Mile 161 Report

July 3, 2018
by dpavlis

Oregon Dunes NRA just north of Siltcoos River
Tuesday 8:15 AM
54° F
Calm/Light from the NW
Tide Level:
0.6 ft
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
3 - ATV riding
People/dogs in closure areas
Apparent Violations:
We saw several people in plover area and 2 were not on dry sand as required. We saw one person with a dog. At first, he appeared to be in the plover area (closed to dogs) the time we reached him, he had moved north into the area where dogs are allowed. Do was off-leash and running near fenced plover area in that location where there has been a nest reported to have had several failures do to human disturbance (per plover educator we spoke to in parking lot). Not sure why this entire beach is not closed to dogs since there seems to be plovers nesting to the north of the access point (currently, according to signage there, dogs are allowed to the north of the access point). We had a pleasant conversation with the person (out of state visitor) about the plovers and how dogs scare parents of their nests putting eggs/chicks at risk.
Shorebirds moving in response to humans/dogs·Disturbance of nesting seabirds
Cars/Trucks parking:
ATVs/OHVs parking:
Cars/Trucks on beach, allowed:
ATVs/OHVs on beach, allowed:
Activity Comments:
Overall and other than what was reported above, people stayed on wet sand near plover areas and ATVs remained within the allowed riding area.
Notable Wildlife:
Osprey - 2, gulls, adult snowy plovers at wrack line - 3, juvenile bald eagle - 1, crow/raven - 2, sanderlings - 4 to 6
Dead Birds:
Fish & Invertebrates:
Small rocks·Shells·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Wood pieces
Lots of crab legs and dead crabs (not from molt) to south of access point. Some dead Emerita (mole crabs), but not a notable number. Found one crab molt to the north (photo included). Lots of shells in some locations along beach (very low tide). Most notable was lack of trash and plastic pellet debris (unlike our walk in Feb. when there was a high concentration of that on the beach here). Found one float and one piece of trash (a chewing tobacco tin). We removed both of these from the beach.
New Development:
Natural Changes:

It was a beautiful morning on Siltcoos Beach. No noticeable changes since our report in February except for the appearance of roped off plover nesting areas...a large area to the south of the access point and a smaller area to the north. It was 54 degrees when we arrived at 8:15 AM at low tide with a light breeze coming from the NW. The beach was very clean with no observable plastic pellet debris (unlike last Feb. when we saw a lot of that). We did not walk all the way to the mouth of the river (south) because there were adult plovers feeding at the wrack line and we did not want to disturb them (especially since that area is normally busy with visitors, making it more difficult for them). The beach was empty when we arrived; when we left (10:00 AM), there were several people on the beach and some ATVs and a truck within the allowed riding area. Most walkers were staying on the wet sand near plover areas as requested by signage at the entrance. One person did appear to be east of the wet sand out on the spit, but we could not see well enough to know for sure if they were off wet sand or in the plover fenced area since the river does cause a bend there. One dog was on the beach off-leash near the plover areas, unfortunately. At first, the dog was north in the dog-restricted area; by the time we had gotten back to the access point, he had moved north of the access point in the dog-allowed area, but the dog was near a roped off area (north of the access point) where a pair of plovers have attempted to nest, but where they have been unsuccessful so far (per the plover educator we spoke to there) due to human/dog disturbance in that area. Dogs are allowed in that area (per signage).

  • Float on Siltcoos Beach
    The beach was empty when we arrived. There was no visible trash on the beach, but we did see a float that had washed up.
    July 3, 2018
  • Low tide on Siltcoos Beach
    The tide was about .62 feet when we arrived this morning.
    July 3, 2018
  • Notable amounts of crab remains
    There were notable amounts of crab debris to the south of the access point.
    July 3, 2018
  • Expanse of shells
    There were large concentrations of shells in some areas long the beach. We found many of these areas both to the north and south of the access point, but highest concentrations were to the south.
    July 3, 2018
  • ATV on beach
    We saw several ATVs and one truck on the beach. All stayed within the allowed riding area.
    July 3, 2018
  • Beautiful morning on Siltcoos Beach
    It was a beautiful morning on Siltcoos Beach. We arrived before the wind picked up and a few beautiful clouds painted the sky.
    July 3, 2018
  • Crab molt on Siltcoos Beach
    We found one crab molt to the north of the access point (and not near where the crab remains were found to the south). Note...we did not have a dog with us due to Plover nests on this beach (the bag is holding something she wanted to keep dry).
    July 3, 2018
  • Off-leash dog on Siltcoos Beach
    One dog was off-leash on the beach and running near fenced off plover nesting areas at some points.
    July 3, 2018
Other Mile 161 Reports (28)


April 9, 2019 - dpavlis
It was a stormy, wet and windy morning at Siltcoos Recreation Area today with dramatic clouds and storms coming and going. All visitors appeared to abide by rules to remain on wet sand in plover area...
  • Siltcoos River outflow looking south
  • Siltcoos River outflow looking south
  • Reflections looking north
  • Baby Valella washed ashore
  • Entrance to beach at Siltcoos
  • Stormy day beachcomber


February 6, 2018 - dpavlis
It was a beautiful winter day, with sun and gentle breezes from the northwest. 46 degrees when we arrived and an empty beach for the first hour. People began arriving around 11:00. It was 59 degrees...
  • Empty beach upon our arrival at 10 AM.
  • Trash can found on beach
  • Driftwood piled up in tributary.
  • Closeup of accumulated driftwood
  • Worm trails in a log in the river.
  • Possible feral cat tracks.


