A closed Russian River mouth.
My older brother Mike showed up at my house a bit early, around four PM yesterday. We loaded his kayak on my car and headed to Jenner. Instead of putting the kayaks in right away, we drove down the river mouth overlook on highway one to see what the mouth of the river looked like before we set off in our boats, as I wasn’t planning to kayak down to it during the dark and I was wondering what condition it was in.
This is a picture of the river mouth, where it is supposed to flow into the ocean, but waves from rough seas have pushed sand up and blocked this action. The jetty that comes in from the left can be seen in the center of the picture.
Just a little closer and you can see it better. If the high tide gets high enough, it can still come over this sand dam, pouring salt water into the river estuary. Otherwise, most times no water goes in or out. Well, except, a certain amount of it will seep though the sand.
I’ve wanted to get these pics from up on the road as looking down gives the viewer a better prospective of the river mouth area, than from the surface of the water, right in front of it from a kayak.
Up the river we went.
Back to the boat launch area by five and we were shortly in the water, paddling up stream to the Marcum hole about three miles. It was fairly windy, too windy for some, but not for us. Had to assure my brother that the wind should die down just after dark. We had a couple of hours before dark, so we took it easy going up the river. We pulled in at the Willow creek area to get out to the wind for awhile and do some waiting for dark to arrive. After about a half hour we headed out and up to the hole arriving about a half hour too soon for dark.
I suspected we might not see any lumens this night as it was late in the year and I really have no idea how long this stuff lasts. One of the reasons I decided I had to do this trip was to check this out. My brother was getting impatient for dark, I had to say, wait. Well it finally got dark enough, but no lumens. None to be seen. While waiting around for dark, I was thinking about these lumens and after it got a little dark and I wasn’t seeing any lumens, a thought came to me.
A little over a week ago, they took out two summer dams up the river a ways. Could the fresh water dump have washed this good eco system out? As the night wore on and it got darker, this sure seemed like it might be the explanation?
We looked around that big hole until it really got dark, then headed back down the river to Jenner. I forgot to tell you that indeed, the wind did die down to a very fine starry night. The closer we got to Jenner the nicer it got. On the way down my brother thought we might go around Penny Island, I smiled in the dark. Older people sometimes think they can do more than they can do. When we got near the Jenner pull out, I asked him if he wanted to go around the island and he wisely said, next time.
We wrapped up around nine PM.
So, from what I can see, the lumens might be gone because the mouth is closed so fresh salt water can’t enter the estuary in abundance, or taking the up stream dams out may have washed out the salt water, or it may be too late in the year, or something else?
It was a worth whiled trip, as I saw what I wanted to see, lumens or no lumens. And I learned more something more about this lumens thing, but also generated more questions about how this all works.
Sometimes I wish I had access to the Biologists temperature and salt gages, but then again, by not having this access, I get to imagine things without being biased by that information and have to gather my own information from observations.
Had a great night out and so did my brother even though we didn’t see any lumens that night.