OCAP Legal Archives

Fish and Wildlife Service actions prior to the establishment of the Bay Delta Fish and Wildlife Office.

October 23, 2009 - Service announces creation of the SF Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office. The new field office will focus on conservation issues related to the increasingly vital Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta.

July 8, 2009 - The Service has advised that the effects of a proposed 500 cfs increase in State Water Project diversions during July—September are included in the 2008 OCAP Biological Opinion. Letter (PDF 249 KB)

June 16, 2009 - The Service has determined that the following action is necessary to avoid jeopardizing the delta smelt from project operations:

OMR flows shall be no more negative than -3,500 cfs on a 14-day running average. Simultaneously, OMR flow shall be no more negative than -4,375 cfs on a 5-day average. Combined exports will go up between 300 and 400 cfs per day. Read the full determination (PDF 46 KB)

June 10, 2009 - The Service has determined that OMR flows no more negative than -1,800 cfs on a 14-day running average is necessary to avoid jeopardizing the delta smelt from project operations. Read the determination (PDF 41 KB)

May 22, 2009 - U.S. District Court rules on request for injunction to block May Delta smelt protective flows. Court Order - Preliminary Injunction and Court Order - Evidentiary Objections (PDF)

May 21, 2009 - The Service has determined that holding OMR flows at the most recent weeks OMR flow of -1,250 cfs will be protective of delta smelt. Read more (PDF)

May 12, 2009 - Since the VAMP export curtailments will end on May 18, starting the week of May 18th, the 14-day average OMR shall be maintained at no more negative than -2500 cfs, unless certain events occur between now and May 18. Read more (PDF)

April 14, 2009 - There is no Service action this week or for the next 30 days. The Vernalis formulas (VAMP-like actions) take effect this week. For the next 30 days the combined exports are scheduled to drop to 1,500 cfs or a 1:1 combined rate to flow on the San Joaquin River at Vernalis, which will result in low negative flows on OMR.

April 8, 2009 - Service determines that the longfin smelt is not listable under the distinct population segment policy, starts new study. Federal Register notice (PDF).

April 7, 2009 - Service determines that a 14-day average OMR flow of -4,000 cfs with a 5-day average OMR below -5,000 cfs will be protective of delta smelt. See Decision (PDF).

March 25, 2009  Service initiates five year status review of the delta smelt (and other species).

March 24, 2009  The Service has determined that a 14-day average OMR flow of -5,000 cfs with a 5-day average OMR below -6,250 cfs will be protective of delta smelt. See Decision (PDF).

March 12, 2009  Kern County Water Agency sues to set aside OCAP BO.

March 10, 2009  Service relaxes OMR flow level to -5,000 cfs.

February 17, 2009  Service Response to Request

February 13, 2009  Request to Temporarily Modify D-1461

December 15, 2008 Biological Opinion Issued

Service Delivers Delta Smelt (OCAP) Biological Opinion to Bureau of Reclamation.

Complete biological opinion (PDF 8.3 MB)

Official signed version (non-OCR)

For easier downloading, here is the opinion divided into three sections:

December 15, 2008 - Bureau of Reclamation Memo

Memo from Reclamation (PDF 59 KB) provisionally accepting reasonably and prudent alternative.

July 29, 2008 - Extension sought

The Service has asked the court for a 3-month extension, to Dec. 15, to complete a new Operations Criteria & Plan (OCAP) Biological Opinion. See Resources sidebar for extension request. The request was granted.

June 27, 2008 - FWS submits additional information needs list for OCAP BO

On June 27, 2008 the Fish and Wildlife Service submitted to the Bureau of Reclamation an extensive list of additional information required in order for the Service to write its Biological Opinion of the OCAP. See our memo to the Bureau (PDF 760 KB).

June 20, 2008 - FWS completes court-ordered actions to help delta smelt

The 2008 FWS actions to protect delta smelt concluded on June 20, as directed by the U.S. District Court. During the period the order was in effect, about 1,900 smelt were taken at the two major export pumps.

May 16, 2008 - FWS, NMFS asked to begin formal CVP/SWP consultation

During the period since the court ordered the preparation of a new Biological Opinion last December, the Fish and Wildlife Service has been meeting regularly with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the CA Dept. of Water Resources (DWR). On May 16 the Service received the formal request to initiate consultation on Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) operations, including a Project Description and Biological Assessment.

The regulations that govern the consultation process provide 30 days for FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to review the information received today. Of course, the Service will continue to meet with BOR and DWR during that period as they develop additional information needed for the Biological Opinion.

After our review, we will advise BOR and DWR whether the Biological Assessment is sufficient or whether additional information is needed in order for the Service to conduct the consultation and prepare a Biological Opinion.

By regulation, FWS and NMFS have 135 days to complete the Biological Opinion, a clock that starts once all additional information is submitted and the Biological Assessment is complete.

Our response to the request for consultation:

Read our 5-29-2008 memo (PDF 88 KB) to the Bureau of Reclamation.