Mile 21 Report

January 17, 2014
by PaulSherman

Pistol River SP south
Friday 8:00 AM
44° F
Calm/Light from the NW
Tide Level:
2.5 ft
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
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:
Notable Wildlife:
Many gulls were bathing at mouth of Pistol and disturbed once by Red tail hawk flying over area.One steelhead was observed at the mouth.Three harbor seals were present in the mouth and this is a relatively new sighting, as they have been largely absent since the bridge has been under repair. Now, activity at bridge is much reduced, with repairs near completion. One harbor seal followed us for at least 1/2 mile down to end of mile 21, curiously looking toward the TwoShermans.
Dead Birds:
Signs of oil:
Beach was relatively clear at the surface of active life (no obvious mole crabs or other crustaceans).
Fish & Invertebrates:
<10 whole sand dollar skeletons were presentMany open mussel carcasses observed throughout mile area. No Dungeness crab moltings or carcasses observed.
Kelp or Algae·Animal casings (e.g. crab, shrimp molt)·Land-based debris (picnics, etc.)·Shells·Small rocks·Wood pieces
We found a 16 inch rubber tire (for a small car) and rolled it out of tidal zone (end of mi 21 toward 20. Plastic bags removed.
New Development:
Natural Changes:
Mile 21 showed some whole skeletal sand dollars. Sea gulls and sandpipers were present in the dozens (gulls were surfing above the first obvious wave break). Oystercatchers (1 pair) and gulls (multiple pairs) were present at end of mi, on Crooks Pt rocks. Much washed up driftwood present at end of mile 21-20.
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 were happy to see Harbor Seals returning to the mouth of the Pistol, and much more bird activity at mouth (bathing).Bridge construction activity is waning, as crew is preparing to dismantle catwalk and finish cementing guard rails.River level seemed much higher due to last week's rains. Steelhead sighting was expected, and pleasant to see.
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...
April 5, 2014 - PaulSherman
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...
  • photos of shore debris described in report are attached for further examinatiion
  • at the low water mark at 21.5 mil
  • at mile 21.5
  • Near Crook PointPicked upon by a raven, two vultures and a single eagle
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 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....