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:   May 18, 2012

As stipulated by court order, the Head of Old River, Middle River, and Old River Tracy Temporary Rock Barriers were installed approximately two weeks early.  The early closure of the Head of Old River Rock barrier is intended to benefit out-migrating juvenile Chinook salmon and steelhead.

Head of Old River (HOR) Barrier:

Construction of the Head of Old River barrier began on March 15, 2012. Barrier closure and operation were achieved at noon on April 1, all eight slide-gate culverts are in the open position. Crews completed construction of the clay weir section of the barrier on April 11, 2012. Operation of the HOR barrier will conclude on May 31, 2012. The breaching and removal of the HOR barrier is scheduled on June 1.

The Head of Old River Fish Study is underway, and telemetry data is being collected.  The first release of acoustically tagged juvenile Chinook salmon occurred on 4/27/12.  Predatory fish are being captured, tagged, and released as part of this study.  Additional data, including active acoustics, is being collected to better understand predator and juvenile salmonid interactions in the vicinity of HOR. This study is being conducted in collaboration with the 6-yr Steelhead study.


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

Construction of the Middle River barrier began on March 12 and closure was obtained on March 16.  All flap gates are tidally operated.

Construction of the Old River near Tracy barrier began on March 15, and closure and operation started on March 31. All nine flap-gate culverts are tidally operated.  The boat ramp and portage is in full operation as of Wednesday, April 4. Demobilizing and site cleanup was completed on Friday April 6.

The construction of the Grant Line Canal barrier is complete. Closure of the center weir portion of the barrier occurred on May 5, 2012. Culvert flap gates are tied open. The boat ramp and portage is in full operation. DWR will begin the re-installation of the flash board structure that was washed away during high river flows last year.  The re-installation is scheduled next week before the removal of the Head of Old River barrier.


Starting this week, we are adding a new section that reports on TBP environmental permit compliance.

Environmental Permits Compliance Reporting:

No construction activities occurred this week. During construction environmental reporting information will be included.


Water Levels and Water Quality Notifications:


Modeling results are attached and forecasted minimum water levels are above target levels at all three stations, Middle River at Howard Road (MHR), Old River at Tracy Boulevard (OLD), and Doughty Cut (DGL). 

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: