The following report on the Temporary Barriers Project is for your information and action, as appropriate. This report will be transmitted whenever changes occur to the operation of the barriers, and as a result of modeling and/or field monitoring of water levels in the south Delta.
STATUS AS OF: December 18, 2013
This is the final report of the TBP for 2013. Reporting will start again next year as we get closer to barrier construction.
Head of Old River (HOR) Barrier:
The spring Head of Old River barrier was not constructed in 2013.
Fall Head of Old River Barrier:
The fall Head of Old River barrier was not constructed in 2013.
Agricultural Barriers (Middle River [MR], Old River near Tracy [ORT], Grant Line Canal [GLC]):
In 2013, DWR received the Section 404 CWA/Section 10 RHA permit for 2013-2017 on Tuesday May 7, and construction of the south Delta temporary rock barriers started on Wednesday May 8. Construction of the Middle River barrier and Old River near Tracy barrier both started on May 8, and closure of the Middle River barrier was obtained on May 14 at approximately 2 PM. The Old River near Tracy barrier was closed on May 30, and the Grant Line barrier was fully closed with culverts tidally operated on June 19. The modification to raise the weir height of Middle River barrier was completed on June 21.
2013 Temporary Barriers Culvert Operations
The culvert flap gates at all three agricultural barriers were in tidal operation for the entire 2013 season.
Removal of the Agricultural Barriers (Middle River [MR], Old River near Tracy [ORT], Grant Line Canal [GLC]):
Work started on the removal of the agricultural barrier at Middle River on October 28, 2013 and was breached at approximately 1:00 p.m. on October 29, 2013 and removal was completed by November 1, 2013.
Removal of the agricultural barrier at Grant Line Canal started on October 29, 2013, it was breached at approximately 1:00 p.m. on November 1, 2012, and the complete removal was accomplished by November 8, 2013.
Work on the removal of the agricultural barrier at Old River near Tracy started on October 30, 2013 and the breach was accomplished on November 2, 2013 at approximately 10:00 a.m. and the complete removal was achieved by November 18, 2013.
Issues Encountered During the 2013 Operation season:
In 2013, water hyacinth posed an obstacle to the operation of boat portage facilities at Grant Line Canal barrier and the Old River near Tracy barrier. A contractor was hired to clear as much as possible to alleviate the problem. Spraying by the California Department of Boating and Waterways was conducted at the barrier sites. Alternative solutions are being investigated for the 2014 season.
Another issue was encounter at the floating dock at the Grant Line Canal barrier in which the connection tying the floating sections together was damaged. The contractor fixed the problem and all floating docks are being replaced for the upcoming 2014 season.
Environmental Permits Compliance Reporting:
Environmental compliance monitoring occurred during all construction activities.
Middle River--Removal of the barrier is complete. A nesting pair of Swainson’s hawks were observed on an island west of the Middle River Barrier and appeared to be incubating eggs as of June 3; however, no young were fledged. Nesting Barn Swallows were observed in one of the flap gate control boxes and was monitored until the young fledged on May 18. Once the young had fledged the nest was removed and the control box was covered to exclude the swallows. No western pond turtles were observed during construction or removal. A request to the USFWS and CDFW to raise the Middle River Barrier was approved and the barrier weir height was raised by one foot on June 21. Removal of the barrier was completed on November 1.
Old River Tracy--Removal of the Barrier is complete. A pair of nesting great horned owls was observed with young before construction on the South side of Old River, East of the barrier site, however, when construction began the nest was empty and appeared to have failed. A nesting pair of red-tailed hawks was located on the South side of Old River across from the storage and staging area. As of June 3rd, the two young had fledged. No western pond turtles were observed in the construction area; however, one had been seen sunning itself to the East of the construction area. On November 7, the water quality NTU limit set in the Water Quality Certification was exceeded. The CVRWQCB was contacted and in-water construction was stopped for the remainder of the day. No other water quality exceedances were observed during the removal process. Removal of the barrier was completed on November 18.
Grant Line Canal--Removal of the Barrier is complete. At Grant Line Canal three pairs of nesting Swainson’s Hawks were observed near the barrier construction site. All three pairs have been observed incubating eggs as of May 18th and as of June 14th all the nests hatched young. Observations of these nests suggest that construction activities did not cause significant disturbances to the nesting pairs; however, only one of the nests fledged a single young. A western pond turtle was seen crossing the haul road and was monitored to ensure safe passage during construction. A request to the USFWS and CDFW to close the center section of the barrier was approved. The barrier was fully closed and tidally operated on Tuesday June 19. Removal of the barrier was completed on November 8.
Water Levels and Water Quality Notifications:
Closure of Grant Line Canal and increased weir height on the Middle River was completed, and DWR continues to monitor the water levels and quality.
The latest 2013 modeling was reported in the September 20, 2013 status update.
Real-time south Delta water level data is available on CDEC at the URL below:
These weekly updates are also available for your information on our website:
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Alternatively you can contact me, and I can make additions or removals to the mailing list.
Jacob McQuirk, P.E.
Temporary Barriers and Lower San Joaquin
1416 9th St., Room 215-23
Sacramento, CA 95814
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