September 20, 2015 - YmnKai
January 7, 2015 - JCarpenter
Nice day on the beach, I picked up small plastic debris in the area.


December 18, 2013 - mjohnson
This beach is a very lightly used part of the coast. In season the parking area is mainly used as a staging area for ATV activity, (not allowed on mile 161) ATV's go north from the parking lot on a...
September 19, 2013 - mjohnson
Spoke with a group of eight people visiting from New York, who were traveling through Washington and Oregon.They were really enjoying see the Oregon coast.
March 11, 2013 - mjohnson
Tidal over topping of the play area at Siltcoos Creek mouth. Large Dune at the southern end of the fore dune was eroded quite a long way to the north, leaving a tall bluff approx. 18 to 20 ft. high.


September 16, 2012 - mjohnson
No sign of any Tsunami debris.
July 11, 2012 - JCarpenter
Put styrofoam disk in trash bin.
June 8, 2012 - mjohnson
The fore-dune has eroded into 6-8ft. high bluff and river mouth has migrated at least 100 yards to the north. Because of this low minus tide today I observed thousands and thousands of what appeared...
March 9, 2012 - mjohnson
Recent windstorms have covered the parking lot and access road with sand to a depth of 1"-2". Beach shows a moderate amount of erosion approaching the base of the fore dunes.Only a few harbor seals...


December 9, 2011 - mjohnson
Seen hundreds of gulls at the river mouth. Nice day for a beach walk.
October 19, 2011 - JCarpenter
There was one ballast container placed by trash bin. Otherwise the beach was clean.
September 17, 2011 - mjohnson
Clean gentle sloping beach, shows very little scouring away of sand, even slope all the way to base of foredunes.
June 20, 2011 - JCarpenter
Saw a group of sea/river otters north of Siltcoos River outlet and off the shoreline, about 15 playful.
June 15, 2011 - mjohnson
Snowy Plover exclusion areas are roped off. A volunteer stated that she knows of two nests currently. Approx. thirty-five harbor seals sunning on north side of Siltcoos river outlet.
March 6, 2011 - mjohnson
Beach clean not much visible driftwwd, small quantities fo bull kelp.No Wildlife viible other than a few ducks in Silkcoos Creek area.Nothing remarkable to note, just a pleaant day at the beach after...


March 17, 2010 - mjohnson
Beach clean.


December 18, 2009 - mjohnson
Literally hundreds of seagulls clustered on both sides of Siltcoos Creek mouth.
September 18, 2009 - mjohnson
Beach is clean, free of trash except near the access path area.
June 25, 2009 - dpavlis
The Western Snowy Plovers are nesting this time of year (March 15 thru Sept 15). Areas are roped off, but people have been ignoring ropes and walking through areas, putting nests and chicks at risk (...
January 8, 2009 - dpavlis
Today the beach was windy and rainy, but beautiful with scattered sun breaks and big bold clouds from white to black. There were only 7 people on the beach (none stayed long, except one). I can't...
  • The Siltcoos River as it meanders out to sea along Siltcoos Beach.


December 4, 2008 - mjohnson
Beach and River mouth area appeared to be swept clean by normal wave action to a gentle slope up to foredunes. Seagulls at river mouth were the only animal life observed other than two harbor seals...
September 18, 2008 - dpavlis
Ocean unusually calm/quiet. 7 of the 11 dogs we saw were in a group of rescued greyhounds. All dogs on beach were either leashed or under good voice control and not disturbing wildlife. Beach was...
  • A group of harbor seals gathered at the mouth of Siltcoos Creek (this photo shows some of the 16 we saw).
March 11, 2008 - mjohnson
Creek at south end fo mile 163 no longer runs to the ocean, has stopped flowing earlier than in past years.Beach has been swept clean of debris and most driftwood by wave action, also the beach shows...


June 4, 2007 - bwholler
Beach sand and foredune returning to a more gentle summer pattern. Update on nesting snowy plovers from plover volunteer present in parking lot: There are 5 nests enclosed in predator-proof cages on...
February 20, 2007 - bwholler
Cindy Burns, (wildlife biologist and snowy plover protector), told me that the bulldozing of sand and beach grass on both the north and south sides of Siltcoos River is maintenance of snowy plover...


December 7, 2006 - bwholler
Driftline with much kelp and wood. Kelp is starting to break down and disperse. Large masses of kelp deposited on beach during November’s big storms. Siltcoos River is still far to the south of the...