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Russian River Estuary
Marine Protected Area
Ocean and River Nursery

The Most Wildlife Rich Habitat

on the Russian River

Seal, Otter, Birds, Whale

Sharing the best ways

to view since 1987


Protected Wildlife Habitat
River Mouth Open: Stay 300 feet back from  Deadly River Mouth Currents. Returning to shore safely may not be possible. Currents upstream of "estuary tidal influence" may remain hazardous into May.
"Stay back at least 150 feet" from resting or feeding birds and wildlife by land and water.

Feeding and Disturbing Wildlife Prohibited

River Otter, Harbor Seals and Pups, Many Birds

Used Kayak and Gear Sale!


Estuary Forecast: 04/15/24: Soft Opening

Free dry bag use and thin outerwear if needed.

Guided Tours or Rentals with Lessons.

Rental Starts: Friendlier with incoming high tides. Start at least 3 hours prior to wind picking up.

Mon-Tue:  Warm, Sunny, Nice: Start 10AM-2PM

Wed-Thur: Partly Sunny, Warm, Nice: Start 10AM-2PM

Fri-Sat:Sunny, Start Early to avoid afternoon winds.

Next Sun-Wed:   Partly Sunny, Warm: Start 10AM-2PM

Popular weekends and  school breaks.

Reservations Required: No act of nature cancellation fees.


Spring:  A mix: Nice as Rain and Cold reduces. Some PMs are windy. Some high wind days. AMs start clearer and warmer than inland.  Tule fog starts inland.  Estuary currents begin to return to tidal calm shortly after each light rain.

We re-open for temps above 55, during dry weather, and without noticeable currents in the main estuary.  

(See river levels below 9' at Guerneville)

Ocean Tides: Goat Rock Beach    

Know which days to avoid windy afternoons.


See our safety page for  apps to track local conditions.

We use 4 apps as none correctly cover all.  We are not responsible for accuracy as forecasts can and do change. Therefore, nobody can interpret with full accuracy.

A full list of our seasonal weather and river flow limitations, and when we close for all activities, can be found here.

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We Want: Motivated Team Players

Water Safety: This is an outdoor emergency service

and high volume community education team.

Communication and team skills are vital.

We also have one team support position each year

Reservations, safety communication support, and client services.

Ideally training for interpretation and to assist guide as needed.

Avid Outdoors

Science and Ecology Geeks

(College Credit and Work Experience available)


Safety and Survival Enthusiasts

(Prepare for Professional Rescue Certification)

Become an "On the Water" Professional

(Paddlesports Guides and Kayaking Lifeguards)













Wildlife Interpretation


Our Best Paying Positions Require

"Professional" Water Rescue and

CPR / First Aide Certifications

Certification fees reimbursed on completion of seasonal contract.

We pay these fees upfront for returning team members dedicated to our team.

Step 1 for all: A brief introduction to Paddlesports Safety

Additional "Hands On" Certification Required For All Water Safety Positions.

Step 2: Water Safety Positions

Option A:

Become a Lifeguard (Certifications March through May)

Certified Lifeguard : Seasonal: Kayak Launch: Rental water safety, train to rescue by kayak, assist guide. Our best progress to leading small tours.

Pass your class from March to May to be ready for the Summer Season.

Or, Join a waiting list to create another class. Sign up now.

Try Here First: Fast Professional Lifeguard Certification

This is one of the fastest for seasonal water safety positions.

We include training on site for water rescue by kayak

Option B:

If you want more, than to just work through school breaks.

The path for Paddle Sports Guide and Instructor Careers

Training and certifications ongoing.

Certified Kayak Guide: More intensive water and rescues for year round careers.

Experienced and credentialed to manage safety protocols and rescue responses for a "team of guides" for large tour groups up to 35 clients*. 




ACA Paddlesports , Trip Leader, and Instructor Certifications

We also accept ACA, BCU, NOLS and equivalent Paddlesports certifications.

Professional Guides can work around the Country and the World!

Professional Certifications get you into our highest paying positions.

We recommend and help train you to pass these courses.

Professional Certifications: Practice required to learn the terminology and solid skills needed to pass the courses. We provide the workshops needed. 

