Russian River Mouth is Breached and a Sunset

Monday November 17, 2014 Jenner CA.

When I arrived at Jenner this morning, I checked the door on the visitor center to see if a posting was there announcing that they were going to open the river’s mouth. To my surprise, it was posted that they would breach the mouth on the seventeenth, which was today.

I put my boat in the water and headed on down to the mouth area to see what was going on.

Excavator at work

This was my view as I approached the mouth area. The excavator was hard at it digging the channel in the sand that would breach the closed mouth.digger


I passed by these brown pelicans bathing in the river’s fresh water.pelicans


I went on over to see how the excavator was doing digging in the sand.digging


I joined Ray and Steve

I could see Ray and Steve sitting in their boats by the shoreline across the river, so I went on over and joined them.

We stayed and watched for about an hour, then headed on up to the flooded Penny island which we boated onto and sat around for a good spell.

The excavator has done it’s job

Eventually, we could see the excavator starting to leave, so we knew they had breached the river’s mouth.

The excavator is leaving.excavator


Any fish coming in yet?

We decided to go back down to the mouth and see if there were any spawning salmon or steelhead coming into the river?

Ray and Steve landed by the newly opened mouth and got out to check it out. Here they are standing on the pile of sand the excavator dug


I went ashore too, to check it out

I went ashore and joined them to see what was going on.

Here I’m looking back up the just opened channel. The water is washing huge amounts of sand into the ocean, which will soon open up the mouth even


Ray is checking out the opened up  mouth.ray


This harbor seal went on down the chute to join all the other seals and sea lions that were swimming in front of the opened mouth in the ocean. We didn’t see any big fish action, too early yet.seal


Back up the river

We got back in our boats and headed up to the east end of Penny Island, dropping Ray off at the boat ramp as he headed on home.

Steve and I decided to wait around for the sunset, which was about five PM. To kill some time we headed up the river to otter’s log. About an hour and a half before sunset, we headed back down to the mouth area, taking the Penny Island back channel.

Deer on the hillside

As we were coming out of the channel, we could see a couple deer grazing on the hill in front of us.

A bit after that, we heard some kind of commotion in the flooded waters on the shore in front of us, some kind of splashing noise.deer


It turned out all the splashing was being caused by the deer being chased by some dogs. All the noise was  being made by the deer and the dogs jumping and splashing through all the brush in the  water.

I spied this animal and thought it might a coyote, before we realized it was dogs chasing the deer through the


The dogs lost or the deer won.

It was about an hour and a half before the sun would set about five PM as we headed back down to the opened  up mouth area.

We passed these brown pelicans resting along the shoreline on the way.pelican


Sunset is starting

By now,  the river level had dropped about a foot and a lot of the sand had washed into the ocean, including the big piles of sand the excavator piled up which we had been standing on earlier.mouthopen


Steve and I sat around and watched as the sun started to set for the day.

Pelicans were flying around.birds


The sun is almost down in this photo looking out past Beacon Rock.sunset


Sunset colors

We did get some colors as the sun was setting.set


The sun just set as we watched as the day was coming to a close.sundown


We headed on in shortly after the sun set. The boat ramp was empty, no ramp rage today. :O)

Opening the river’s mouth drops the water level to keep it from flooding Jenner and it lets any big fish that want to spawn come into the river to do their thing.

It was a real nice day paddling around in the Russian River Estuary.

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2 Responses to Russian River Mouth is Breached and a Sunset

  1. admin says:

    Hi Meg,
    Yes, the river is deep enough to paddle with the river’s mouth open all the time. The only part that you may need to walk your boat through is just below the Monte Rio bridge, but then you can go way up around the golf course before you might hit some more shallow water. Going down river is no problem, all the way to the ocean as far as shallows.
    The river flows faster when it rains, but because the river is wider in the Monte Rio area, I’ve always been able to paddle up or down, even with the river high. The trick is to paddle on the edges, not in the middle where the current is faster. Most paddlers with some experience can do it, but not recommended for inexperienced people when the river is higher. I go all year long and it is doable. Wait long enough and the river is back to almost summer conditions between any rain storms.
    Good idea not blocking the boat ramp when I come along. :O)

  2. Meg says:

    Hi Bob,
    I enjoy your blog very much. Thanks.

    I was wondering if the water is generally deep enough to paddle in the Monte Rio area when the river mouth is open?
    In the winter, is the river current from the increased rain a problem for paddling?

    I’ll see you out on the water someday, I promise I won’t block the boat ramp!

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