Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
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STOCKTON FWO: Vernalis Adaptive Management Program Review
California-Nevada Offices , March 3, 2010
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Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta
Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta USFWS - Photo Credit: n/a

by Pat Brandes, Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office 

The Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office participated in the Independent Panel Review of the Vernalis Adaptive Management Plan (VAMP) held in Sacramento, Calif., March 2-3, 2010.  The VAMP is a 12- year experimental program design to evaluate the roles of San Joaquin River flow, Central Valley Project and State Water Project exports and a rock barrier at the head of Old River on juvenile salmon survival through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  After 10 years of implementation, several factors have precluded the experiment from being implemented as originally designed.  These factors include:  availability of test fish, potential sampling limitations, the inability to install a rock barrier at the head of Old River and the inability to achieve all test conditions in the original design.


 The California State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) requested that the Delta Science Program convene the independent panel review to assist them in determining flow objectives for the San Joaquin River.  The independent panel members were Dennis Dauble, Ph.D., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory retired, David Hankin (Chair), Ph.D., Humboldt State University, John J. Pizzimenti, Ph.D., GEI Consultants Inc., Pete Smith, Ph.D., USGS retired

 Mathematical statistician Dr. Ken Newman, and Pat Brandes, fish biologist, both from the Stockton Fish and Wildlife Office, gave presentations to assist the independent panel in determining if the results to date of the VAMP provide useful scientific information about the relationships of juvenile salmon survival to San Joaquin River flow at Vernalis, CVP and SWP Exports and the rock barrier at the head of Old River.  In addition, the panel was asked how the results of the VAMP could be used to inform the SWRCB process on the development and refinement of San Joaquin River flow objectives and their implementation.  Lastly, the panel was asked how the VAMP monitoring could be used to inform future monitoring and study efforts for determining appropriate flow, operational requirements, and water quality requirements to protect San Joaquin River Chinook salmon and steelhead.

Click here to go to the Independent Panels' report. 


Contact Info: Yvette Sky, (209) 334-2968 x301, yvette_sky@fws.gov
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