Mile 215 Report

May 5, 2012
by R Bayer

Yaquina Bay SP, North Jetty Yaquina River
Saturday 9:37 AM
50° F
Calm/Light from the E
Tide Level:
0.8 ft
Humans / Pets:
Walking / Running:
Activity Comments:
Notable Wildlife:
4 gulls and 1 American Crow
Dead Birds:
Northern Fulmar
Fish & Invertebrates:
Kelp or Algae·Plastic pellets·Shells·Wood pieces
New Development:
Natural Changes:
There was a fair amount of woody and vegetative debris, but the only human-made objects I found were small plastics (<20 mm), which in places were concentrated with densities of 10-30 per square foot along one of several high tide lines but in other places they were none. I have found such small plastics every month on this beach, so this is not new. It is unclear if these particles are new to the beach or have been redistributed on the beach with wave action and sand movements.I was under the impression that bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) is an annual (, and large piles of bull kelp are regularly on beaches here in fall and winter, particularly after storms. So I was surprised to find a very large bull kelp pile with several Western Gulls that were pecking at food items in it. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I came back with a meter stick (for scale) and a camera to document the large piles of bull kelp and some Macrocystis. This intertwined bull kelp pile had many intact holdfasts, stipes (stems), and bulbs (floats) with attached leaves. There were at least 2 other smaller piles, but although I focused on these for my photographs, they were rare. More common were scattered single bull kelp plants. In the biggest pile, the stipes, bulbs, and some of the leaves were very fresh, and at first I thought that this might be this year's growth until I more closely examined the underside of holdfasts where they would have attached to rocks or other substrate and saw that they were covered with small gooseneck barnacles, which indicates that the kelp had been free and floating near the surface for a long enough time that gooseneck barnacles colonized the underside of the holdfasts. Only in the largest clump of bull kelp did I find the large gooseneck barnacles that had shells that were about 4 cm long. Some of the bull kelp stipes and upper and undersides of holdfasts also had other material growing on them that suggested they had been floating in the ocean for a long time. Some of the single bull kelp stipes and leaves were partially decomposed.
A fair amount of woody and vegetative debris on beach, but no large human-made objects. Continuing small (<20 mm) plastic particles are present in some high tide drift lines.
  • Western Gull attending Bull Kelp pile and pecking at food items in it.
    Western Gull attending Bull Kelp pile and pecking at food items in it.
    May 5, 2012
  • The gooseneck barnacles as well as some other invertebrates shows that this pile of bull kelp had been floating in the ocean for an extended period of time, even though the kelp looked fresh.
    The gooseneck barnacles as well as some other invertebrates shows that this pile of bull kelp had been floating in the ocean for an extended period of time, even though the kelp looked fresh.
    May 5, 2012
Other Mile 215 Reports (20)


February 16, 2019 - JuliaAndLuna
Had hail for part of the walk. I think that kept a lot of people indoors.


October 20, 2018 - JuliaAndLuna
The beach was very clean, I only found a single old toothbrush. Weather was comfortable on the walk south, but wind picked up severely on our way back up the beach.
  • newport jetty yaquina beach bay rocks
  • dead ray beach sand


May 19, 2014 - B Pope
Nothing of significance. Notable fishing debris. Broken shells. Lots of wood washed up. A bit of kelp. Saw nothing with Japanese writing on it or anything that couldn't have come off one of our...


November 23, 2013 - R Bayer
Nothing of special note. People and dog presence may be reason why I saw only one bird (a gull) on the beach. There was a very strong wind from the east, especially near the Yaquina Bay North Jetty...
September 7, 2013 - B Pope
Although this is my first posting, I've walked this mile for the last year. There are no significant changes. Tide was high so could not document rocky intertidal life on the north jetty. No...


August 25, 2012 - R Bayer
There were more and a greater variety of shorebirds than usual. I was surprised to see the 2 Ruddy Turnstones, but had good long looks of them at close distance. Shorebird migration seems to be...


August 28, 2011 - Beachbum
Just so you know, those signs are fairly common on the stretch from Yaquina Head to the North Jetty. They're "floaters" that have come from the Cobble Beach tidepool area at Yaquina Head Oustanding...
August 26, 2011 - R Bayer
The weather was not comfortable for people to be on the beach, so there were fewer than usual. On the North Jetty was a triangular bright yellow waxed cardboard sign that folds underneath with a...
March 25, 2011 - R Bayer
Fewer people and birds than usual. Numerous small (<20 mm) plastic particles intermittently along 1-2 high tide drift lines; hard to quantify number and concentration of small particles that...


October 16, 2010 - R Bayer
Much of the sand along the upper beach has gone since my Sept. 5, 2010 walk, apparently from wave erosion. Flotsam now occurred higher on the beach that it had since last spring. I saw less than 1...
August 6, 2010 - R Bayer
Along the driftline, there were very few plastic particles less than 20 mm long (<1 per square meter) and very few larger plastics, so few if any plastics have washed ashore recently. However, I...
June 12, 2010 - R Bayer
In the drift line on wet sand closest to the water, I found only 0-3 small (20 mm or less) plastic particles per square foot, so few small particles appear to be currently being washed up. However,...
April 11, 2010 - R Bayer
Lots of plastic particles less than 20 mm long in wrack line along the mid-beach as well as a fair amount of larger plastics as well as glass bottles, many of which had a cap. There were fewer...
March 7, 2010 - R Bayer
The 4 oystercatchers on the sand beach were a surprise. They may be resident on the North Jetty.
January 9, 2010 - R Bayer
Four dead birds: 3 Northern Fulmars (each had colored ties on wing, combinations: red-white-yellow, red-white-red, purple-white-red), 1 Pigeon Guillemot (no ties). The one significant bit of litter:...


September 16, 2008 - NewportNancy
It was a foggy, quiet day along Mile 215. Moderate sand hills (1-2 feet) have formed on the southern end of the beach near the north jetty, but the beach was flat further north. It was clear that all...
January 11, 2008 - NewportNancy
Access via Yaquina Bay State Park was a small challenge today, as the path at the bottom of the southern staircase was flooded (the seasonal/weather-dependent "pond" behind the dunes had expanded...


September 7, 2007 - NewportNancy
Beautiful day, not much activity post-summer tourist season, few interesting birds but not many people.
  • Caves and erosion of cliff face, mile 215 near Hallmark Resort
  • There is always water at the base of the cliff here in the residential/hotel stretch of the beach. Groundwater? Septic? Both?
March 16, 2007 - NewportNancy
This was our very first observation of Mile 215. It was a gorgeous day all day, clear, warm, and still, but by the time we got down to the beach the coastal fog had rolled in and the temperature had...
February 1, 2007 - [email protected]
[No summary notes included - cwe]