After many years of visiting Sutter’s Landing, I could never figure out why the river was always at different levels. I always wished I could figure out when they were releasing water so I could better pickup trash. Then one day a couple months ago, while paddling with my friend Tom, I became aware that there was a tide. I was shocked how simple it was. I couldn’t believe I never realized it before. Then I found out that many of us didn't know about our river tides, so I wanted to share.
My study is located on the large pipe, just past the downstream fence at SLP. Past the rope swing.
This month’s high tide, which happens twice a day, varies between 1.9’ and 3.3’. Low tide varies from -0.1’ to 1’. The Sacramento tide chart is measured at the Sacramento River in Old Town. SLP’s tide is different.
According to the Sacramento tide chart, on Aug. 6 at 2:58pm there was a 0’ low tide. At 2:58pm I set my yardstick at 1”. By 4:20, the water had dropped 2 more inches. Hoping that was low tide, I readjusted my yardstick down to 0. The next day the chart said there was a 3.2’ high tide at 5:57am. . I was there at 6:40am and measured a 28” tide, the stick was dry above telling me we were at high tide. On Aug. 11, I took a picture that showed watermarks on the yardstick that showed several tide levels.
I don’t know how scientific this is but hopefully you find it interesting. I have been obsessed with the river recently and have learned so much about it’s ecology and politics from some masters of the river. Thank you.
This year I decided to take my vacation at Sutter’s Landing. It has been a fantastic trip. I have explored much of the lower river and spent half the days, with my dog (Jax), cleaning between miles 3 and 4 across from SLP. It is beautiful over there, much cleaner than I expected.
In the last 2 months, I have cleaned dozens of abandoned camps and thousands of pounds of trash from right next to or in the river. FOSL and county maintenance crews have been very supportive.
It has been wonderful meeting so many dedicated people in love with the Parkway.
My new motto:
“Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but footprints”
Mark has raised the bar greatly this year with frequent nautical outings to float trash back into containers. Who says a person can't make a difference!
A great place to check on the latest river flows and temperatures for the lower American River is the Water Forum website.
"How Mark Spent His Summer Vacation"
Link to video clip of Mark and Jax towing a load after cleaning up the island across from SLP
💥UPDATE: Chris Smith, another amazing volunteer, put this video together of the ongoing cleanup work: American River Cleanup at Sutter's Landing