Here’s What I Mean by the Russian River’s Mouth is Closed, Sorta

Wednesday September 24, 2014 Jenner CA.

And the lower summer dams start getting taken out

When I woke this morning, it was raining lightly, so I went downtown to Guerneville and did some shopping.

When I got home I worked on installing windows 8.1 on Marty’s computer. As the light rain changed to light showers, I decided to head on out to Jenner to kayak, hoping it wasn’t raining too much down there.

Summer dam take down

On the way down, I stopped to see if they were starting to drop the lower river summer dams yet? I pulled into the Vacation Beach summer dam to take a look. Sure enough, the first set of top boards in the middle have been removed, but no one was around. They have to take the boards out a little at a time to let the water out slowly as to not flush out the river, which is something they just started doing after I sorta complained to one of the biologists that they were flushing the river clean from letting it out too fast. So now, they take a lot longer to empty, both this dam and the one at Guerneville, which they work on at the same time.

All the middle boards have to be out and not impounding any water by the first of October. This is due to the salmon runs starting to come into the river for their winter spawning trip up the river.

Here is the Vacation beach dam with the first set of boards removed in the center to let the water lower slowly.summerdam


On to kayak Jenner

I continued on down to Jenner. The showers were very light at Jenner, and mostly stopping for now.

I saw Ray’s truck in the parking lot as I pulled in and saw him and another guy up the river a bit at swamp rock trailhead, so I headed on over there.

I passed these harbor seals on the way.seals


John, the main Jenner trash picker upper was there in his boat and Ray was just coming back from a short walk.

Ray and I head for the river’s mouth

Ray and I headed on down to the river’s mouth area as it was high tide and the surf was up with a storm coming into the area tonight and John took off somewhere looking for trash to gather. Thank you John for all the good work you do down here.

The river’s mouth is sorta closed

Here is Ray as we approached the closed river’s mouth, with waves breaking over the jetty, because of the high tide and the rough ocean. Note that the river’s mouth is closed with sand, but the high tide and rough ocean sorta make the mouth not closed. Spawning fish have been seen coming into the estuary during spawning time last year under these conditions, so in fact the river’s mouth is what I call, just sorta closed. I did not see any fish come over in this way today.mouth


We sat there and watched for a bit, thinking it sure was nice in here on the river and we were glad not to be out in the rough ocean not far from us. See all the ocean water coming into the estuary as the waves break over the closed mouth?ray


Down in the foam

We moved off to the right and went down to the end of the river where there is a bunch of foam we sat in for awhile and watched the goings on some more. Big waves from the ocean are washing the logs laying on the beach into the river as we watched, also bringing more foam into the river from the ocean.foam


Just watching the action

It was a nice day with low wind as we moved back in front of the mouth area, with lots of big waves breaking over the jetty.ocean


The Jetty impedes  spawning fish

Speaking of the jetty, the fact that it is so high stops most of the waves from breaking over the sand were the jetty is, which is about two thirds of the beach area down here.

On the right side of the jetty, where there is no jetty, the water breaks over the sand easily, as you can see in this picture.overflow


The left side of the jetty is protected by the high jetty, so it’s hard for the waves to break over on two thirds of the beach, but it will if the ocean is rough enough.

To me, the jetty impedes spawning fish from getting into the river when the mouth is closed during spawning season. The jetty blocks about two thirds of the beach from this action, just because it is there. To me, it’s a darn good reason to remove it and put it back to what it should be, so things can do their natural thing.

See, no waves coming over this part behind the jetty, but a nice place for birds to rest. Some seagulls, brown pelicans, and cormorants.pelicans


Pelicans come in to rest and dry off

The pelicans just flew in and were all soaking wet, likely got caught in the rain. They were drying off.pelican


Almost ate it as big waves pounded in over the jetty

I pulled my boat in just to the right of the birds and sat and watched the waves breaking over the jetty.

A couple big waves came in as I sat there and the water started to head for me, so I put it in reverse to move back from this spot before the turbulent water over took me. By the way, all this wave action moves more sand into the closed mouth area. You can see the brown water that is all full of sand being moved around in huge amounts.russianriver


I had just moved back from the sand where you see that wave of muddy water to the left. Just in time too, as that wouldn’t of been a good place to be. Not too soon either, I just barely made it. In fact the incoming rushing water helped me move out of there faster, as it pushed my boat ahead of it.rough


We watched the rough ocean for quite awhile and then headed on in for the day. Some light showers hit us as we went in and we thought we might get a little wet, but they were just very light showers for now, so we made it ok.

Water level of the estuary

I checked the water level gage at the visitor center to see how fast the estuary was rising. Two days ago, it read four feet. Today, it read about four and a half feet. The water from the dams will reach here soon and start the water level up. If the ocean gets real rough during this storm, lots of ocean water will come into the estuary and cause it to rise up faster too. Either way, the water level in the estuary is going to rise faster now.gage


We took our boats out of the water and went on home.

More computer

I worked on Marty’s computer some more and was able to get the corrupt file fixed and tried the download again. About half way through the download, it said it failed, so I told it to retry and that’s where I’m at with that, it’s downloading the huge file again, but I doubt it will work and I’m running out of ideas.

Nice day watching the big waves at the river.

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