Southwest Fisheries Science Center Sacramento River Winter-run Chinook Life Cycle Model

Chinook salmonIn April 2011, at the request of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Delta Science Panel (DSP) convened an independent review panel to provide recommendations on how NMFS should proceed with incorporating life cycle modeling of Chinook salmon into the ongoing analyses related to the Operations Criteria and Plan (OCAP), Biological Opinion (BiOp), and Reasonable Prudent Alternatives (RPA). The review panel reviewed existing models and considered four questions on model development. In June 2011, the review panel produced a report, Salmonid Integrated Life Cycle Models Workshop: Report of the Independent Workshop Panel, detailing their recommendations. One recommendation was that NMFS create a salmonid life cycle model tailored expressly for their purposes.

Model Review

With funding support from Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) developed a new salmonid life cycle modeling framework that can be used to analyze water management scenarios on fish survival in the Central Valley. SWFSC requested and received funding from the NMFS Office of Science and Technology (OST) for a similar independent expert panel to review the newly developed life cycle modeling framework to assess whether the model would be a useful and effective tool to assess effects of water operations on listed salmonids and whether the model incorporates the best science available.

The Center for Independent Experts (CIE) organized the review and independently selected the panel members. The panel met in Santa Cruz on November 5-6, 2015. The panel members’ reports are listed below.

CIE review - Jamie Gibson (December 2015)
CIE review - David Hankin (December 2015)
CIE review - John G. Williams (December 2015)

Model Documentation

Life Cycle Modeling Framework for Sacramento River Winter-Run Chinook Salmon
(Hendrix et al. July 6, 2014)

Model Description for the Sacramento River Winter-run Chinook Salmon Life Cycle Model
(Hendrix et al. January 6, 2017)


In collaboration with USBR and the NMFS West Coast Region, the SWFSC is hosting a series of workshops to address questions about the model structure and capabilities.

Workshop 1 (June 2017)

Workshop agenda

Workshop flip charts

Winter Run Life Cycle Model: Overview (Hendrix et al.)

Simplified WRLCM Runs: Workshop I (Hendrix et al.)

Introduction to the Winter-run Chinook LCM (Lindley et al.)

Workshop 2 (August 2017)

Workshop agenda

Review of DSM2 Hydro (Wang)

Juvenile Salmon Migration Behavior (Perry and Lindley)

Structure of the ePTM (Hein)

ePTM Calibration (Perry et al.)

Calibration results (USGS)

enhanced Particle Tracking Model (Sridharan)

Workshop 3 (September 2017)

Workshop agenda

Rearing capacity for winter-run Chinook salmon (Greene)

Habitat quality (Lindley)

Management Questions (Danner)

Workshop 4 (October 2017)

Workshop agenda

Workshop 5 (March 2018)

Workshop agenda

Model Revisions in Response to Workshops

Stock Production (Hendrix)

Survival Models (Hendrix et al.)

ePTM (Sridharan et al.)

Ocean Harvest

Contact: SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division, Biophysical Ecology Team