Carmel River Rescue/Rearing Management Plan

Public Comment Period

Comment period closed (as of July 5, 2018)

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) made available for public review an application for an Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 10(a)(1)(A) enhancement permit (#14741) received from the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District’s (District), with an associated Rescue and Rearing Management Plan (RRMP).  The permit is to enhance propagation and survival of species listed under the ESA for a five-year period (with a five-year renewal). The RRMP specifies rescue, rearing, and relocation activities associated with the Sleepy Hollow Steelhead Rearing Facility (Facility) for South-Central California Coast (S-CCC) steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) . The Facility is located on the Carmel River on the Central California Coast.

The objective of the program is to assist with the restoration, conservation, and maintenance of the steelhead population in the Carmel River Watershed as mitigation for environmental impacts caused by diversion of surface and subsurface streamflow in the lower 24 miles of the mainstem Carmel River. The program, which was initiated in 1997, was necessary to ensure compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) from the environmental impacts of California American Water Company’s water withdrawals.  Actions taken pursuant to the permit are designed to enhance the survival of S-CCC steelhead that are subject to annual low-flow river dry-back.

The RRMP incorporates three main components:

  1. rescue and relocation activities;
  2. captive rearing activities; and
  3. subsequent post-release monitoring. 

There is no captive spawning of steelhead reared at the facility. Activities that constitute take of S-CCC steelhead and would be permitted include: rearing, handling and transport, and tagging. The RRMP includes measures to minimize the likelihood of genetic or ecologic effects on naturally produced S-CCC steelhead resulting from operations at the Facility, and of rescue and translocation activities. Post-release monitoring activities conducted by the District will collect data necessary to document achievement of performance indicators specified in the RRMP. For a more detailed discussion of these activities, please see the permit application.

For more information, please contact Erin Seghesio, California Coastal Office, at (707) 578-8515,