top of page
Russian River Estuary
Marine Protected Area: Ocean and River Nursery

The Most Wildlife Rich Habitat on the Russian River

Adult and Young Wildlife, Seal, Otter, Birds, Whale

Sharing the best ways to view since 1987

"Know Before You Go" Interpretation

Perched River Mouth: Lake Like. Higher Low Tides.
River Mouth Currents Flush Into  Deadly Ocean Waves..

 "Stay back at least 150 feet" from resting or feeding wildlife by land and water. Feeding Prohibited.

Reserve Early:  Call 1-2 days in advance.

Wait times possible for walk ups and same day reservations.

Ask for best start times per our forecasts.

Estuary Forecast: 06/06/23:

As temps drop inland the estuary calms.

Tue-Wed:The coolest days in this unseasonably low pressure event. Sprinkles Possible.

Thur-Fri: Dress in layers for morning starts. Shed layers by midday. Calm AM with gentle midday breezes that calm into late afternoon and evening sunsets. Great wildlife viewing during misty mornings and partly sunny days.

Sat-Sun: Temps increase. Warmest Days. Mostly Calm.

Next Week: Calm and pleasant. Wed is warmest midweek.


Ocean Tides: Goat Rock Beach

Jenner Weather:  Real Time Conditions 

Spring Mix: Ocean Moderates Coastal Temps. AM lows are generally warmer than inland. Heat waves are milder on the coast. Calm days with AM mist that clears to sun.  Others start sunny with PM and occasional early strong wind.

Start Early Most Days.

Check Back  : Forecasts can change.

See our safety page for  apps to track local conditions.

We use at least 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.

Est map S JVC 2021 web.jpg
WT Arial Est SCT event 14.jpg
WT flee 1115.jpg
Tule Estuary.jpg

The Best Time to Start Training Part-time

is March - May

To be ready for our best paid

Part to Full time work

June through Mid- November


Best Pay Requires "Professional" Water Rescue and

"Professional" CPR / First Aide Certifications

Certification fees reimbursed

on completion of seasonal contract.

We also need help with Client Services:

This includes reservations, payments, outfitting and communicating with our safety team by 2-way radio.

Step 1 for all: An introduction to Paddlesports Safety

If you don't already have a current Water Rescue Certification,

Waiting until June may be too late for this Summer Season.

Waiting lists may create another class. Sign up now.

Don't know where to look? Call us and ask.

Try Here First: Fast Professional Lifeguard Certification

This is the minimum and fastest for seasonal water safety positions

If you want more than to work through school breaks.

We also have a path for Paddle Sports Guide and Instructor Careers


ACA Paddlesports Skills, Trip Leader, and Instructor Certifications

Professional Guides can work around the Country and the World!

Professional Certifications get you into our highest paying positions.

Here are some we recommend and help to train you to pass.

We also accept BCU, NOLS and equivalent certifications.

Common Minimum Certifications take time to practice the skills

and  the terminology to pass the courses. Skill trainings are free for our team members. 

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 Levels 2-4: River Kayak Trip Leading

If we don't have enough, water safety certified applicants

to complete our guide team and re-open our guided tours by mid-June:

  We will pay to certify one CPR/First Aid Certified Assistant,

Training at $16 and rapidly advancing to $18 an hour.

This will free up elder staff members, all over the age of 60, 

to guide tours and provide "on the water" safety for our rentals.

This is the only reason this lower paying position would become available.

Otherwise: Please be Motivated to Excel and Apply for the Positions Below.

College Students and Military Veterans Encouraged.

Most of our activities are at our beginner friendly location.

However, we have had moving and whitewater tours and classes,

in other locations, and competition team members.

This, and more, can happen with the return of highly motivated or highly qualified applicants.


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


Resuming Guided Tours

As soon as we are fully staffed.

Morning Kayak and Hike

Evening: Sunset, Full Moon,

Night Bioluminescent (Glowing Plankton) 

Call Us! Paid Basic Training / Paid Internships


CPR, First Aid, Water Rescue: Renew Your Certifications


Or Paid Internship / Units Available. Train with us to pass your certification now.


Be Part of a Fun and Professional Education and Recreation Safety Team. 

