Fish Tracking Biologists on the Russian River

Wednesday July 1, 2015 Jenner CA.

Fish tracking day

While driving down to Jenner today to kayak, I noticed some biologist trucks at the fire station at Duncan’s Mills where I know they have a fish tag tracker there planted across the river, so I pulled in there to have a look. They were taking advantage of the low tide and doing some improvements on their system. The guy in front of me, the hat at the bottom was directing guys out in the water to the right and out of the picture while I talked with him at the same time. I could see they were way too busy working for my interruptions. There is some kind of sensor wire inside the PVC pipe that goes across the river which notes a tagged fish that swims over it and also can tell if they are going up stream or down stream. This is different than what the other tracker boat does. He uses active tags with batteries that ware out in a short time, like ten to fifteen days.These guys use passive tags that don’t ware out.tagpipes


So as I pull into Jenner I see the other fish tracker guys anchored across the river which is a bit of luck as I had been wanting to talk with Bill for a bit and wanted to see what he thought about beavers.

Here they are as I approached them anchored this morning.The lady biologist is Brie.trackers


We talked some and then Bill says they are headed up the estuary tracking and I’m welcome to tag along if I like. I decide to tag along and follow them up the river. They go slow looking for the fish they’ve tagged, so it’s  easy for me to keep up.

Here I am following them just as we spooked a bunch of white pelicans into the air which you can see up the river ahead of us.pelicans


We talked biology of fish and predators on the river, both past and present. Brie was knowledgeable and had a lot of good inputs too.

We passed by Seal Haven where one of my buddy’s was laying on a redwood log watching us as we went by.seal


We went up as far as Markham hole where they tracked for about an hour and I was finally running out of questions. :O)

Over by the shore I could see this guy fishing and it looked like his wife was reading a book on the shoreline, so I paddled over to see what he was doing. Turned out he was from Pennsylvania and just wanted to wet his line. Catching fish wasn’t as important as just fishing. We had a nice talk.

Here you can see him fishing and his wife reading on the shoreline as I was


Shortly after that, Bill and Brie had to head in for the day, so they started their big motor and were off. They put in a long day as they were here a lot earlier than I was.markhamhole


I also headed back but at a much slower pace stopping along the way just enjoying the nice cool day after being out in the desert for the last couple weeks.russianriver


I went by these big redwood logs as the ducks eyed me.logducks


I think this is a harbor seal I call Coco. It looks like it just got a new coat which has a lot more white in it than last year which was mostly more chocolate. The seals get summer coats and winter coats and also seem to change their colors some so I have a real hard time identifying them.coco


As I passed under the bridge on highway one, I saw this guy and his dog on the shoreline, so I though he might be someone I knew and it was. It was Jamie who lives at Bridge Haven which I’ve talked with before. I spent quite some time talking with him before continuing on.jamie


The river was looking pretty nice as I paddled along, just before five PM.nice


I could see some white pelicans fishing across the river so I paddled over to see what they were doing. Catching fish and things. They tend to fish in these little groups, just sticking there big bills under the water and catching stuff, not divers like the brown pelicans as Jamie pointed out to me while talking with him earlier.



As I approached Penny Island there were some more white pelicans just taking it easy on the upper end. They were doing a lot of preening.pels


I pulled my boat out of the water and went on home for the day.

When I arrived home yesterday and was unpacking the van, I tried to roll up the driver’s side window and it wouldn’t roll up. It was jammed and somehow off the track so I had to take the door panel off and put things back  in the tracks through this opening in the door.doorfix


That went well once I figured it out and I buttoned that back up. I now need to see about a new radiator and fix some other stuff too.

That was my day for another good one and cool today too.

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