Down River to Check Out What the Biologists Where Doing

Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013, Monte Rio, CA.

Kayaking Monte Rio to Duncan Mills and Back

Yesterday, on the way home from kayaking Jenner, I noticed some biologist’s trucks parked at the Duncan’s Mills fire station, which is one place they have access to the river and have things like fish traps and fish counters. I knew they were doing something down there, but not what. They are just coming out for the year and starting to set up to do their summer science stuff.

So, anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to kayak down there and see what they were doing.

The boat was in the water at Monte Rio around eleven and it was a nice sunny day, with a bit of a breeze. The water level of the river had dropped a couple feet since the last rain storm and it was just about six inches above summer conditions, so the current was slow in most places.

The idea was to paddle down river to the Duncan’s Mills bridge and then back to Monte Rio, taking my time as much as possible. The biologists were just above the Duncan’s Mills bridge.

So, off I went.

Below is a picture of my view of Cassini’s ripple. It’s the first real shallow ripple in the river, from the ocean. It’s shallow, so one can see big fish shooting through this area when they are running, usually shooting a big roster tail of water up in the air as they speed though it. I sat there for about a half hour and didn’t see any signs of big fish moving, it’s getting late for that.



Biologists in the water.

After awhile I moved on down the river. There were these four guys pounding something in the river. These were some of the biologist guys. They were putting in a fish counter, staking it down. It seemed to be four inch PVC pipe, all the way across the river with some kind of electric looking cable in it. Looked like hard work to me. :O)

Below you can see the four biologist guys installing the fish counter. The fish counter counts fish that have a little radio tag implanted into them.



Train track relics.

Continuing down the river, I went by these old steel rail tracks. I’m not sure exactly what they were, but there are a pair of them. Each pair has ends of the rails rotted off, so it looks like it was once a train track from the olden days. It could have been one of the earlier ones, as the later one went across a wooden bridge just below the new concrete car bridge you can just barely see to the right. This might be all that is left of these old tracks. I don’t know of any others from this period that are still there.

Below, you can see these old steel train rails that must have crossed the river here at one time, as the end of the track was just across the river from here, at Duncan’s Mills.



Just below those tracks is the Duncan’s Mill’s bridge. Just under that bridge is the foundation wood from the old train bridge that they tore down when they built this new concrete one. The old train bridge was used by cars when I was a kid, before this one was built.



I stopped just below the bride and took a much needed break for awhile until I headed back up the river.

Just below Ryan’s beach is this little channel in the river that just looks good, as you can see below.



Ryan’s beach area is always real nice.

And just above this little channel is Ryan’s beach where the sand is. There is a big hole in the river just to the right of that which is known as Moscow hole from the old days. I spent quite a bit of time there on the way down as there is usually very little wind  in the area, as it’s a turn in the river.

You can see Ryan’s beach in the photo below. It always looks real nice in this area.



Seems we have lots of eagles around these days.

I was clipping along, just below Villa Grande hole when I thought I saw a young eagle getting chased by a small bird and it landed just over my head. Sure enough, it was a young bald headed eagle.

Below, you can see this young bald headed eagle in the tree.



Below is zoomed in just a bit.



When the eagle landed in the tree, I had to find it. It seems like one should be able to find a big eagle in a tree with ease, but…………….they blend in so well, they are real hard to see. I shot pics of this bird for about ten minutes before continuing up the river. Now, just up river from there is a big osprey nest. As I was approaching that nest, one of the osprey gave out a big squawk flew up high in the air just in front of it’s nest and started a dive for me. Well, not for me, I turned around and that eagle was coming right over the back of my head about fifty feet from me and the osprey didn’t like it in the area. I had my camera out, but all I could do was point it into the sky moving it around to no avail as they just moved too fast. When the eagle saw the osprey coming after it, it swerved and headed back down stream and the osprey pulled up short over my head and turned back around. Lots of action happened real fast. No pics. :O)

I continued up the river, the wind had really died down to almost nothing and it was good to be alive.

Below, is a picture of the river just below Monte Rio, about five PM heading back. Very scenic.



I spied quite a few turtles on the way down, but didn’t take any photos of them. The one below I took just below Monte Rio.



It was almost Six PM when I took my boat out at Monte Rio.

Had a nice day.

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