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Santa Fe, NM, United States

Widmer A.M.,SWCA Environmental Consultants | Burckhardt L.L.,SWCA Environmental Consultants | Kehmeier J.W.,SWCA Environmental Consultants | Gonzales E.J.,SWCA Environmental Consultants | And 3 more authors.
North American Journal of Fisheries Management | Year: 2010

Multiple-pass removal by use of small-mesh seines within enclosed areas was performed to estimate numbers of nine small-bodied fish species at 17 sites in the Pecos River, New Mexico, during October 2007. Site-level population estimates were most precise for age-0 red shiners Cyprinella lutrensis (coefficient of variation [CV, calculated as SE/mean] = 0.02-0.06) and least precise for age-1 and older plains minnow Hybognathus placitus (CV = 0.03-0.42). Site estimates were expanded to derive species- and age-specific population estimates for 284 km of river, including the full range of the threatened Pecos bluntnose shiner Notropis simus pecosensis (101,131 fish; 95% confidence interval = 76,437-125,825; CV = 0.12). Population estimates and species detection from multiple-pass removal were compared with a closed, comprehensive, single-pass catch rate index obtained on the first pass of the removal estimate (comprehensive catch per effort [C-CPE]) and with an open, single-pass catch rate index (single-pass catch per effort [S-CPE]), where a set of representative mesohabitats was seined in proportion to their availability (mean = 12.6 hauls/site). Compared with removal estimates, C-CPE provided a reliable index of population size for the nine small-bodied species combined (r2 = 0.90, P = 0.010) but did not perform as reliably for adult Pecos bluntnose shiners (r2 = 0.51) or age-0 speckled chub Macrhybopsis aestivalis (r2 = 0.70). On average, C-CPE detected 89% of species at a site, missing predatory species most frequently. By contrast, S-CPE was a poor index of population size for all species (r2 = 0.16, P = 0.010) and detected an average of 52% of species at a site. The S-CPE failed to detect the Rio Grande shiner N. jemezanus at 28.5% of sites, the sand shiner N. stramineus at 41.2% of sites, the Pecos bluntnose shiner at 29.4% of sites, and the speckled chub at 23.5% of sites; all of these are small-boded native species. For applications that require reliable species detection and precise abundance estimates of small-bodied fishes, the multiple-pass removal method is recommended. © Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2010. Source


Widmer A.M.,SWCA Environmental Consultants | Fluder J.J.,SWCA Environmental Consultants | Kehmeier J.W.,SWCA Environmental Consultants | Medley C.N.,New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission | And 2 more authors.
River Research and Applications | Year: 2012

Long-distance drift of eggs and larvae has been identified as a possible cause of downstream displacement and poor recruitment of the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus; silvery minnow). Seven experiments were conducted using artificial eggs to estimate silvery minnow egg drift and retention in the Albuquerque and Isleta reaches of the regulated Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico, USA over a range of flows during expected spawning times. Bead retention varied by reach, discharge, and shape of the hydrograph. Highest retention (6.9 and 9.7% per km in the Albuquerque and Isleta reaches, respectively) occurred on the ascending limb of a high flow in areas where there was substantial floodplain inundation. Retention was maximized at different flows in each reach (97 and 140m 3/s, respectively), possibly associated with reach-specific floodplain inundation thresholds. Lowest retention in each reach (2.1 and 1.7%, respectively) occurred on the descending limb of low and high flows, respectively. Of the silvery minnow eggs produced in the combined Albuquerque and Isleta reaches in 2005, 8-14% are predicted to have been retained in the Albuquerque Reach (67km) and 49-83% in the Isleta Reach (86km) based on the distribution of adult fish and measured bead retention rates. Although silvery minnow propagules are capable of drifting long distances, our study suggests that considerable retention occurs in the Middle Rio Grande. Habitat restoration to increase channel habitat complexity, and flow management to promote floodplain inundation should help to retain a greater proportion of propagules in upstream reaches. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source


