Thursday, December 6, 2012

How high's the water Mama

Well... I don't want make fun of people. Especially people that have never seen the water this high before, because it has been awhile since it has been this high. The river was clear over the road at Kimtu. Apparently that's a big deal nowadays. It used to be pretty routine to see water that high. The people that live in kimtu are pretty used to driving through some water up over the road, but not so much anymore. The water being over the road at Kimtu made photos in all of the important blogs and most of the local papers. It came as a little surprise to me that it was "news". Hmmmm....

The river has been moderately high, but not close to flood stage for a few years now. The river used to reach flood stage at least once or twice every year. I figur' it's global warming, that's what causes everything now. Global warming has been going on for close to 200,000 years, so you should expect to see things getting be really bad, shouldn't you?

Last year, or maybe sooner, I was musing about the moderate rainfall that we have been having and how clean the river was getting. All of the old traditional fish resting holes were clearing out, the gravel was moving out to sea, and the light rain was not causing too many great slides like we used to have every winter. I boldly stated the river was looking good and we could expect some pretty fabulous fish runs. (you could look it up)

The river was full of fish this year, but we had some pretty late rains and the run was delayed a little. When the fish finally got enough rain to head upstream, the water was not high enough to make it up some tributaries, so most of the fish spawned in the mainstream. I'm not sure how the spawn will fair in the high water we are having now, but it must be very destructive to the fish roe. The good thing is that there were thousands of fish spawned in the Eel river this years. (yes thousands!)

It is strange what mother nature will do. The old tradition fish resting hole under the bridge below Garberville, on the way to the airport, was full of salmon. Some reports said up to 200 fish at one time. The resting hole is not nearly as good as it was when the local folks saw it before 1964, but the salmon still choose to rest there. It must be genetic.

This year, environmental groups were having their praises sung for their great work in restoring the fish runs. Again, don't get me wrong, we need people to be concerned about the river and the fish, and we especially need people with the autority to stop fish habitat destruction. However, having seen the whole cycle, it was Mother Nature that caused the two major, and several minor floods that destroyed the quailty of the river fish habitat. It was also Mother Nature that brought the resting holes back.

I wish that I knew how this year's spawn is doing.

e e


Anonymous said...

Yep, I saw some of those pictures posted on fb. All looked normal to me for this time of year.


Ross Sherburn said...

South end approach to old Briceland used to wash out once in awhile also!

Ross Sherburn said...

"Briceland Bridge" that is !!!

Anonymous said...

Dang Ernie, hope you didn't wash away.


Ernie Branscomb said...

Nope. I didn't wash away. It's nice to see that you guys didn't either.

I hope Robin or some Laytonvillian remembers the Sawmill that was located between the feed store at Ten Mile Creek bridge and the new high-school. It sat back about 500 yrds from the road. I remember the mill but no particulars about it. It may have even closed after the '55 flood.

The reason that I asked is that a lady from Laytonville that has some property around there emailed me and asked about the mill.

Any clues for me????

Ernie Branscomb said...

North of the branscomb road

William Roddy said...

Didn't know if I'd get another chance before Christmas, so I though I'd wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and Happy Hanukkah now.

Looks like you've been getting your share of rain this year. Tonight's weather map shows flood warnings up in your part of the woods. Hope everyone stays high and dry.

And if you'll allow me, I'd like to send best wishes to all the members of the US armed forces who have to spend Christmas away from home, and to their families.

Take care, old friend.

William Roddy

Ross Sherburn said...

I remember the mill.At first thought was thinking Terwilliger mill,but I think it was north of town farther??
Ernie I'll try to look it up in my book.

Ross Sherburn said...

This is the closest one I could find in reference to the High School.This reads out of my book.

Sawmill piled waste. Near high school.Henry A. Parks,President.On Simpson land.Fairhurst Enterprises.

Ross Sherburn said...

Ernie, I count 62 documented mills around the Laytonville area.
From early 1900's up till pretty recent time.

Dave Kirby said...

Highest water i've seen since coming here was winter of 85-86. I was still a member of P'ville VFD even though i lived up Bear Butte rd. The avenue flooded both north and south of P.ville. By the time I left P'ville Neal Logan had to take me out via a dirt road east of the Avenue that skirted the flooded area to the south. Maple hills rd. was also flood so Neal dropped me off where the frwy crosses Bear Butte rd. Over the years Ive seen Salmon spawn in the river a number of times. Mainly at the mouth of Fish Creek at Benbow Campground and down stream from the old Forest of Arden. It is amazing how long it has taken for the river to recover from 64.

Robin Shelley said...

I know where the mill was that you're talking about, Ernie, but don't know anything about it. There was an old burner & some other rusty pieces standing there when I was a kid. The pond may still be there, I'm not sure. I remember kids used to fish there. Sulphur Creek Lumber Co. makes sense as Sulphur Creek used to run through there. The mill was north of what is now Teem's place. It bordered Teem's & the high school property, maybe Nyhen's on the west side & Brother Pinches' to the north. Pat Teem & Dennis & Sissy Dodd have lived near there for a long time now & may know something about it. Sorry I'm not much help. Will definitely be interested to know more about it.

Ross Sherburn said...

Looking on Mapquest,I see there is a Sulphur Creek road. Looks like it leads back to a pond!

Beverly said...

Photos her of Sediment on the Eel River by NASA's Earth Observatory: