservoirs and diversion pools Identify Project facilities and operations that may affect upstream fish passage Identify Project facilities and operations that may affect upstream fish passage Study Objectives

4 Study Objectives and Related Study Elements

5 Outstanding Study Elements In collaboration with the TWG, identify if there are any barriers which require hydrodynamics modeling to assess fish passage at flows other than base flow In collaboration with the TWG, identify if there are any barriers which require hydrodynamics modeling to assess fish passage at flows other than base flow Only barriers that prevent access to sections of river with important spawning or rearing habitat (as determined in collaboration with the Aquatic TWG) would be considered for modeling.

6 Study Approach Data Sets A combination of data were used to identify and assess fish passage barriers throughout the MFP study area Data Collected Prior to AQ 6 – TSP Data Collected Prior to AQ 6 – TSP 2005 Helicopter aerial video of all MFP streams 2005 Helicopter aerial video of all MFP streams Ground-based aquatic mesohabitat mapping (2005-6) Ground-based aquatic mesohabitat mapping (2005-6) Visual observations during helicopter fly-overs or hiking during other field work Visual observations during helicopter fly-overs or hiking during other field work Data Collected as Part of AQ 6 – TSP Data Collected as Part of AQ 6 – TSP Measurements at reservoir and diversion pool inlet streams and tributary inflows; Measurements at reservoir and diversion pool inlet streams and tributary inflows; Measurements at Project infrastructure facilities Measurements at Project infrastructure facilities Measurements at key natural barriers identified from mesohabitat mapping Measurements at key natural barriers identified from mesohabitat mapping Low elevation helicopter fly-over barrier mapping and estimation in inaccessible reaches Low elevation helicopter fly-over barrier mapping and estimation in inaccessible reaches

7 Study Approach Data Sets (locations)

8 Study Approach Analysis Quantitatively evaluated passage at base flow Quantitatively evaluated passage at base flow Barriers were analyzed as: Barriers were analyzed as: Falls Falls Chutes Chutes Cascades (separated into falls and chutes) Cascades (separated into falls and chutes) Critical Riffles Critical Riffles (Powers and Orsborn 1985, Thompson 1972). Barriers classified as: passable, potentially passable (trout only), impassable Barriers classified as: passable, potentially passable (trout only), impassable

9 Barrier Assessment

10 Quantitative Barrier Assessment Methods Burst and prolonged swimming capabilities of trout and minnows Burst and prolonged swimming capabilities of trout and minnows Range for trout (high and low from literature) Range for trout (high and low from literature) Minnow low end of trout range Minnow low end of trout range Intermediate size of 12 inches (340 mm) for all species Intermediate size of 12 inches (340 mm) for all species Small stream maximum trout size 9 inches (230 mm FL) Small stream maximum trout size 9 inches (230 mm FL) Intermediate and larger rivers maximum trout size about 15 inches (380 mm FL) Intermediate and larger rivers maximum trout size about 15 inches (380 mm FL)

11 Quantitative Barrier Assessment Methods (cont.) Videler, JJ Fish Swimming. London, Chapman & Hall Burst Speed Sustained Speed

12 Quantitative Barrier Assessment Methods (cont.) Leaping Barriers (falls)Swimming Barriers (chutes, critical riffles) To pass both types of barriers, multiple criteria must be met

13 Quantitative Barrier Assessment Methods (cont.) Leaping Barriers Fish must leap the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the falls (leaping ability based on burst velocities) Fish must leap the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the falls (leaping ability based on burst velocities)

14 Quantitative Barrier Assessment Methods (Cont.) Leaping Barriers (cont.) Plunge pool takeoff conditions Plunge pool takeoff conditions Passable – pool depth 1 body length or greater Passable – pool depth 1 body length or greater Potentially Passable – pool depth < 1 - ½ body depth Potentially Passable – pool depth < 1 - ½ body depth Impassable – pool depth < 1/2 body length Impassable – pool depth < 1/2 body length Crest landing conditions Crest landing conditions Passable – crest depth 1 body depth or greater Passable – crest depth 1 body depth or greater Potentially Passable – crest depth < 1 - ½ body depth Potentially Passable – crest depth < 1 - ½ body depth Impassable – 1) crest depth < ½ body depth and/or Impassable – 1) crest depth < ½ body depth and/or 2) crest velocity > burst velocity 2) crest velocity > burst velocity

15 Quantitative Barrier Assessment Methods (cont.) Swimming Barriers Can fish swim the distance of the chute at a prolonged swimming speed? Can fish swim the distance of the chute at a prolonged swimming speed?