Kinzli K.-D.,Florida Gulf Coast University | Gensler D.,Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District | DeJonge K.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Oad R.,Colorado State University | Shafike N.,New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission
Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering | Year: 2015

To address water shortage and improve water delivery operations, decision support systems (DSSs) have been developed and utilized throughout the United States and the world. One critical aspect that is often neglected during the development and implementation of DSSs is validation, which can result in flawed water distribution and rejection of the DSS by water users and managers. This paper presents the results of a significant validation effort for a DSS in the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD). The validation resulted in a refined application efficiency of 45%, a refined readily available water for farmers to irrigate to a value of 20%, and a Nash-Sutcliffe modeling efficiency of 0.86 for soil moisture depletion patterns. Overall, the validation and refinement of input parameters resulted in a DSS model that accurately predicts evaportranspiration and can be used to schedule water delivery. The refinement of the DSS input parameters resulted in an increased 15,600 acre-ft diversion suggested by the DSS, indicating that the original DSS input parameters would have adversely affected farmers in the MRGCD. The paper showed that validation of a DSS is crucial if such a program is to be successfully utilized to deliver irrigation water. © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers. Source


Kinzli K.,Florida Gulf Coast University | Shafike N.,New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission | Manana N.,Colorado State University | Spelman D.,Florida Gulf Coast University | Roark M.,U.S. Geological Survey
River Research and Applications | Year: 2014

The Middle Rio Grande (MRG), located in central New Mexico, is a river that has experienced significant anthropomorphic changes and requires extensive river management to meet all demands for water. To better understand and manage the MRG, the Upper Rio Grande Water Operations Model was developed by several government agencies; however, drain accretion rates, total seepage volumes from the river to the drain network, and salinity were unknown and represented a large data gap. In 2010, a study using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler was conducted to determine drain accretion rates throughout the MRG valley. The use of an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler allowed for a multitude of measurements to be completed in a short-time span. The total yearly baseline drain accretion determined during the study was 269630AF, which represents about 59% of the water that is diverted annually in the MRG. The magnitude of the drain accretion was much higher than expected and represents a tangible water volume that needs to be addressed in water accounting and management decisions. The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission is currently using the collected data to improve Upper Rio Grande Water Operations Model and results from the study will aid the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District in improving water delivery operations. The findings of this study indicate that a complex groundwater, drain, and river water interaction is taking place near the San Acacia diversion dam with upwelling saline groundwater increasing drain water salinity to levels as high as 1703μS. Further detailed study of groundwater and river water interactions is suggested in this area. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source


Kinzli K.-D.,Florida Gulf Coast University | Gensler D.,Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District | Oad R.,Colorado State University | Shafike N.,New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission
Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering | Year: 2015

Decision support systems (DSSs) for irrigation system management have many benefits, which include water savings and the development of optimal water delivery schedules, while maintaining farmer productivity. To address water shortage and improve water delivery, DSSs have been developed and utilized throughout the United States and the world and can be used to predict crop depletions using weather data to schedule water delivery on the basis of crop demand. The overall utility of DSSs is that they allow managers to continue water delivery and equitably distribute supplies during a water shortage. For a decision support system to be successfully utilized, the complicated challenge of implementation needs to be addressed. Decision support system implementation is often met with harsh resistance from water users and managers alike, and, in many cases, a scientifically sound model is often rejected because of misinformation and lack of user education. This paper presents the successful implementation of a DSS and scheduled water delivery in the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD). The implementation of the DSS was accomplished using a multifaceted approach that included gaining political support of the MRGCD Governing Board, training water masters and ditch riders in the use of the DSS, providing on-the-ground support and assistance, refining parameters in the DSS to address complexities, and gaining public acceptance for scheduled water delivery utilizing a DSS. A total of two key components for the implementation of the DSS and scheduled water delivery were linking it to the MRGCD supervisory control and data acquisition system (SCADA) and conducting a large public outreach and education campaign. The overall results of the DSS implementation were successful, and managers were able to deliver water to irrigators in a more efficient manner than traditional practice. © 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers. Source

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