Recent rainy weather has produced enough runoff to dramatically alter local estuarine paddling venues.
Marsh Road is under water. The moisture on the roadway indicates that some high clearance vehicles have been driving through the waters.
Here is a view looking down the driveway to the canoe/kayak put in. It’s underwater, too.
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.
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.
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.
Usually this set of stairs ends on a driveway above a ramp that descends to the river’s shore.
A male merganser duck swam by the stairway, posing for the camera.