The Russian River Mouth is Closed, Sorta

Thursday September 18, 2014 Jenner CA.

It rained lightly all night last night and hadn’t quite subsided when I got up and got going. Sometimes, it will rain here and not down at the ocean, so I headed on down to Jenner with my rain gear, just in case.

There was a couple light showers as I put my boat in the water. I saw the fish tracker biologists out tracking fish with their umbrella up, likely to keep their computer dry. They headed on up the river, so I didn’t catch up with them today.

Is the river’s mouth closing?

I put on my rain pants just in case and headed across the river to the little channel at the east end of Penny Island. It was going to low tide, so I was surprised there was enough water in the little channel for me to get through it. Could the river’s mouth be closing? I hadn’t been down to the mouth in a couple days, so had no idea.

The little channel I crossed over on Penny Island.channel

 

I crossed through the channel and on across the river to the south side and headed on up the river. The rain was threatening a bit, but it didn’t rain on me anymore as I paddled along.

Here I am paddling on up the south shore of the river, with some threatening clouds overhead.russianriver

 

I spied one of my seal buddies resting at the redwood log grave yard, so I paddled around it and pulled in by it, at one of my regular resting spots. The seal would have to share. harborseal

 

The seal hung around for a a bit, then swam off and eventually, I continued on up the river, on up to musk rat nest beach. I sat in my boat in the water and studied the hillside at musk rat, as that is where we were exploring the other day and I was trying to get a picture of it from this angle to see which way we should explore up the hill next time.

I think this is really an old road

Last time we were up there I said we discovered an old road down to goat rock , or the ocean. I thought about that for a bit. Originally, there where no main roads inland in this area.

So, the old road we found is more likely the original road to Bridge Haven, where the highway one bridge crosses the river. In other words, the road went from the ocean, up the river to bridge haven, originally to get to bridge haven.

We will explore that road some more as time permits.

Headed down to check out the river’s mouth

While I was sitting there thinking , ah, resting, the water level of the river still seemed high, so I was thinking the mouth must be closed, so I headed on down that way.

I passed a couple more harbor seals just on the east end of Penny Island.seals

 

Just past the west end of Penny Island, I ran into a bunch of harbor seals in the water, doing, I know not what?seals2

 

What’s this guy doing?

I was headed down to the mouth, when I saw this guy kneel down like he was praying or something, so I went over a little closer to investigate.

He turned out to be a biologist taking measurements of the salt water content in some holes they drilled down there earlier in the year. You can see he has a roll of wire he is unrolling and lowering his measuring device down in the hole.biologist

 

Yes, the river’s mouth is closed up

Just past him, I got my first view of the closed river mouth. The sand has washed up and closed it off.closedmouth

 

The ocean was fairly rough as I approached the closed river mouth area.closedmouth2

 

The waves have washed up the sand and piled it where the seals are to close off the river to the ocean, but not completely.seals4

 

The ocean was spaying water around big time.seals5

 

Some more harbor seals resting on the beach at the mouth.seals3

 

And some of the birds resting on the shore, cormorants and a seagull too.cormorants

 

The river’s mouth is not closed up tight

Ok, so the river’s mouth is closed and the river can’t get into the ocean,………But.

The sand isn’t high enough to keep the ocean from going over the piled up sand during the higher high tides, or when the ocean is rough, such as now.

The below picture shows an ocean wave breaking over the beach and coming into the river. This is just a little wave, bigger waves or a real high tide can cause a huge amount of water to come into the river, but it can’t get back out now.

Spawning fish have been seen coming into the river this way in the past

Spawning fish have been seen coming into the river in this way when the mouth is closed, when they have to get in to spawn. It’s usually a fish fed for the seals when they come in this way as a lot of the fish get trapped on the sand.

Water from the ocean coming over the closed mouth. The seals seem to be in the right spot for any fish that might come over. This is just a little wave, they can come in big time.waveover

 

I hung around the mouth area for a bit, then started on back in for the day, passing these cormorants just before I got back to the boat ramp.cormorant

 

I went on home for nap, then went out in the yard and puttered around and got a project or two completed.

That as my day.

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