So, here is the rundown.
The refuges did get some summer irrigation using deep wells, and these wells will be used to augment the surface supply, however these wells cannot generate enough to fully flood and maintain. Water quality from the wells can be an issue.
Los Banos Wildlife Area -
800 acres of watergrass and swamp timothy, 80 acres of Safflower (and a 100 hunter limit for dove season). Wetlands will be ~70% of normal year and flooding is going to be staged so the whole 70% will not be available on opening day. Normal year requires 21,412 acre feet (AF) to flood, receiving 10,00 AF this year.
Quotas will be as follows:
Opening Day = 60 hunters
Nov 1 = 60
Dec 1 = 90
Jan 1 = 105
Wetland acreage 85% of normal, Quotas not significantly reduced.
Opening Day = 80
Nov 1 = 80
Dec 1 = 90
Jan 1 = 90
Mud Slough -
Expect to complete flooding by Dec 1, Quotas = 14, 18 by Dec 1.
North Grasslands (Salt Slough) Quotas:
Opening Day = 34
Nov 1 = 34
Dec 1 = 40
Jan 1 = 40
China Island -
50-60% of wetlands will be flooded
26 acres of Safflower 45 acres of wheat for dove hunting.
8607 AF normal year, 4529 AF this season
Opening Day = 10
Nov 1 = 10
Dec 1 = 10
Jan 1 = 10
Quotas will be less than 1/2 of Normal, getting 1.3 AF/Acre total, going to flood entire closed zone, and smaller amount of hunt area proportionally, due to this being the only sanctuary for the birds in the South Grasslands for the most part.
Quota of 10 for the entire season.
70 acres of safflower - 100 hunters for opening day dove.
Mendota pool levels have been dropping over the last 10 years, no upland irrigation this year. Pheasant brood count of 1 chick. 25 roosters harvested last year, upland outlook is low.
Waterfowl quota = 300 for the entire season.
20 Hunters, open and close with BOS this year, no split.
San Luis Complex -
No early water, so reduction in habitat quality. All water deliveries will be for habitat, expect approx. 71% of hunt areas this season.
San Luis - 90%
West Bear Creek - 50%
East Bear Creek - NO HUNT PROGRAM
Blue Goose - 50%
Kesterson - Lower at opener, expect 100% by end.
Freitas - No Reduction expected
Merced - 20-50% of Normal (Mariposa Unit and Lonetree Unit will be CLOSED)
For the complex there will be 5500 wetland acres vs 10,000 in normal years.
Major concern for this season is Disease, Avian Botulism in the early season, Avian Cholera in the late season. Report Sick or Dead birds found to DFW.
Ric Ortega from the Grasslands Water District (Private Clubs)-
Level 2 water supply = 125,000 AF Normal Year
Shasta Index anticipated inflows to Shasta 3.2 Million AF, not met = 75% Ls (93,350 AF)
USBR L2 Allocation as of 5/13/14 = 65% (81,250 AF)
CDFW re-allocated to GRCD 2500 AF
What this means is private clubs will receive 1.3 AF/acre.
GWD will allow for maximum flexibility, and is holding monthly meetings with club owners.
Requesting 6000 AF from D-Dam
Requesting 10,000 AF of groundwater from adjacent Ag districts
Requesting un-equal exchanges of L2 water, water conservation on private clubs is CRITICAL.
We are operating with 2% of historical wetlands this year. 5% is a normal year (this is indicative of the wetlands we have lost throughout history.
DU is partnering with GWD looking at acreage vs # of birds potentially coming in during the migration. Rice Decomp reduction is real trouble for the migrating birds. Disease is not part of the models they are using to look at the situation.
DFW Sac office spoke to Sac Valley Refuges:
25% reduction in wetlands this season.
Sutter and Llano Seco will be closed for the season.
Reduction in quotas elsewhere:
For Opener (only data they talked about):
Sacramento NWR, Deleval, and Colusa = 75% Quota
Little Dry Creek and Howard Slough = 60 - 70% Quota
Grey Lodge might be at 90% for opener, but they have flooded early, and will not be getting maintenance water later (as of now) so that quota might reduce as the season goes on.
First Question was about closed zones vs hunt area flooding.
-DFW lands plan to flood because of best habitat as possible will be flooded. Need sanctuaries, but some flooding will be based on the conveyance systems in place and what is most practical to flood first. Merced for example will be flooded 50/50 Hunt area/Sanctuary.
What to do with dead birds vs not to do?
-Get fresh dead birds into DFW ASAP so they can be tested for cause of death.
What level of avian disease will affect public health?
-These diseases will not cross over to human, but always take precautions to protect yourself.
Will there be a website to work from to relay the information from this meeting, that way the information does not get diluted and everyone is working from the same notes?
-Grassland Water District Webpage or CWA (Mark Hennely) Current note: not updated yet, were told they would send emails to those who provided email addresses at the meeting.
Is there anything in the newest water bill that benefits us in the future?
-Yes. Lois Wolk pushed the most. There was $100M in the 2009 bill. This bill put $475M accessible for water in the latest bond. This is for conveyance and delivery systems. Money in Bill for Klamath. $5.7M for drought work in Grasslands to redo pumps at Los Banos Wildlife Area and North Grasslands WA. Kern Well reconditioning. Every region got money for projects. ALL WORK MUST BE DONE BY JUNE 30, 2015 to qualify. Current well drilling operations have 8-12 month backlog.
Current die-off at Klamath?
-100 birds/day that they find. Sump only area flooded at the moment. 5000 birds confirmed with botulism so far mostly mallards.
Conditions that cause botulism?
-Warm conidion in flooded upland plants that decompose. Warm anaerobic water conditions and maggots. The disease lives in the soil so as soon as the water becomes stagnant it can flair up an outbreak.
Diseased birds in bag? Enforcement?
-Do not remove dead birds from the field if you are out hunting and have hunted birds in hand. LE will not make the distinction. Report birds and let DFW come collect them.
Can LE be educated to the situation to allow hunters to assist in cleanup during a hunt?
-LE is using their discretion, but the call is their's to make.
Provided Summary of hunter take from 44 clubs that have been reporting harvest data for the last 17 year average.
1. Daily Hunter Average.
2. Bag Composition.
3. Total Season average.
17 year average has increased from 3.25 to 4.5. Mainly Teal and Shovelors which correlate to the increased breeding numbers in the GWT and Shovelor populations.
That is a summary of my notes that I took. I admittedly took shorthand on some items. But this is the jist of it. I also missed a couple questions and answers.
When the website is up, I will post a link if someone else doesn't beat me to it.
Also, as I said earlier, this is the PLAN as of Last Saturday. It IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. This is NOT etched in stone by any stretch.
Last edited by LeakyW8ers
on Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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