OCAP Reviews

A critical role of the CALFED Science Program is to facilitate scientific review in support of CALFED Program objectives. Activities associated with water supply reliability, water quality, ecosystem restoration, and levee integrity all benefit from periodic reviews by CALFED Science Program established independent review panels. The review and recommendations provided by these panels help insure that the investments being made in support of Bay-Delta planning and decision-making are supported by the best available scientific knowledge. The Biological Opinions are very important regional topics developed by NOAA Fisheries for salmonid fishes and the USFWS for delta smelt regarding the coordinated operations of the SWP and the CVP (also known as OCAP).

Independent Review of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Operations Criteria and Plan (OCAP) 2008 Draft Biological Opinion on listed Chinook Salmon, Steelhead and Green Sturgeon

The National Marine Fisheries Service has once again asked the CALFED Science Program to assemble expert science panels to inform the development of a new OCAP Biological Opinion to be completed in 2009. The Science Program hosted two events in 2008 (see below) and a public workshop on January 8, 2009 as part of this requested review.

The Review Panel conducted an independent review of the NMFS OCAP 2008 Draft Biological Opinion on listed Chinook salmon, steelhead and green sturgeon. The public meeting included a presentation of the draft Biological Opinion, a Q&A with the panel and public comment.

Meeting Outcomes

Link to NMFS Biological and Conference Opinion on the Long-Term Operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project and Related Documents

Meeting Materials



The Science Program hosted an OCAP-related review on August 5, 2008.

We convened an expert Science Panel to review the NMFS Analytical Framework. This document laid out the technical basis for NMFS Biological Opinion on winter-run Chinook salmon, spring-run Chinook salmon, central coast steelhead, and green sturgeon. The August 5 workshop provided an opportunity for agency staff and panelists to clarify intent, data limitations, etc. The panel provided a final report with conclusions and recommendations.

Cover Letter for Independent Review of the 2008 Analytical Framework for the NMFS OCAP Biological Opinion

Independent Review Report of the 2008 Analytical Framework for the NMFS OCAP Biological Opinion

Panel Members

  • Kenny Rose
  • Jim Anderson
  • Pete Smith
  • Phil Duffy

A follow up conference call occurred Friday August 29th to discuss additional information requested by the review panel.



A workshop, titled "Temperature management and modeling workshop in support of an operations criteria and plan (OCAP) Biological Assessment and Biological Opinion" occurred April 1, 2008.

The workshop provided a forum for information exchange and discussion of issues about water temperature modeling, salmonid protection, and water management on the upper Sacramento River. The findings will be used to support the OCAP Biological Opinion (BO) being prepared by the National Marine Fisheries Service. An independent expert panel provided a synthesis report with recommendations for improving the scientific rigor of these documents.



2005 Science Review of the 2004 OCAP Biological Opinion for Salmonid Fishes.

On July 29, 2005 NOAA Fisheries requested that the CALFED Science Program review the science underlying its biological opinion. On August 24, 2005, CALFED Science Program agreed to conduct such a review, and has since established an independent panel to conduct the review. This workshop is an integral component of the review process.

Review of the Biological Opinion of the Long-Term Central Valley Project and State Water Project Operations Criteria and Plan

NOAA Response to OCAP Review Panel Final Report

Public Notice: CALFED Science Program Public Presentation of Final OCAP Panel Report January 30th

A review of the science underlying the 2004 NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion on the longterm operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project - OCAP

For more information, please download the meeting notice or the workshop agenda listed below:

Public Notice:  


The following notes from the October 12 and 13 OCAP BO review workshop have not been reviewed by the speakers. The notes were taken to help the review panel prepare its report. If the panel had questions, they contacted the speakers directly. Since the notes have not been reviewed, they are not to be cited. They are posted in order to ensure that the OCAP review process is open and transparent.

OCAP Notes

Putah Creek Lodge
University of California at Davis

Randy Brown

Workshop Support Materials