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 2, 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 flows posed excessively dangerous conditions for divers which ruled out the possibility of installing the necessary equipment on the channel bottom.  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 captured and tagged predators in the HOR vicinity. The movement of VAMP and  6-yr study tagged salmon smolts and steelhead were tracked in 2 dimensions to evaluate behavior in absence of the NPB.  The final fish release for this study was completed on June 18, 2011.  All equipment was removed on June 23, 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 was achieved on June 10, 2011. Site cleanup was completed on June 15th.  Minor barrier crest erosion was repaired on August 4, 2011.

Middle River (MR) barrier construction started on June 1, 2011 and was closed Monday June 6, 2011. Installation of the ORT and MR barriers will accommodate on-going fish monitoring studies and support water levels for south Delta diverters. 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. All field data collection for the acoustic telemetry study at the Old River Tracy Barrier has been completed and the equipment for the two-dimensional array was removed on July 20, 2011. Data analysis and results are forth coming.

Installation of the Grantline Canal (GLC) barrier started on Friday June 10, 2011 and included 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.  The gravel pad for the new culvert structures and all six culverts were in-place on June 24, 2011.  Minor settlement of the culvert structures required removal and re-installation of the culverts which was completed on June 29, 2011.  Rock backfill which covers the culvert structures was completed on June 30, 2011.  Closure of the Grantline Canal barrier was nearly completed on July 14; however, high river flows caused erosion and damaged the existing flashboard structure near the south levee.  To relieve pressure on the barrier and prevent scour, larger rocks were placed at the southern barrier abutment and the weir was lowered.   Construction activities were resumed to finish the installation of the Grant Line Canal barrier on Monday August 1, 2011 and completed on August 3, 2011.  The crest of the barrier and the weir  section were restored to their respective design elevations.  The placement of the articulated concrete mat on the boat ramp was completed.  The first attempt at retrieving the washed-out flashboard structure failed, and the flashboard structure is resting on the channel bottom approximately 15 feet from the surface and is marked by a floating buoy. It will be eventually retrieved and repaired or replaced and reinstalled back adjacent to the south levee.

All culvert flap gates at ORT and MR barriers are untied on Tuesday, August 23. 

In compliance of the TBP permits and agreement, all three agricultural barriers will be notched by September 15, 2011.

Water Levels/Water Quality Problem Notifications:

No problem reported.


There are no water levels and water quality problems reported in the South Delta. DWR will continue to monitor the water levels and modeling will resumed if needed.


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!


Simon Kwan for

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: