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:   June 3, 2011

Head of Old River (HOR) Barrier:

The planned spring Head of Old River non-physical barrier was not installed this season due to high flows in the San Joaquin River as a result of late season storm activity and associated heavy snow pack.  High velocity currents posed excessively dangerous conditions for divers which ruled out the possibility of installing the necessary equipment on the channel bottom.  As a result, fish studies at the HOR have been re-structured to evaluate predatory fish behavior in the absence of a non-physical barrier.  In support of this analysis, the Fisheries Foundation is capturing and tagging predators in the HOR vicinity. The movement of VAMP and  6-yr study releases of tagged salmon smolts and steelhead are being tracked in 2 dimensions to evaluate behavior in absence of the NPB.  The final fish release for this study is scheduled for June 17, 2011.


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

Installation of the Old River at Tracy (ORT) barrier started on May 27, 2011 and closure is anticipated late next week. Middle River (MR) barrier construction started June 1, 2011 and should be closed tomorrow.  Installation of the ORT and MR barriers will accommodate on-going fish monitoring studies and support  water levels as exports have increased.  The fish monitoring studies are required by the 2008 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) biological opinion to: 1) examine the movements and survival of listed fish through the channels of the South Delta and ; 2) examine predation effects associated with the TBP.   DWR staff have been coordinating with VAMP to delay the fish releases intended to evaluate juvenile salmonid and predator behavior in the vicinity of the barriers.  DWR staff continue to capture and tag predators in support of this study.

Installation of the Grantline Canal (GLC) barrier will include re-construction of the south abutment and culvert structures which were removed at the end of the 2010 season.  The Grantline Canal culverts had reached the end of their service life and required replacement to provide on-going barrier effectiveness.  Construction of the GLC barrier south abutment is scheduled to begin late next week.

Water Levels/Water Quality Problem Notifications:



Modeling results are here.  Minimum water levels for the forecast period are +1.25 feet in Middle River and +0.75 feet in Grantline Canal.  Minimum low water levels at Old River are forecasted to come close to the target level (0.0 ft) at the neap tide (June, 8, 2011) and will increase to +1.0 feet on June 9, 2011 when the Old River at Tracy barrier is scheduled to be closed.  All water levels in general will increase following June 8, 2011 as the tidal cycle progresses from the neap tide (June 8, 2011)  toward the spring tide on June 15, 2011. 

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: