Thursday September 19, 2013, Jenner, CA.
I saw some tell tale signs today of the starting salmon run in the river
My brother Mike and I went on down to Jenner to kayak today around eleven AM. As we approached, we could see there were quite a few biologists on the river today.
As I was putting my boat in the water I ran into one of them putting his boat in the water at the boat ramp. I talked to him for awhile to see what I could learn and then my brother and I crossed the river to Penny island and slowly worked our way up the river to Eagle’s landing on the south side.
The wind was picking up just a little as we entered the Eagle’s landing area, where we stopped for a bit.
The biologist I had been talking with pulled up to the area in front of us and did his measurement thing and then moved on up the river.
Here is one of the biologists on the river today.
Looking on up the river to the highway one bridge, we could see some other biologists using a net to sample the critters in the water. They worked that area for awhile then they went on up the river.
We saw a large fish jump out of the water near us, likely a salmon.
We worked our way up the river too, almost to the bridge before we turned around and headed back down the river in a stiff breeze, down the backside of Penny Island to the slot near the west end on the island. We rested at the slot for a bit before continuing on down toward the river’s mouth.
There were a lot of birds resting on the west end of Penny island as we passed. Mostly seagulls and pelicans.
A pelican and some seagulls on the west end of Penny Island.
A pelican landed just as I was taking this photo.
We continued on down to the river’s mouth, where I took this photo of the mouth. Birds on the left and seals on the right shore, looking out the river’s mouth into the ocean.
There were quite a few harbor seals on the beach.
We passed the river’s mouth to the water on the north end where we spotted these seagulls diving and making a lot of fuss in the water. That only means one thing. The seals have a big fish and are eating it. The seagulls are waiting to pick up any scrapes as the seals fight over the fish.
The seals were being real careful not to show that fish, but finally one surfaced with a piece of one, likely a salmon. Here he is with the piece of fish.
The seals took the fish across the river and finished it off.
Although the salmon are running, there is no salmon fishing on the Russian River, they are off limits as they are endangered. One can fish for steelhead, which start their runs in December. The area below the highway one bridge is a protected area and there is no fishing of any kind in this area.
We took a break at the end of the river. The wind died while we were there and now the river was calm and flat.
Here is my view from the end of the river, looking back up.
It was so nice, we stayed down there for about an hour before heading back up the river. As we passed the west end of the island I saw a seagull pulling something on the shoreline so I went over to inspect what it was working on. It appeared to be the bones a a fairly large salmon. I have to assume this was a salmon as that is what’s starting to run right now, so these are likely salmon bones from a fish the seals must have devoured not too long ago.
From here I headed on in for the day and we were off the water just before five PM.
Had a nice day kayaking Jenner.