Certification Fees Reimbursed with Seasonal or Annual Employment Agreement.

Competitive Pay - We Reward Your Experience and Efforts!

Lunch Breaks are Paid for 6-8 hour day Safety Positions.

10 hour duty shifts option: Must take a one hour unpaid meal break.

30 minutes to one hour of overtime on busy weekends or holidays may be possible.

We prefer fairly consistent weekly schedules.

We're Popular and Turning Away "Guide Tour Clients" Due To Staff Shortages

See our rental, tour and other pages. Our Tourism Activities Support Education and Research.

Full-time and Part-time available May through October.

Full-time work available during school breaks throughout the year for experienced summer employees.


Employees, or paid internships: Upgrade your skills and certifications.

Gain Experience in Sustainable Recreation, Parks and Recreation, Outdoor Research, Education, Emergency Services (Lifeguards and Other Water Rescue) or Prep for Lead Kayak Guide and / or Instructor Certification.

Volunteer positions also available.

Join us for another great Spring into Fall!  Apply, Train and Work Now!


Please also see our  Facebook and YouTube links. More education and research videos coming soon.

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


We will schedule an immediate opportunity to shadow us for half a day as an introduction to see what we do and as part of your initial interview.

Skills training in preparation to pass certification is free of charge, with a seasonal contract.

All seasonal contracts are probationary until completion of initial training.

All training, when on duty with clients, is paid.

We would like your basic training to be completed prior to mid June. We want you ready and effective in working with large amounts of clients and qualified to receive your best pay.



Minimum Requirements: For All


Self-motivated quick learners

18 years of age or older

Upbeat attitude

Great customer service skills

Reliable Team Player: Think Emergency Service Team.  We all do our best to always keep our safety protocols first. Then we can each focus on sharing our best strengths and talents to have fun with our clients and reach our own personal goals in education, research, wildlife or plant biology or simply by being an outdoor recreation professional for sustainable activities in a very popular Managed Marine Recreation Area.

Our team must be at work, on time, and when we are scheduled; always reachable on our 2-way radios while on duty, (This includes during your paid breaks. Your lunch break is paid unless working 4-10 hour shifts per week, which are 11 hour days with a one hour "off duty" lunch break.)


A team has each other's backs!

Must enjoy kayaking and the outdoors

Enjoys pushing to excel educationally and physically. (Required for safety positions).

Ability to learn and share information about our Managed Marine Recreation Area

Able to lift and move 50 lbs unassisted. (Usually not more than 40 lbs)

Teamwork: Must be a safety team player. Think Fire, Lifeguard, Paramedic rescue and emergency service teams. We are a version of that and try to avoid rescues by managing and limiting expected safety risks up front. These are not positions for Lone Wolf Egos.  No showing off by over lifting! We don't have to lift boats very often. Please don't hurt yourself unnecessarily! Ask for help!  We want you to enjoy a life time of helping others to enjoy the outdoors.


Reservations and Client Services

Part to Full Time: (Client Check-in, Reservations, Equipment Returns and Staff Communications)  May not require certifications.

     A dedicated, upbeat and fast paced multitasking person is needed. Ideally to train to manage those duties part-time to full-time seasonally. Part-time during education breaks throughout the year is possible for seasoned employees. $18 to $20 an hour.

     However, to work full-time, or to assist with water safety duties or “on the water education”, a minimum of a "Professional" CPR / first aid certification will be required while upgrading “on the water” experience and potential certifications. Those actively upgrading, are paid higher rates when assisting on the water with our tour clients.


Water Safety

For dedicated "Team Members", we may assist with certificate or competition fees up front.

Otherwise certification fees are reimbursed on the completion of your seasonal contract.

Part to Full Time: Our safety positions require professional cpr / first aid / water rescue certification (Lifeguard or Swiftwater, Deepwater, or Dive Rescue), as well as training with our staff. (We train in wind to learn to help avoid our clients experiencing it. What’s fun for us can be too challenging for them.) Enjoy sharing timely safety and wildlife information while having fun.  This is not a kiddy beach or pool, which is a great upgrade for basic lifeguards. We track weather and water conditions to operate most of our rentals and guided tours in beginner friendly conditions. Day shift overtime or a second midday into evening shift may be possible during summer months and heat spells. (Expired certifications accepted to train but must be renewed at earliest opportunity and prior to working by yourself or earning safety position pay.) Some of our State's most elite Open Water Lifeguards are at Goat Rock Beach. We are happy to arrange for you to meet them.