16 Quantitative Barrier Assessment Methods (cont.) Swimming Barriers (cont.) The chute/riffle depth must be suitable for swimming The chute/riffle depth must be suitable for swimming Passable – water depth 1 body depth or greater Passable – water depth 1 body depth or greater Potentially passable – water depth < 1 - ½ body depth Potentially passable – water depth < 1 - ½ body depth Impassable – Water depth < ½ the body depth Impassable – Water depth < ½ the body depth

17 Qualitative Barrier Assessment Methods Aerial video Aerial video Identified reaches with frequent or infrequent potential barriers Identified reaches with frequent or infrequent potential barriers Low elevation helicopter fly-overs Low elevation helicopter fly-overs Photographs taken of each potential barrier Photographs taken of each potential barrier 5 accessible barriers were used to calibrate the estimates made from photographs 5 accessible barriers were used to calibrate the estimates made from photographs The GPS location was recorded at each potential barrier The GPS location was recorded at each potential barrier If they appeared likely to be barriers, they were classified as “potential barriers” If they appeared likely to be barriers, they were classified as “potential barriers”

18 Example Photos from Helicopter Fly-over

19

20

21 Results Key Findings Fish passage in the bypass and peaking reaches Fish passage in the bypass and peaking reaches Many natural barriers to upstream fish movement were present throughout the peaking and bypass reaches Many natural barriers to upstream fish movement were present throughout the peaking and bypass reaches No reaches free of natural barriers No reaches free of natural barriers

22 Results Key Findings (cont.) Fish passage at Project infrastructure Fish passage at Project infrastructure MFP facilities (4 dams, 3 diversion dams, 1 tunnel stream crossing, 1 road crossing, 3 gage weirs) created additional barriers to upstream fish movement MFP facilities (4 dams, 3 diversion dams, 1 tunnel stream crossing, 1 road crossing, 3 gage weirs) created additional barriers to upstream fish movement These barriers are located in reaches that contain natural barriers and as a result do not preclude fish from accessing large sections of river These barriers are located in reaches that contain natural barriers and as a result do not preclude fish from accessing large sections of river

23 Results Key Findings (cont.) Fish passage at tributary confluences Fish passage at tributary confluences Nearly all of the tributaries to the MFP bypass and peaking reaches had natural barriers near their confluence (16 of the 18 evaluated) Nearly all of the tributaries to the MFP bypass and peaking reaches had natural barriers near their confluence (16 of the 18 evaluated) Only North Fork of the Middle Fork American and Otter Creek (lower 1.5 miles of Otter Creek) were available to fish Only North Fork of the Middle Fork American and Otter Creek (lower 1.5 miles of Otter Creek) were available to fish Project operations did not affect access to the bypass and peaking reach tributary streams, except that a temporary potential barrier occurred at the Otter Creek confluence during minimum flow periods Project operations did not affect access to the bypass and peaking reach tributary streams, except that a temporary potential barrier occurred at the Otter Creek confluence during minimum flow periods

24 Results Key Findings (cont.) Fish passage at diversion pool/reservoir inlets Fish passage at diversion pool/reservoir inlets Duncan Creek – No barriers Duncan Creek – No barriers North Fork Long Canyon – No barriers North Fork Long Canyon – No barriers South Fork Long Canyon – Potential critical riffle barrier South Fork Long Canyon – Potential critical riffle barrier French Meadows – No barriers French Meadows – No barriers Hell Hole – Several natural barriers on Rubicon River and Five Lakes Creek. Natural barriers immediately upstream of the reservoir high water mark precluded upstream access to the rivers, regardless of the reservoir water surface elevation Hell Hole – Several natural barriers on Rubicon River and Five Lakes Creek. Natural barriers immediately upstream of the reservoir high water mark precluded upstream access to the rivers, regardless of the reservoir water surface elevation Middle Fork Interbay – No barriers Middle Fork Interbay – No barriers Ralston Afterbay – No barriers Ralston Afterbay – No barriers

25 Results Key Findings (cont.) Hardhead and pikeminnow upstream passage limits based on AQ 2 Fish Population snorkeling results and AQ 6 Fish Passage results Hardhead and pikeminnow upstream passage limits based on AQ 2 Fish Population snorkeling results and AQ 6 Fish Passage results Middle Fork American River Middle Fork American River Large natural barrier complex 0.5 miles above Ralston Afterbay Large natural barrier complex 0.5 miles above Ralston Afterbay Rubicon River Rubicon River Hardhead -- A natural waterfall barrier at river mile 6.0 (5.4 miles above Ralston Afterbay) Hardhead -- A natural waterfall barrier at river mile 6.0 (5.4 miles above Ralston Afterbay) Pikeminnow -- A large natural water fall at river mile 8.2 (7.5 miles upstream of Ralston Afterbay) Pikeminnow -- A large natural water fall at river mile 8.2 (7.5 miles upstream of Ralston Afterbay)

26 Results Key Findings (cont.) Hydrodynamics Modeling Hydrodynamics Modeling No potential fish passage barriers were identified which required hydrodynamics modeling No potential fish passage barriers were identified which required hydrodynamics modeling No single barrier or series of barriers precluded fish from accessing large sections of river that contained important spawning or rearing habitat No single barrier or series of barriers precluded fish from accessing large sections of river that contained important spawning or rearing habitat Nearly all of the barriers observed in the bypass and peaking reaches were large waterfall type barriers that were relatively insensitive to flow alteration Nearly all of the barriers observed in the bypass and peaking reaches were large waterfall type barriers that were relatively insensitive to flow alteration

27 Barrier Locations Lower Watershed Project Dam

28 Barrier Locations Upper Watershed Project Diversions/Dams


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