The Eel River: Views From Redway to Ferndale

Did you miss seeing the Eel River at its glorious highest yesterday? (The waters swooshed over the Flood Monitoring stage at Ferndale.) Don’t worry! Local tracker Kim Cabrera filmed the mighty Eel as it pushed its way northward to the sea.

Check out what the waters looked like. (Also, take a look at 3:15 where Cabrera shows a hole cut out of a highway bridge so a redwood tree could thrive.)


Want to see more from Cabrera? Follow her YouTube channel here.



  • If only each community could capture that water, then release it slowly throughout the summer, to save our salmon.
    Nice video!

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      Like Ruth Lake. That’s why the Mad River should be designated a Salmonid and anadromous fishes Reserve River. The cold water flows, now, all year and could sustain fish populations through major droughts for re-stocking statewide when normal rainfall resumes. Wild fish in the river, hatchery fish from the hatchery. Normal sport fishing allowed. The reservoir is way upstream in Trinity County so most of the river is available for wild fish; the dam keeps it cold and high.

    • Or like mayan,algae filled canals,for fertilizing gardens,instead of the more practical factory farm,full of pseudoslaves competing with real slaves,oversea.oversea is a funny word.

  • Makes me want to go kayaking!

  • The mighty eel river!

  • Thank you. Really cool to see

  • Thanks for sharing this, Kym.

  • I would love to know what the people in the zodiac were doing. Joy ride, pulling plugs, going to surf the mouth??

    • Kim told us in an earlier post that the men were taking depth measurements. Great video, Kim! Thanks…..

    • They were from CalTrans. They had sonar and were taking readings of the depth of the water and the river bed at that location. They told me they were heading out Highway 36 next, to look at a bridge out there. They didn’t say which one.

  • Kym & Kim, thank you for sharing this. It is a joy to see the mighty Eel full again. It’s been a while.

    • Yeah, it’s been since last year.. Winter (when it rains) to be exact.

      • Okie dokie. Must be your first year here. We’ve been a drought so it has not been that full in a looonnnggg time.

        • Lost Croat Outburst

          We did have some high water last year early in the season. Not like this, but more than the prior year, which was very dry. Agree with all that this is much more like a regular winter. This is when we get the big water. That’s a Mediterranean climate for you. Most of the rain in only 3 to 5 months. The Mattole had some early, fairly high water events last year as well before the spigot got turned down.

  • Thank you so much for sharing Kim amd Kym! I was so sad yesterday that I did not have a car to go see the river. NOW I AM HAPPY!

  • Kim, Love the video. Next time you follow the Eel down to the mouth you can look for the High water marks on the Redwood trees from the 64 flood. If you go to the Gift shop at Holmes flat they have a sign on on of the tree out in front of the store and that will give you an idea fo how high the river got back in 64. The first time I took a drive and looked at the marks it was mind blowing. Take care and thank you for the nice video.

    • There was a massive log jam in that ’64 Flood that caused the Eel River to back up, kinda like a temporary dam and temporary lake system. That’s where many of those wildly high “high water” marks come from. Not saying the water wasn’t up that high, just pointing out it wasn’t all flowing downriver at that time. Not expecting it could get there again since we don’t have log decks or even logs like that anymore.

    • Those high water marks are really visible in Burlington Campground too. It’s neat to see them still on the trees after all this time. And to imagine what it must have been like!

  • I saw those guys in the raft u see in the video going up the ell just west of the bridge pertty ballsy there were 2 guys in it and it looked like to me it was overloaded hope they made it ok looked like they were having a wild time going up river in that lil dingy

    • They had a sonar thing on the side, with GPS on top, and a laptop in a waterproof housing so they could record the readings. Interesting stuff!

    • Lost Croat Outburst

      What was their average age (snicker)? Any life vests? GFL life insurance? Poor supervision? Hope they don’t wind up riding a log at Crab Park, waiting for the daily Coast Guard drill. The duck hunters were “ballsy” too and that was expensive. Did Buddy the dog ever turn up? Testosterone poisoning.

  • The high water line from ’64 is visible on trees along the avenue between Myers Flat & Miranda. Subtle, you have to look for it.

  • Kym, do you remember when the rivers used to be at this level every single year? Don’t get Ernie Branscomb in on this conversation, we might be here for days and Santa won’t stop by if he sees that we’re not sleeping.

    • I do remember. I even remember a few floods every couple of years.

      • All that usefull water,dirtied,flushed into the fishes faces.if you would put your OTM ,caged underaged,people up the rivers tending 50 yard,circular,plastic lined ponds,3″ deep.planting,in marijuanaland,astaxanthin producing haematococcus pluvialis.that’s the produck of solidifying pond scum.grown artificially,on white,industry,petro,chemicals.$7,000/ is found in rock,freshwater ,ponds above tide line is made 99% synthetic.makes farm salmon red not carrot juice is ambient in only little ponds that suffer extremes,in heat and allows salmon to survive xtreme uv,and have energy.most powerful 3-omega could make money,but you would be like changing horses in the middle of a race.leak this onto your floodplane.sorry to be so off subject,barking words that only a whale would care to intercept.don’t confuse with red poison rivers of east coast.this alga grows on very limited spaces,everywhere,it can be grown massively,but on a mineral deposit,plankton,instead.current chemical ingredients ,have one ,on internet offering astaxanthin ,1 ton 500/ kg,starting bid.chemicals make least in chlorella($77/kg)cultivation they can put ground basalt rock to the microbe.

    • Same pattern since I was born.
      Dry and wet years on about a 4 year cycle. Some are dryer some are wetter.
      Wet years are up to three times the average.
      Get those for a few years and the average seems dry.
      I can only speak for Humboldt which has not been as drought stricken as the rest of the state.

  • Kim,

    Enjoyed the pics! Any newcomers to the area can see the great pictorial displays of the ’64 flood put together by Dave Stockton at the Humboldt Redwoods State Park visitor center in Weott. Neat video footage, too.


  • This is what the temperate North Coast Redwood rain forest’s rivers should look like. Amen.

  • Thank you for your video. Nice to see what is happening from Southern California. I lived in Leggett during the Christmas 1955 flood. Many changes to the Redwood Highway as a result of that high water.

    • I remember the ’55 flood also. Lived in Leggett. We were out of state for the ’64 but came back in ’65 and saw the damage for years. The “Off Hiway Motel” would have been a safe place either time.

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    Great video. Spookiest part was the one-handed driving on narrow Fernbridge. Crikey! We almost had a breaking newsflash: fernbridge closed for hours today as intrepid photojournalist hit the rail and spun out. Days of youth, how ephemeral. Sigh.

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