Sea Lions and Seals Eat Steelhead Coming Into the Russian River To Spawn

Sunday January 3, 2016, Jenner CA.

Steelhead are running today

It was raining this morning as I got it going, so what to do. I’m not much on house keeping so the house needed a good vacuuming, so that’s what I did. Just after noon the rain mostly stopped for a bit, but it was still showering some.

Off to Jenner

I decided to go down to Guerneville and get some gas for the car and then go on to Jenner to at least go to the mouth overlook and have a look. Maybe it wouldn’t be raining and I’d go for a yak.

So I got all my kayaking stuff together and headed out.

River’s mouth overlook

It was showering lightly as I entered Jenner, so I drove on down to the overlook at the river’s mouth.

I pulled my car right along the cliff so I could shot my camera out the window without getting it too wet.ocean

 

Where are the seals

Right away I noticed there were no harbor seals resting on the beach as there usually is. At first I didn’t see many in the water either.

The river’s mouth was open and the ocean was a bit on the rough side. No seals on the beach.waves

 

The big waves were breaking on the rocks nicely. I noticed an eagle on a log at the bottom right.noseals

 

Eagle’s watching

It’s the same immature bald headed eagle I saw a couple days ago on the same log

eagle4

 

It flew into the air as I watched and flew around in a circle when the seagull you can barely see attacked it. Most other smaller birds attack the eagles when they get a chance. And the eagle will attack and eat a seagull if it can.eagle3

 

The eagle retreated to this rock where it sat keeping an eye out for something to eat as there was actually a lot of action going on down there as I watched it all unfold before me.eaglerock

 

I started to notice the seals

An older lady pulled into the overlook and got out of her car as the showers had let up so I got out and talked with her for a bit when we noticed the harbor seals and seal lions in the river’s mouth.mouth

 

Diving seagulls

We were talking and it just started to shower again when we noticed the seagulls where up to something. I had to get back in my car to keep the camera dry and this is what I was looking at. A bunch of seagulls were doing something which I was pretty sure was trying to get some steelhead scraps from a seal or a sea lion that had just caught it and was eating it under the water.seals

 

The seagulls were really frantic flying and diving around.seagulls

 

I’m pretty sure this is a sea lion trying to swallow the steelhead head first. You can see it’s tail there. I think he was able to get it down as it was all over after that.fishbirds

 

The steelhead were running

Then I noticed some more action just inside the open mouth. I could see a bunch of splashing and seals and  sea lions doing something in this spot.fish

 

There was a good concentration of seals and sea lions  and lots of splashing.sealsfish

 

The steelhead were running into the mouth and up the river to spawn and some of them were getting caught and eaten. There were several sea lions mixed in with the harbor seals.fisingbeasts

 

The steelhead were running today. big time from what I could see down there.

Loading tires

I left them doing their thing and drove back to the visitor center boat launch to have a look.

The state park lady was there picking up trash and I knew there were some big tires there from Dan and Richards trash pickup on the north beach the other day and one of them was a big truck tire.rangertricl

 

I shouted over and told her I’d help her load if she wanted any help. She said she thought she could handle it. I knew she wasn’t going to be able to get the truck tire up on the truck, so I told her I‘d be there for a bit if she decided she needed help.

Well, she did pretty good loading the car tires, but that truck tire proved to be just too big and heavy so I  went over and helped her out.

Of course we had to shot the bull for a bit until a rain shower drove me back into my car.

I headed on home stopping in Guerneville to do some grocery shopping, then went on home and took it easy for the rest of the day.

Nice day.

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