Mile 21 Report

April 5, 2014
by PaulSherman

Pistol River SP south
Saturday 11:30 AM
60° F
Moderate from the S
Tide Level:
0.4 ft
Humans / Pets:
Apparent Violations:
Disturbance of nesting seabirds
Cars/Trucks parking:
ATVs/OHVs parking:
RVs/Buses parking:
RVs/Buses parking: 0
Cars/Trucks on beach, allowed:
ATVs/OHVs on beach, allowed:
Cars/Trucks on beach, prohibited:
ATVs/OHVs on beach, prohibited:
Activity Comments:
A couple was leaving when we arrived and a small family coming when we left.
Notable Wildlife:
Of note, 2 golden eagles in flight up the Pistol River. These eagles caused seagulls to complain and scatter.
Dead Birds:
As we walked toward the end of our mile, we observed another eagle a raven and two turkey vultures picking at the remains of a dead raven. Cause of death unknown.
Fish & Invertebrates:
Kelp or Algae·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Land-based debris (picnics, etc.)·Ocean-based debris (from fishing boats, ship trash, etc.)·Shells·Small rocks
We found various washed up debris from the previous storms.
New Development:
Stream modification
The pistol river inlet had subsided, but has now cut through to join an inlet seep, broadening the flows of the pistol estuary.
Natural Changes:
Aside from our two separate eagle sightings at start of mi 21 and end of mi 21, we saw large debris near the tide line. 1. a 24 inch blown tire 2. a stainless steel crab trap in good working order. 3. we collected a photo of a fiberglass hull piece discovered some 10 days earlier. Dungenesss shells, numerous Echinoderm endoskeletons, much small rock wash.
The migratory eagles we observed over the Pistol River did appear to bother gulls that typically bath in the Pistol river estuary. We saw three to four harbor seals in the river confluence with the ocean, offshore. There was a great deal of small rock wash up and quite a few whole endoskeletons of sand dollars. At the 1/2 mi area we spied a blown out 24 inch truck tire near the low tide mark and a crab trap that had been carried to near the high tide water mark. Just an 1/8 mi further we rediscovered the broken fiberglass hull of a boat. It had no markings to indicate its origin. At the end of our mi another eagle perched near a dead raven as we approached. He (she) remained near its carrion even though we'd disturbed the vulture party. Mr. Eagle finally flew off, greatly disturbing a pair of black oystercatchers and several herring gulls that have begun setting up nests off the crook point rocks. Much kelp (bull whip) had washed ashore. The sand levels at the end of mi 21 seemed much lower than last visit, perhaps reamed out by the previous storm. There was evidence of deeper tide pools. We observed many mussels, barnacles, chiton, anemones and starfish, and some very shy blennies (I think) in the tide pools. I searched for isopods, but they've not yet returned. We examined two snail shells (one with an occupant). Plant life seemed much more lush, with some blooming shore lupine, ice plants, wild strawberries. The storms and warmer whether have brought on the spring and bird nesting.
  • photos of shore debris described in report are attached for further examinatiion
    photos of shore debris described in report are attached for further examinatiion
    April 5, 2014
  • at the low water mark at 21.5 mil
    at the low water mark at 21.5 mil
    April 5, 2014
  • at mile 21.5
    at mile 21.5
    April 5, 2014
  • April 5, 2014
  • Near Crook PointPicked upon by a raven, two vultures and a single eagle
    Near Crook PointPicked upon by a raven, two vultures and a single eagle
    April 5, 2014
  • April 5, 2014
  • April 5, 2014
Other Mile 21 Reports (13)


September 11, 2022 - PaulSherman
I saw 2 coyotes, 1 grey fox, and 5 brown pelicans, in addition to many western gulls.
  • Healthy Sea Stars
  • Healthy Mussels


July 25, 2021 - PaulSherman


July 23, 2020 - PaulSherman
No violations  or unusual environmental damage noted.  Healthy sea star population and flock of brown pelicans observed.
May 8, 2020 - PaulSherman
All was well on Mile 21 in the early morning of 8 May on a very low tide (-1.5).  An apparently orphaned Harbor Seal pup was observed on the beach in the cove at the southernmost end of Mile 21.  It...
January 30, 2020 - PaulSherman


October 27, 2019 - PaulSherman
It was a beautiful sunny, warm windy day.  I walked south along the beach all the way to the massive rocks at the boundary of the USFWS refuge at Crook Point.  The tide was low (-0.4) and the exposed...


May 3, 2014 - PaulSherman
The starfish we had seen dead and washed-up near pistol river / ocean coast line had disappeared --probably washed back into sea.As we walked mile 21, we observed hundreds of mole crab exuviae!...
April 18, 2014 - PaulSherman
Mrs. Peregrine Strikes AgainUpon our arrival, we observed the resident Peregrine pair on the dunes just adjacent to the Pistol River mouth. The male had just arrived, scaring up about 20 gulls...
March 7, 2014 - PaulSherman
We came upon the widened mouth of the Pistol River after many days of rain, and saw the area strangely absent of bathing gulls. Three Ravens were hawking, and a Peregrine dive bombed them then landed...
  • Peregrine had only just killed Herring when he'd arrived. Both adults were plucking the kill, then the male flew across the Pistol mouth, to watch from the driftwood, from afar. Ms. Peregrine (the larger of the two) stayed to clean her kill.
  • End of mile 21
  • The pair of Peregrines were still defending their Kill one hour later, mobbing a ravenous pair of Ravens that were attempting to usurp the leavings.  Our last photo interrupted the scene, temporarily.
January 17, 2014 - PaulSherman
We removed a minor amount of washed up "Oregon" debris and left a rubber tire that had washed up near end of mi 21-20 (rolled up to sand dune base). American made, Kelly Titanium, size R275-16We...
January 4, 2014 - Bob Ivey
Did some additional research about the area. There is a proposal for a golf couse which would include beach access farther down the coast, where was once a commercial salmon hatchery operated,...
  • South hike from Pistol River to Crook's Point.  Along south extending lagoon to Crook"s Point  approx 2 mile and back thur 30 to 40 foot sand dunes with sea floor rock protruding   thur.


July 1, 2009 - Don Hayes
A pleasant day for a beach walk, run, swim, stretch, and report including 70 photo study. Nothing unusual to note except no one on entire beach or in lot and small seal seeming not in best of health...
  • Don Haye, Mile 21, July 1, 2009, photo observations


August 22, 2007 - Don Hayes
I visually scan the entire coast mile daily and walk, run, and swim there regularily. Also I make photos from time to time. I do see an occassional dead bird or seal as well as plastic drifting in....