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Video of Elden Vestal’s testimony on Mono Basin historical conditions now online!

Saturday, September 29th, 2012 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

Thanks to recent efforts of California Trout, a video of part one of Elden Vestal’s November 3, 1993 deposition is now on YouTube. You can watch the hour and forty-seven minute video here on the Mono Basin Clearinghouse.

Watch the YouTube Video of Elden's 1993 historical testimony here!

Watch the YouTube Video of Elden's 1993 historical testimony here!

Elden was a California Department of Fish & Game Fisheries Biologist whose deposition was instrumental (more…)

Annual LADWP compliance reporting online

Saturday, August 11th, 2012 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

Each May, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) submits its annual compliance report to the State Water Resources Control Board. This report contains not only compliance reporting, but the reports from the previous year’s lake and stream monitoring.

Some highlights from the 2011 monitoring include:

  • Brine shrimp abundance peaked at over 40,000 shrimp per square meter for seven of the last eight years. This level was only exceeded in five other years during the 1980s (monitoring began in 1982). But it has happened almost every year since 2004.
  • The “centroid” of the brine shrimp distribution over time has peaked earlier and earlier each year—as Mono Lake’s salinity has declined, the shrimp have (more…)

50% of average runoff expected this summer

Thursday, April 12th, 2012 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

As of April 1, the winter precipitation in Lee Vining added up to 45% of average, and Mono Basin snowpack measured 47% of average. The forecast for April–July runoff is 50% of average.

An average March for precipitation in the Mono Basin brought to an end the 2011 Runoff Year (April 1, 2011–March 31, 2012). The preliminary runoff total for last year is 142% of average. (more…)

Mono Lake rises & meromixis returns despite dry winter

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

In January Mono Lake rose 1/4 foot, and it has continued rising at a slower rate in February to today’s level of 6383.9 feet above sea level. This brings it to within 0.06 feet of the mid-August 2011 highpoint (the highest level since 2007). It should keep rising for another month before it begins dropping in April due to the dry year. Dave Marquart with the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve says he will probably have to reroute a section of the South (more…)

Two-month dry spell ends with latest closure of Tioga Pass ever

Thursday, January 26th, 2012 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

Following a wet October and a dry November, there were only 3 days in December with a trace of precipitation in Lee Vining. Going into January, the season was at only 33% of average when measured at the NOAA rain gauge at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore. 1989, 1990, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 were all years with similar or drier autumns, adding up to almost 1/3 of the 24 years on record at our weather station. But it was the first half of January that threw this season into the remarkable category.

On January 17, 2012, Tioga Pass finally closed for the winter as storm clouds gathered on the horizon. The only other time in history—going back to 1933—when it closed in January was when it closed on New Year’s Day 2000.

On January 21st, 2012 (more…)

DWP annual compliance report available online

Friday, August 5th, 2011 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

Now available to download from the Mono Basin Clearinghouse is the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s May 2011 Mono Basin compliance report. This annual report discusses previous year and current year operations and monitoring for the State Water Board-ordered requirements of the city of Los Angeles’ water rights licenses. Highlights are (more…)

Cool April maintains high elevation snowpack

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

April in the Mono Basin was near-average, but slightly on the cool, dry, and windy side when compared to recent years. Although the high temperature on April 1st was 72 degrees F, the last two weeks struggled to get out of the 50s. It was our windiest April since 2004, with an average wind speed of 4.9 mph in Lee Vining. The 58 mph high-wind-gusts this April and last April were not out of the ordinary. You can see our April weather log here.

This year April brought wind, cool temperatures, and average precipitation to the Mono Basin. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

Lee Vining precipitation in April was (more…)

147% runoff forecast; Mono Lake could rise 2 feet this summer

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

Every April, after the April 1st snow surveys are in, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) issues a preliminary April 1st runoff forecast, and then a final forecast update in May. The April 1st forecast for the Mono Basin for the April 1 2011–March 31 2012 runoff year is 147% of average!

We always get asked why the runoff forecast is different than the snowpack—if the snowpack is 169% of average, shouldn’t the runoff be the same? The simple answer is that the snowpack is extremely variable, and some of it soaks into the ground or sublimates into the air—so not all the water in the snow becomes runoff.

Since the State Water Board decision in 1994, only two years have had more than 147% runoff (more…)

1996 stream and waterfowl habitat restoration plans now online

Monday, March 7th, 2011 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

Now available on the Mono Basin Clearinghouse are the 1996 restoration plans that have guided restoration in the Mono Basin since they were implemented under Water Rights Orders 98-05 and 98-07 in 1998. Not everything in these plans was ordered as written—to understand the current restoration requirements, a (more…)

More arsenic references posted

Sunday, March 6th, 2011 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

In December, after we posted links to papers by Ron Oremland with the US Geological Survey, Ron sent us a few more references. These are now available here on the Mono Basin Clearinghouse. He also included a few references from lakes with similarities to Mono Lake, such as Big Soda Lake in Nevada and Searles Lake, California.

This brings us to 40 scientific papers or abstracts related to Mono Lake or arsenic that can be downloaded from this page.

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