Water Project Biological Opinions ("OCAP")
Federal pumping plant near Tracy
John Ridilla USFWS
To avoid jeopardizing listed species or adversely modifying their critical habitat, Federal agencies consult with the Fish & Wildlife Service or National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. (See Section 7 Consultation.)
If a Federal agency believes that a project may adversely affect a listed species, it requests a formal consultation with one or both of the services. The consulting service then issues a biological opinion about whether a project is likely to jeopardize a listed species or destroy or adversely modify its critical habitat.
Note: The Bureau of Reclamation has requested reinitiation of the long-term operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. See sidebar.
On May 16, 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources asked the Service to initiate consultation on the Long-Term Operational Criteria and Plan (OCAP) for coordination of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project, specifically concerning the delta smelt and its critical habitat. (See OCAP Legal Archives.)
On December 15, 2008, the Fish & Wildlife Service issued a biological opinion (BO) on the Long-Term Operational Criteria and Plan (OCAP) for coordination of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project.
The Service determined that the continued operation of these two water projects, as described in the plan, was likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the delta smelt and adversely modify its critical habitat. The inclusion by the Service of reasonable and prudent alternatives, and their acceptance by the water agencies, avoided jeopardy and adverse modification.
AKA "Delta Tunnels." Visit our California WaterFix page.
Smelt Working Group
The Smelt Working Group (formerly known as the Delta Smelt Working Group) evaluates up-to-date biological and technical issues regarding delta and longfin smelt and develops recommendations for consideration by the Service in its implementation of the Operational Criteria and Plan Biological Opinion. See the Smelt Working Group for notes and determinations.
Information about the Delta Smelt
Delta Smelt, Peter Johnson USFWS (More species photos)
Unless otherwise noted, documents are under 500 KB.
All documents are in PDF format. See also OCAP Legal Archive
September 28, 2017
BOR proposes change to Action 4 of 2008 biological opinion
April 10, 2017
Response to BOR memo on 2017 delta smelt incidental take
Salvage Time Series Plots of SWP and CVP Exports
March 17, 2017
FWS Response to Reclamation on Targeted Reinitiation
March 16, 2017
Reclamation Targeted Reination Memo
January 10, 2017
Update of incidental take statement
August 2, 2016
BOR-DWR request reinitiation of long-term operation of CVP and SWP.
Letter | Reinitiation | List of Species
July 3, 2015
Order conditionally approving petition, temporary urgency changes in license and permit terms and conditions requiring compliance with Delta water quality objectives in response to drought.
January 9, 2015
Bureau of Reclamation memo on reinitiation of ESA consultation on CVP/SWP to address adult Delta Smelt take for 2015 operations.
FWS reply memo to Reclamation.
October 1, 2014
THE CONSOLIDATED SMELT CASES:
March 13, 2014
Delta Smelt Ruling by 9th Circuit Court Panel
March 5, 2014
Consolidated Smelt/Salmonid Cases, Order re Motion to Extend Remand Schedule
April 9, 2013
Memorandum Decision and Order Re Motion to Extend Remand Schedule
February 22, 2013
Memorandum - OCAP Incidental Take Statement Correction
February 13, 2013
Reclamation Request for Reinitiation of ESA Consultation
January 30, 2013
Order re Motion to Extend Remand Schedule
December 20, 2012
Smelt Joint Motion to Extend Remand Schedule
September 30, 2011
Joint Stipulation and Order Amending Schedule for Transmittal of Draft Smelt Biological Opinion
Court Stipulation & Order
Memo from FWS Pacific Southwest Regional Director to Reclamation MP Regional Director
Memo from FWS
Memo from Bureau of Reclamation MP Regional Director to FWS Pacific Southwest Regional Director (includes attached email and X2 graphic)
Memo from Reclamation
September 2, 2011
Preliminary Injunction against full implementation of RPA Component 3 (Action 4)
August 31, 2011
ORDER on Motion for Preliminary Injunction of Fall X2 Action
Court Order on Motion (1.268 MB)
August 9, 2011
Fall X2 Adaptive Management 'Milestone Draft' Plan Received from Reclamation
Management Plan (12.242 MB)
May 4, 2011
Delta Smelt Consolidated Cases Ruling
February 25, 2011
OCAP Delta Smelt Settlement Agreement OCAP Settlement Agreement
OCAP Biological Opinion
Complete biological opinion (8.3 MB)
Official signed version (8.4 MB non-OCR)
For easier downloading, here is the opinion divided into three sections:
Background (5.5 MB) (Cover Letter, Consultation History, Table of Contents, Project Description, Analytic Frameworks, Status of the Species)
Determinations (2 MB) (Effects of the Proposed Action, Reasonable and Prudent Alternative, Incidental Take, Conservation Recommendations, Closing Statement)
Literature Cited & Attachments (1.1 MB)
Joint Science Task Force
June 9, 2010
Near Term Science Strategy
June 9, 2010
Integrated BDCP Biological Opinion Strategy