Photo or Phyto Planktons at Jenner

I went down to Jenner last night to check on the lumens situation once more. The high tide was 6 feet at 10 PM, so a was one hour later than the night before and a tenth of a foot higher.

I got there around 7 PM, so headed up river where I met Steve at the Eagles Landing area where we stayed until almost dark, around 9 PM, then headed down river toward Penny Island. Too early for lumns yet, too light and the high tide was just coming in, still fresh water from the river in that area. We went down the back side of the island, it was getting dark enough to see lumns, but still too early in that area which needed the high tide to come in more. Near the end of the island, almost to the western head of it, we have a slot that is out of the wind, but still no lumens, but as we headed more west we finally hit pay dirt, or………a……….glowing water, very strong glow from the paddles, so it was looking good.

In this area, the high tide had already moved fresh ocean salt water into the area. We paddled down nearer the mouth and found a lot of bright lumens and some seals playing in the water. Interesting is the fact that the seals glow while swimming under water, but when they break the surface of the water, there is no glow, or very little glow.

We watched the seals for awhile then headed back toward the backside of the island and now the water was glowing very nicely when the paddle hit the water and there where a lot of fish, especially near the shore area. Hard to say just how big some of these fish where. A lot of little ones,  some in the foot of bigger range and a few really big looking guys a couple feet or so. It’s really hard to say just how big the fish are under water, because it’s hard to tell just how much of it is just glow. I saw a few on the two or three foot range.

We paddled around for an hour or so, then paddled back to the visitor center and went home, I think we got home around 10:30 PM or so.

It appears that it takes a really high tide to bring in lots of fish. A couple nights before, when the tide was below 5.7 feet one night, and the next night at 5.7 feet, almost no fish could be seen, even though there were lumens. But the night when the tide was 5.9 feet, and the next night 6.0 feet, there were a lot of fish. This is an interesting find, because it means on the really high tides a lot of sea life comes in the mouth, which means a lot comes in the mouth on these tides. The fish are both food and predators at the same time. It’s eat and be eaten, depends on your size. A little fish will eat a littler fish and a lot of other stuff too, but a bigger fish will come by and gobble that one up and an even bigger fish may come by and eat that one too, or the seals, otters, and birds may eat them too.

Anyway, biologically, this should be an important thing to know, if one is contemplating closing the mouth. As with the mouth closed this transporting of food from the ocean to the river estuary, wouldn’t happen, which may or may not be a good thing? But it seems to me, the more food that comes into the river system the better it would be for Steelhead and salmon as they are big time predators. One of the things the biologists are studying on this river is whether to close the mouth for a period of time to enhance it for salmon and steelhead smolt. Smolt means  a young fish, salmon or sea trout about two years old that is at the stage of development when it assumes the silvery color of the adult and is ready to migrate to the sea, which I stole from some web page.

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