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:   September 9, 2010

Head of Old River (HOR) Barrier:

The spring Head of Old River rock barrier was not installed this season.  Instead, as in 2009, a Non-Physical Barrier (NPB) was installed.  Installation began April 5 and was completed on April 15.  The operation of the NPB supported the VAMP fish study and includes a determination of the NPB’s effectiveness.  The salmon smolt monitoring was concluded on May 26 at the end of the VAMP and the NPB stayed in operation to benefit non-VAMP smolts through June 15th in compliance with our NMFS biological opinion.  The removal of the NPB started on June 16, the complete removal was finished June 18.

To date DWR has not received a request from the Department of Fish and Game or US Fish and Wildlife Service for the installation of the fall HOR barrier.   


Agricultural Barriers (Old River near Tracy [ORT], Middle River [MR], Grant Line Canal [GLC]):

Construction of the MR barrier began on May 19.  Due to equipment problems, closure of the MR barrier was delayed to May 24. All flap-gates were untied on June 16 and the barrier is now fully operating. The elevation of the MR weir was raised by one foot on  9/1/2010.

Construction of the ORT barrier began on May 10 and the boat ramp was completed on May 13.  Closure of ORT barrier was achieved on June 3. All flap-gates were untied on June 16 and the barrier is now fully operating.  ORT barrier culvert flap gates have been closed to tidal operation since 8/26/2010.

Installation of the GLC barrier began on June 16 and the boat ramp was completed on July 2nd.  Barrier closure was completed on July 7.  The barrier is now fully operating.

On or before September 15, 2010 the weir at MR and ORT will be notched and the flash boards removed at GLC to allow salmon passage.


Water Levels/Water Quality Problem Notifications:




Modeling results are attached. All water levels are well above the target levels. With the Middle River raise complete and a Spring tide on 9-8-10, the observed stage at Middle River Howard Road Bridge higher than modeled.  Modeled elevations at Old River near Tracy Road Bridge and Doughty Cut above the GLC Barrier are higher than observed.  Forecasted water levels remain well above target elevations through 9-24-10.



There are pulse flows on the San Joaquin River from 9-7-10 to 9-17-10.

These weekly updates are also available for your information on our website:

If you know of anyone else that should be receiving this update, please let me know by email, and I'll add them to the mailing list.  Thanks!

Jacob McQuirk, P.E.
Chief, Temporary Barriers Project and Lower San Joaquin
Bay-Delta Office
California Department of Water Resources
1416 9th St., P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001
Phone: (916) 653-9883  FAX: (916) 653-6077
Cell: (916) 425-6857 E-Mail: