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Bay-Delta Office
Department of Water Resources

1416 9th Street,
Sacramento, Ca 95814

Mailing Address:
P. O. Box 942836,
Sacramento, Ca 94236-0001

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 Element 3-Mock Release Site Study

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is conducting a focused investigation into the release aspect of the CHTR process at the John E. Skinner Fish Salvage Facility within a framework that will allow integration and coordination with ongoing and proposed investigations. Results of this investigation will provide the necessary scientific and engineering foundation for design of improved fish handling facilities as part of the long-term fish protection solution to Delta water export operations. The investigation will provide three things:

  1. A comprehensive evaluation of the effects of specific components of the release process on the survival of delta smelt and other species of concern including physical aspects of the release procedure.
  2. Necessary scientific information for use in evaluating potential alternative technologies designed to reduce stress and improve survival throughout the CHTR process.
  3. Criteria for the design of new facilities or large-scale improvements to the existing release facilities.

This study element will measure injury and mortality associated with the release aspect of CHTR by releasing test fish through a mock-up of the SWP release site into a receiving tank representing the receiving water body and measuring injury and mortality over a 48-hour period. A SWP transport truck will be used and a mock-up of the SWP release pipe at Horseshoe Bend has been built. A site at the Skinner facility was chosen for construction of the release site mock-up.

The experimental mock-up consists of the following items: a release pipe, SWP tanker truck, receiving tank, access road, water supply piping, and drain piping. The release pipe is a 12-inch diameter approximately 95-foot long clear plastic pipe installed at a 15 percent slope. The pipe discharges into a fiberglass tank approximately 8-feet wide by 30-feet long and 9-feet deep.

The Element 2 study is a collaborative effort with participation from the DWR Fishery Improvements Unit, DFG Fish Facilities unit, and the USBR Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Group.

Project Schedule:
Delta Smelt Experiments –                                January-March 2007
Juvenile Chinook Salmon Experiments –            March-April 2007
Data Processing and Analysis-                          May- September 2007
Final Report-                                                    Summer 2010  


The Final Report for the Mock Release Site Study is now available:

 1)Title: Evaluation of Mortality and Injury in a Fish Release Pipe (PDF Download,1.5 MB)
Date: June, 2010


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Javier Miranda, Principal Investigator
Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist)
California Department of Water Resources
1416, 9th Street, Room 215-5
Sacramento, CA 95814

Telephone: (916)654-7967
FAX: (916)653-9574


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