Phyto Phosphorous Plankton Viewing in the Russian River Estuary

Monday July 13, 2015 Jenner CA.

Radiators done

I got a call first thing this morning telling me my radiator was ready, so I got up and headed over that way to pick it up. As long as I was shopping I picked up a new battery for my van. Turned out the old one was purchased in 2004, so I guess I got my money out of it, eleven years is pretty good. I found some LED back up lights I’ll install so maybe I can see when I back up at night.

Off to see the lumens

Around 6:30 PM I went down to Jenner with Steve to check out the phyto phosphorous plankton which I call lumens for short. They glow in the dark when they come into the river with the ocean water at high tide. They only glow when something excites them, like a kayak or a paddle or a fish or seal.

Tonight looked like everything was lining up for some good lumens viewing. No moon, and a real high tide with a real wide and deep open river’s mouth to let lots of sea water into the river which brings the lumens in. If there is a moon, it can be too light and you can’t see them glow, but no moon tonight.

Steve came by and we went down to Jenner around seven PM and headed up the river slowly. It was a bit windy, but not too bad.

This was our view as we cleared Penny Island headed up the river. That’s a log in the photo if you were wondering. The fog tried to sneak in, but didn’t.russianriver


The white pelicans were getting ready for the night by Paddy’s rock, but the high tide coming in will flood this area and they will have to move when it gets dark.pelican


By Paddy’s rock, these bovinosorous calves were putting on a show, frolicking.calves


More pelicans waiting for it to get dark.pels3



Just after sunset looking west towards the town of Jenner from the Paddy’s rock area. We are hoping the wind will die down for the lumens, but so far hasn’t.sunset


Did you see the Bovinosorous getting a drink out in the water in the above picture?



We paddled over to Muskrat Nest beach were we sat waiting for it to get dark enough.

As it got dark, the wind started to die down and the water went flat. Perfect.

It takes a while for it to get dark enough to see the lumens light up the water when you move any of it with the boat or paddle. Fish and things light up when they move under the water and look like glowing rockets shooting away from the boats.

As it got dark, we could see the lumens were thick and it was going to be a good lumen night.

We paddled just a little ways up the river by a rocky spot and looked, then started working our way down the river, crossing over to the Paddy’s rock area were the pelicans were. It was high tide now, a 6.3 foot tide, a nice high one for this area which pushes a lot of ocean water into the river which brings lots of the lumen guys into the river.

We saw some fish, but not lots of fish which I’ve sometimes seen. I wonder why sometimes I see fish everywhere and sometimes I only see a few while checking out the estuary. It’s a mystery why this happens? It might be that sometimes lots of ocean fish come into the estuary from the ocean on the tide and sometimes they don’t? It’s an ongoing mystery. The best night for viewing lumens has lots of fish in the water. But this was a good night for lumens as they appeared to be fairly thick everywhere and with no moon, they really shined.

We worked our way down the back channel of Penny Island and around the lower end of it. It was almost midnight so we headed on in and were at the ramp at midnight. This is the latest I’ve stayed out for the lumens, but there was no wind and it was just real nice and peaceful out.

When I got home I got something to eat and started the blog, but ran out of steam and couldn’t finish it, so went to bed and am finishing it this morning.

Nice night out kayaking in the lumens at Jenner.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.