The River’s Mouth is Closing and Some Fife Creek Work

Tuesday September 8, 2015 Jenner CA.

The sun was out and the wind was down as I put my boat in the water at Jenner this morning. I knew the tide was still high so I headed on down to the river’s mouth area to see what was going on.

I noticed this surf scooter which I hadn’t seem many of for awhile now.surfscot


They seem a hard bird to get a good picture of for some reason. The camera doesn’t seem to do well with their black. They have a big bill and seem fairly trusting as far as birds go.scooter


Perched river’s mouth

I paddled into this spot in the river’s mouth and found the mouth a little bit on the closed side. I’m looking out towards the ocean from the river.mouth2


The big waves have been piling up sand from the ocean and brought sand into the mouth closing it up except for the high tides. In other words, the high tides can bring ocean water into the river, but when the ocean tide goes low, it has no effect as the sand makes a dam.

Here’s a bit better picture of the sand dam. We are at high tide so some of he waves are breaking over the sand into the river. I think the biologists call this stage perched.mouth4


When these big waves come in they sometimes pick up huge amounts of sand and bring it into the river’s mouth. This sand eventually gets high enough to make a dam and can close the river’s mouth. It’s hard to see, but that big splash has a lot of brown in it, full of sand. ocean


This sand dam also slows the hide tide as it comes in and that is likely why I didn’t see much phyto plankton last night while I was out looking for the lumens.

As I sat there in the river, these three harbor seals made a stash through the shallows to the ocean just after a big wave came in and filled this spot with water.seal


I was also watching these brown pelicans just across from me. They were taking a break and doing some preening.pels


Just up from them, there was another bunch of them with some seagulls, just resting.pelicans


After awhile, I started heading up the river just taking my time, stopping here and there until I made it up to Muskrat Nest
Beach were I sat for awhile before turning back down the river.


As I was paddling along two osprey flew over my head and landed in the trees somewhere just up ahead. I paddled along watching for them.

Here’s the first osprey I spotted.ospreyed


A little further along, I spotted the other one and went on by.osprey


I could hear a lot of screeching across the river that could only be the sound of terns. They sometimes make a lot of noise. Here’s some of them as I saw them across the river from me. I’m not sure what they were screeching about, maybe me?terns


As I approached the upper end of Penny Island I saw a big bird in the water so I went closer to have a look. It turned out to be another osprey taking a bath.Ospreywater


From there I headed on in for the day.

Fife Creek Work

I stopped at Ray’s house which is on the way home and just down the road from my house. I knew they were starting to do some creek work by his house so I wanted to see what was going on.

It turns out it was the Sonoma County Water Agency guys doing the work. The same guys that take the river’s mouth out when it needs it, so I talked with them a bit about what they were doing and then I visited with Ray for a bit.

Here’s Gary hauling a load of gravel to this pile which they will load on a dump truck later and remove it to somewhere else.gary


They are trying to improve the creeks flow so it doesn’t flood the houses along the creek so bad and at the same time they are trying to improve the fish habitat too, lowering the creek bed so there is water for the fish.

I went on home from there and that was about it of another nice day.

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One Response to The River’s Mouth is Closing and Some Fife Creek Work

  1. Patti Godwin says:

    I think we were loading up my kayak while you were on Tuesday. Brian Dorn told me about your adventures. He’s doing some work at our house. Love your blog. I’ll keep checking it. Great shots.

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