Flatwater Kayak Safety & Rescue or Level 2: Essentials of River Safety & Rescue

Level 2: Essentials of Kayak Touring or Level 2: Essentials of River Kayaking

Level 2: Essentials of Kayak Touring Trip Leader or Level 2: River Kayak Trip Leader


Living Classrooms: 7th grade through university field research groups.

Gain experience as an outdoor educator.

Not having qualified water rescue applicants, is the only reason a low paying support and beginning training position becomes available.

No experience: Up to $18 an hour while practicing to pass "minimum" certifications.

 We normally charge for training, that our interns enjoy for free.

We reimbursed the certification test fee after you complete a seasonal contract.

  Minimum Requirements:

18 years of age or older: Most are in their 20s and 30s. We have had fit team members in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

Most applicants have experience or are training in recreational safety, emergency or rescue services, military service, parks and recreation, or are science geeks that are avid in the outdoors. You will also learn to share information about basic kayak safety, enjoying how to safely view wildlife, State and Federal wildlife regulations, and the importance of Marine Protected Areas. We also take marine influenced water samples for the State of California and collect other information about the wildlife and nature at our location.

Reliable Team Member: Shows up on time when scheduled, follows safety protocals to support their team, focuses on and completes own goals, supports rather than competes against team members, and respects chain of command.

Must have your own reliable transportation as bus service is limited or does not exist to most locations.

Ability to pass a background check for working with children.

We are a solid safety team. We want applicants motivated to excel.

We value and reward your efforts and want you to have fun earning a decent income.

Our Schools, Scouts, Inner City Youth Groups and others, need you as guides!

We want you to soar!

Most of our team are not going full on extreme.

And you don't have to, to be successful. However,

Please be Motivated to Practice and Obtain Certifications

College Students, Military Veterans, and those who are fit, enthused about getting their water rescue certs, and working with the public in nature are encouraged.

Join us for another great Fall into Spring!

We pay well. We pay overtime. We get tips.

We also pay bonuses for super busy days.

Our busiest days are during holiday, education breaks, and heat waves.

We are Where the Fun is.

Apply, Train and Work Now!

All training with clients is paid.

Shadowing what we do, as part of your interview, and safety training without clients, are not paid. They are free of charge for those in our intern training program.

Expect to complete your main training in the Spring, part-time, prior to your main Summer Employment. 

We have part-time work during school breaks throughout the year for trained interns and staff. Full-time schedules are available May through September of each year.

Most of our activities are at our beginner friendly location.

We've had moving water and whitewater tours and classes

in other locations, and competition team members.

This can happen with highly motivated and qualified applicants.

The best time to complete your certification training is in the Spring.


College Credit and Work Programs accepted.

We work with your college schedule.

Parks and Recreation

Recreational Safety

Outdoor Rescue

Outdoor Education

Field Research and Biology

Environmental Studies: Sociology, Ecology, Science


Community Education by Kayak

Partnering with NOAA (Greater Farralones Sanctuary)

and for Sonoma Coast State Park in Jenner


Our Interpreted Rentals Are Popular: Over 100 clients per day happens.:

See our rental, tour and other pages.

Our Tourism Activities Support Education and Research.


Prepare to Upgrade: 


Rental Water Safety: (Lifeguards, and Assist Guides)

Upgrade Certifications to Manage Tour Safety: (Lead Kayak Guide)

Upgrade to Certified Instructor: Kayak, Lifeguard, CPR, First Aid


Reservations and Client Services: Recreation and Safety Support.

Upgrade Ecological Interpretation and Outdoor Education or Research.

You're also welcomed to join our Recreational Safety Program

Our Kayak Tours:

Day: Wildlife Adventures by Kayak or Kayak and Hike

Evening: Sunset, Full Moon,

Night Bioluminescence (Glowing Plankton) 

Living Classrooms: Schools, Scouts, Youth Groups and Community Education.

Please also see our  Facebook and YouTube links.

Then e-mail your resume with why you think we would be of mutual benefit to each other, then call us.


Join Us! We are rebuilding our team and look forward to bouncing back to our former glory and more!

To Apply:  Call 1-707-865-2249 and E-mail your resume and references to


Most of our team does not go
to these extremes in outdoor rescue.
But, you can if you want to.
I did.

Suki Waters

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