Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bike Riding along the American River Bike Trail

Today was a gorgeous day for a bicycle trip with my daughter Abbey along the American River. So we loaded up the bikes on the BMW and off we went.

We parked at the Aquatic Center at Nimbus Dam and road our bikes up toward Folsom. Man what a great day, perfect for riding. With temps in the low 60's it was just cool enough to keep from sweating when exerting yourself on some of the uphill parts of the bike trail. There were plenty of other bicyclists on the trail so Abbey had to learn a little trail etiquette to keep from getting run over. People coming from behind always pass on your left, so she needs to stay to the right. However this didn't stop her from doing a little solemn course action on the stripes dividing the trail.

We saw quite a few birds on our trip today, including this large group of merganser ducks floating on the Lake Natoma . There had to be well over 100 ducks.

We also saw lots of Acron Woodpeckers while riding along. They are quite noisy, so you are sure to notice them when riding.

We rode almost to Folsom and then turned around and road back to the rest are near the Aquatic Center, and had lunch. You can't beat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when out riding your bike! Whie eating our lunch we saw quite a few ducks, geese and seagulls looking for handouts and there were a couple people more than happy to oblige them.

After lunch we rode down river toward the Nimbus Fish Hatchery.

With the sad state of our salmon fishery, it was suprising to see people still down by the river trying to snag salmon. Abbey and I stood and watch some guy with an oversized treble hook casting across the spawning beds trying to snag a fish. Even though there is no salmon fishing on the American River right now, the steelhead are running, so people can still fish for them. We were standing next to the DFG (Department of Fish and Game) warden while the guy down below was trying to snag a fish. Lucky for him, he never got one. She had her binoculars and was watching both sides of the river.

It was really pretty cool to stand above the river and look down and actually see salmon spawning and even see a few steelhead come in and try to eat the salmon eggs.

This first picture is taken on the American River just below the hatchery at Sailor Bar. The fish on the right is a dying salmon, that might still be laying eggs. The darker fish behind her is a steelhead trying to eat those very same eggs.

in this next photo there are 2 salmon and a steelhead and you can see the tip of the snagger guy's fishing pole and fishing line

We also saw this fisherman hanging out earlier down by the water. He later flew up into this tree. A Great Blue Heron.

Here he is earlier giving a little stretch

We also saw these guys down near the spawn beds.

Barrow's Golden Eye

Female Merganser

Male Merganser
Before leaving we did actually go into the Hatchery. Here are some fry, about 12" in length in one of the pools

I did see one fish out on the river jump out twice just below the Hazel Bridge. And Abbey and I saw one fish at the very top of the fish ladder just swimming against the current. The fish ladder is open but the gates across the river to direct the fish into the ladder are currently not in place. There were a few people also fishing just below Nimbus Dam, but not the shoulder to shoulder like you would normally see. Those guys below the dam are fishing for steelhead.

For all you Tattered House fans, I did manage to make it over there today also and take some picture for the new year. I will be posting those in a couple days.

I hope you all enjoyed my bike trip and I highly recommend taking a trip to the Fish Hatchery if you can. It is an amazing journey that salmon make in their life time, and the hatchery has a very nice museum with displays and history of the journey.

Talk to you all soon


1 comment:

The Tattered House said...

What a great day you had with your daughter. Great pictures for a January day in Sacramento. And to see the Salmon up close is too cool.

Great job!