Memorial Ash Scatter and the Biologists are Finding Interesting Things Out About the Russian River Estuary

Tuesday July 1, 2014 Jenner CA.

Ray had an important duty to take care of today

Ray was at the boat ramp in Jenner this morning as I pulled in to go kayaking. There looked like there were a bunch of biologists in the estuary today from the looks of all the boat trailers in the parking lot. It was a bit overcast, but the wind was low and it was pretty nice as we paddled across the river to Penny Island and on up the south side towards eagle’s landing.

We paddled along here at a leisurely pace going up the river.upriver

Scattering old friends

Ray had a purpose today. He wanted to scatter two of his friends ashes on the river, so we scattered his friends, Chris and Mike Reed, brothers, in the river and talked a bit about old times.ashes

 

We continued on up the river and some turkey vultures in the trees attracted our attention.

Here is one of them, checking as out as we passed on by. I didn’t see anything they were eating, so maybe they were just having a little rest and chat?vulture

 

Walking on up the hill

Ray said he’d like to go for a walk up to the old Indian ladies face rock. OK, but let’s go up to  rat nest beach first and we’ll stop on the way back for that.

We paddled on up along the shoreline here to rat nest beach were we took a fairly good break.up

 

Here we are heading back down the river to a spot just ahead of Ray, where we can go ashore and go for the walk to Indian face rock, which you can see up on the hill top in front of Ray.rock

 

This is the old Indian ladies face rock that we walked up to on the hill side. It’s a nice view point to look at the river. She is laying on her back, facing out.rock2

 

This is where we landed our boats to go up to the rock. Lot’s of poison oak on this trail, but we are ok with it.kayaks

 

Walking up the trail, we arrived just below the rock in this photo.rock4

 

One of the views looking back down at the river from the rock to the highway one bridge.bridgeview

 

What’s that?

We stayed up there for a good break before starting back down. As I stepped off the rock, this white thing caught my attention. I couldn’t make out what it was with my eyes, so I took a picture to check out latter.pellet1

 

Closer inspecting showed it to be an owl type pellet of small bird and animal parts. Birds like owls eat these things and regurgitate these parts they can’t easily digest in the form of a pellet.owlpellet

 

We took it easy on the way down being careful not to fall as it’s a fairly steep trail and Ray and I aren’t as young as we used to be. :O)

Fish tracking biologists

Once down and in our boats, these fish tracking biologists were discussing things. I stopped for just a bit and then moved on down the river.billboat

 

More biologists catch up to us with some interesting news

Ray and I stopped in our boats at this point in front of the visitor center when we heard some other biologists coming up in back of us in their boats, so we waited for them to go by, but instead, I heard, hey Bob, you want to see what we’ve been getting for samples that the fish we tagged and are tracking are eating. Sure, I said.jennervisitorcenter

 

It was interesting that what they were getting were critters that came into the estuary with the ocean salt water. They were finding these types of critters in the salt  water in the bottom of the estuary and they also were pumping these same critters out of the fish they were netting for tracking.  They have been tagging and tracking small steelhead.

This is what they were getting with the estuary in the state it was in now, but the estuary changes state, so there is still a lot more investigating to do.

Rather an important find

This is actually an important find as it sorta looks like a lot of food for the growing fish in the estuary are feeding on what comes in the estuary from the ocean on the high tides, so maybe, keeping the estuary closed and at a sustained water level might not be a good idea, as this abundant food supply would not come into the estuary. But, it’s still early and maybe something else will develop to feed the fish.

I think it will be hard to beat the huge amount of stuff, as in food that the ocean can produce, compared to what the estuary can produce? And the ocean can constantly add to the estuary food supply twice a day during the high tides as long as the river’s mouth stays open.

I said thanks for the info and they headed on in for the day.

I gave the biologists some time to get their boats out of the water before pulling out myself for the day.

I was beat when I got home and mostly napped after getting something to eat.

Nice day at the river.

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