Paddling Up to the Vacation Beach Dam from Monte Rio with Steve

Wednesday November 26,2014 Monte Rio CA.

River’s mouth get’s opened today

As I was checking the weather this morning the phone rang. Steve was down at the river’s mouth overlook and said they were taking out the mouth today. He also said it was a bit windy down there. Steve is  a bit of a wind wimp and said we should kayak Monte Rio today. Since the mouth was still closed, that meant the river was like a lake from the mouth all the way up to the summer Vacation beach dam, so it was a good time to kayak from Monte Rio up to that spot.

They likely opened up the river’s mouth today to prevent Jenner from flooding if the river comes up, as the sand dam down at the mouth is pretty high and the river water would have to come up over the highway at Jenner before the water would wash the sand dam out, which wouldn’t be good if that happened.

I met Steve at the boat ramp at Monte Rio where we put our boats in the water and headed up the river.

Here we are just starting out , up the river, headed for the Monte Rio Bridge.monterio


Lots of friendly ducks in this area

There’s always a bunch of ducks in  the Monte Rio area.  We passed by these mallard ducks taking it easy in the duck weed.mallards


And a blue jay was getting a drink of water on the shoreline as we passed.bluejay


The river was real calm in this area today as we cruised along just below the Northwood golf course.russianriver


I saw several of these ducks as we went by. This is one I haven’t identified


This was our view as we rounded the golf course corner and were headed on up to the summer dam.upriver


Big redwood stumps for the river

Here we’ve just made it to the Vacation Beach summer dam. The cement stuff you see on the left is part of the summer dam and bridge that is taken out right now, ready for the high waters of winter. The two big redwood stumps have been put into the river to wash down and create fish habitat. Something new they are trying out on the river to help provide fish habitat. We should be getting some new stumps down at Jenner as these big guys start to work their way down the river this winter when the rains come.stumps


Steve got out of his boat and walked around the beach a bit while I just sat in my boat, until we started back down the river.

Mouth breach drops the water level here first

While we were there, I was thinking, by now, they had just completed the breach down at Jenner, which meant that the water level should start to drop at this spot, as this is the upper level of the estuary when the mouth is closed. When you let water out of the bottom of something, the water level change is noticed at the water level at the top first. So far, it looked like the water level here had dropped about an inch.

There were several king fishers around today, teasing me to get a picture of them.kingfisher


It was a real nice winter day. We took our time moving along the river and eventually were back in Monte Rio. Just as we crossed under the Monte Rio Bridge, a bunch of ducks attacked Steve for some reason. They must have smelled something nice in his pack.ducks


It was just before five as we pulled into the boat ramp. While there, Pete came by in his car and while I was talking with him, several river’s otters swim by in front of us headed on up the river. He confirmed that they had opened the river’s mouth as he had just been down there checking it out.

That’s it for another nice day.

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