• WMD Partners with National Marine Fisheries Team to Save and Study Steelhead

    Due to Low Carmel River Water Flows Extraordinary Measures Taken

    In a true example of inter-governmental agency cooperation, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District and the National Marine Fisheries Service-Southwest Fisheries Science Center (NMFS-SWFSC) have teamed to save more than 1,000 endangered steelhead trout from the Carmel River. The fish, cared for at the Water Management District’s Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rescue Facility were moved north to the NMFS-SWFSC’s Santa Cruz location due to the critically low water levels.

    “This year’s climate has been tough on our steelhead trout population and the Carmel River in general,” commented Water Management District Senior Fisheries Biologist Kevan Urquhart. “We were very lucky in how this project came together. We needed a facility that could accommodate a portion of our fish and the NMFS-SWFSC needed fish to tag in order to further their study.”

    The low water levels of the Carmel River necessitated the release of approximately 10,000 steelhead being cared for at the Water Management District’s Sleepy Hollow facility. Approximately 1,000 were sent to Santa Cruz to be tagged with Passive Integrated Transponders (PIT) which allow scientists to track the fish’s movements in the river as juveniles and then when they return as adults. The tagged fish will be released back into the river sometime between late December and late January of 2014. The remaining fish from the facility were recently released in between the Stonepine Bridge and the base of San Clemente Dam and upstream from the Cachagua Community Park in Carmel Valley.

    “The partnership with NMFS-SWFSC is fantastic,” continued Urquhart. “The data provided from this study will help the Water Management District evaluate and improve the effectiveness of its Steelhead rearing facility. Having the ability to work with their team in conjunction with California State Fish & Wildlife to help create a better environment for these endangered fish is what this community is all about.

    About Monterey Peninsula Water Management District

    The mission of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District is to promote or provide for a long-term sustainable water supply, and to manage and protect water resources for the benefit of the community and the environment. We strive to ensure a public role in the development, ownership and oversight of water supply solutions and will lead the efforts in water resource management. For more information visit www.mpwmd.net

    posted to Cedar Street Times on November 7, 2013

    Topics: Green

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