Fog, Biologists, and Harbor Seals in the Closed Russian River Estuary

Monday October 6, 2014 Jenner CA.

The fog was waffling in and out at Jenner this morning as I arrived to kayak for the day. Otherwise, the wind was down and it was a real nice day out.

I headed on down to check out the closed river’s mouth and passed this king fisher that sat just long enough for this picture and then was gone. You can see it’s a a bit foggy as I went.kingfisher


As I cleared the west end of Penny Island I passed these two grebes that have arrived as they do in the fall.grebes


I headed on down towards the river’s mouth in the fog and popped out at this boat. Two biologist ladies are taking data from the devices attached to a buoy that is behind their boat. I said hi and asked them if they knew how deep the fresh water layer is which is on top of the salt water layer. They didn’t know.biologists


Just past them , I spied some more biologists fishing with a net to see what’s in the estuary right now. They just put the net out in this picture and are just starting to pull it


They are all smiling in this picture for some reason, so it must be fun. :O) Looks like real hard work to me, that net is heavy.working


Here’s what the biologists look like when they are hard at work, seeing what they


I continued on down to the closed river’s mouth. There were a few turkey vultures feeding on a bird, so I stopped and took a picture.vulture


I saw Dave, one of he biologists walking out and checking out the river’s closed mouth, so I went on over and asked him if he knew how deep the fresh water layer goes right now?dave


He said he did. About three meters, or about ten feet. The salt water is heavy with salt and colder than the fresh river water, so sinks below the warmer fresh water. With the lower river dams just dumped, I was wondering how much fresh water came down into the estuary from the dams. The fresh water was deeper than I thought.

Dave left to get back to fishing, so I checked out the closed river mouth. Note the mouth is just sorta closed as high tides and rough oceans can still come into the estuary and so can big spawning fish when this happens. Looking at the sandy beach on the right, one can see that a lot of big waves have crashed over the sand not long ago, like, maybe last night.

Here I am just behind the jetty as a big wave crashes over it.rivermouth


I hung around the mouth area for a while and then headed back to Penny Island as I wanted to see how much water has flooded onto the west end of the island. I found the little channel onto the island and paddled my boat on in.

Here I am on the west end of the flooded island, looking back towards the ocean.island


I hung out there for a bit, then headed for the east end of the island and sat in the little channel there for a bit. The biologists had moved to this spot and were putting out their net.morenets


I watched them for a bit, then headed on up the river on the south side, passing these guys resting on a log. The harbor seals are just getting their winter coats so look real good right now.haraborseal


I continued on up the river, past eagle’s landing and on up to muskrat nest beach where I sat for awhile. The biologists moved up the river across from me and were doing their net thing with the cows watching. I must admit, the biologists were working real hard today.biosnet


After a good while, I started working my way back down the river, where I went by these two seals.seals


This guy is rather curious and watched as I passed on by. I think it wanted to jump up on the log, but wasn’t sure about me.seal


The fog was still waffling around as I headed on in to Jenner for the day.fog


I usually go on home after kayaking all day, but instead I went over to visit my friend Joe who lives near the airport. We shoot the bull for awhile, then I headed on home for a nap.

After the nap, I went out in the yard and puttered around doing little chores and doing some chair hopping too.

That was my day.

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