Estero Americano, Jenner, Monte Rio

Recent rainy weather has produced enough runoff to dramatically alter local estuarine paddling venues.

Estero Americano

Estero Americano is as full as it can get. Below is a photo looking back towards Valley Ford from the bridge immediately above the usual launch area.EA Bridge Looking back to VF

Marsh Road is under water. The moisture on the roadway indicates that some high clearance vehicles have been driving through the waters.

Marsh Road, Flooded

Here is a view looking down the driveway to the canoe/kayak put in. It’s underwater, too.

EA Launch Ramp

Soils are saturated right now. The next rains will almost certainly produce enough runoff to raise the Estero’s waters enough to breach the sand dam out at the coast. If the breach doesn’t occur naturally, then Caltrans will need to breach it to keep the Estero from flooding the Coast Highway south of Valley Ford.

More rain is forecast to make landfall tonight. By this time tomorrow things are likely to look quite different here.

The Russian River at Jenner

The Russian River is also swollen with runoff. At the Jenner boat launch, the river was going by at about 4 miles per hour. The overlook above Jenner was crowded with people witnessing the unusually large amount of water sliding into the Pacific.

Mouth of Russian River 1:18:16

The mouth of the Russian River attracted a number of gulls, pelicans, and harbor seals. Some seals swam in the water, presumably dining on steelhead coming through to spawn. Many other seals lay resting on the sand bank near the mouth. The seals formed two groups. Here’s a closer view of the group on the north bank just below the overlook.

Harbor Seal Haulout 1:18:16

Another group of about the same number of seals rested along the southern shore of the river.

The Russian River at Monte Rio

Upstream, in Monte Rio, the boat launching area was hidden under the flood waters.

Monte Rio Launch Ramp Stairway 1:18:16

Usually this set of stairs ends on a driveway above a ramp that descends to the river’s shore.

Monte Rio Male Merganser 1:18:16

A male merganser duck swam by the stairway, posing for the camera.

4 thoughts on “Estero Americano, Jenner, Monte Rio

  1. That’s a lot of water! I guess this expands your kayaking playground to some degree but also makes it a little more dangerous.

    Is this part of an annual seasonal cycle or part of the El Nino system?

    Nice Merganser duck photo.

  2. Hi, Alden,

    We’ve had about the normal amount of rainfall for this time of year, about halfway through the rainy season here in California. It’s not enough to get us out of the drought we’ve been experiencing, but it is a good start. We do need more rain. Some say El Niño may help us break the drought cycle. We’ll see.

  3. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Beachmama. It’s fun to monitor our estuaries. I too love the way the male mergansers put on their tuxedos for the lady mergansers during mating season. So showy.

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