Level One:  Beach Launch and Safety Reviews:

Professional CPR, First Aid and Basic Water Rescue Certifications.

The main beach launch person provides our Rental Safety Reviews in between ensuring reserved kayaks are ready to go, along with a few extras. We get many walk up reservations as well. There is a standard flow once the Safety Reviews start. 15 minutes of safety review and 15 minutes of prepping kayaks or SUPs for the next Safety Review. Someone is flexing back and forth to assist you with the prep unless your working solo at the beach on a slow midweek day. Weekends, Holiday and Heat Spells can be very crowded and fast paced. Sometimes two of us are doing the Safety Reviews and often there's also live music just above us at the cafe or wine bar. This position rotates with the owner or other staff to take breaks, do river mouth safety checks, or to rotate to assist with a Guided Tour at a higher pay rate, and if qualified or wanting to train to assist guide.  Train at $18. We want you to rapidly advance to at least $20 an hour or more.


Level Two: Assist Guide and On the water safety: Train to Assist Guide while upgrading certifications to become a Lead Guide.  Please rapidly advance to at least $22 an hour, and up to $25 an hour when joining a lead guide with clients on a tour.

Shift Supervisor

Train to shift supervise our interns, and manage our activities on busy days, for overall business success and to minimize rental, tour, and overall safety liability when not guiding.  Must be experienced in maintaining our safety protocols and "Fully Certified" in Water Rescue, fully competent in high wind water rescue by kayak, and ideally certified as a Lead Guide or Instructor. $25 to $30 an hour depending on experience and ability. This position would shift to the higher pay rates when serving as Lead Guide or Certified Instructor.

Guiding and Instructing

An assist guide is not a lead guide: However assist guides, who are training to pass their lead guide certification, are always valuable members of our team. They also gain valuable experience assisting our Lead Guides with larger groups, including families, corporations, scouts and schools. There is a higher pay rate, when actively assist guiding on the water with tour clients.


We never have full-time work in Lead Guiding or Instructing. No tour operation does. Two 5 hour commitments back to back would be too much in one day as our evening tours can run quite late. It might be possible to do back to back classes with an introductory class followed by a more advanced class or by doing a full day class, but we can't do them everyday. For Full-Time Work: Roll over to Safety Reviews and Shift Safety Supervision before or after your tour or on days when we have no tour clients. Your pay would be split between two rates when flexing over from Land Based Pay to Guided Tours.

Since our staff are employees, rather than subcontracted, you will not be required to provide your own liability insurance.  You are instead becoming part of our recreational safety team.

Certified Lead Kayak Guide

Pay commensurate to certifications and experience

Ideally: Full certifications and experience to "Lead Guide" a team for groups of up to 35 adults or student / youth groups with adult parents, scout leaders, or teachers.


  • ACA level 2 or equivalent "Trip Leader Certification" from a "Major" recognized organizations such as the American Canoe Association (ACA), British Canoe Union (BCU) or the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Plus the ability to keep the tour on time with firm control while maintaining a pleasant attitude and having fun.

  • Must be able to quickly troubleshoot "on the water and with clients". 

  • For example: If a boat becomes damaged, replacing a foot peg or managing a broken paddle, and adjusting for sudden unexpected changes in weather or water conditions.  Pay is dependent on experience and ability to confidently run a guide team up 3 or more. Seasoned certified guides can also create themed tours and guided events for our advertised schedule.

  • We do not subcontract this position unless you have already carried a business activity permit for state or federal parks, and that permit was not rescinded or denied renewal per negligence of duty. Additional "In House" Training is required to meet our safety, interpretation protocols and partnership agreements for this location.

  • Certified Guides, with their own liability insurance, may negotiate pay after training to our specifications and registering as a subcontractor for us. In most cases though, Certified Guides are part of our main team, covered under our contracts, training, and business insurance.

  • Newly Certified Guides can expect to start at $25 an hour, while gaining experience, and increase from there.

What is a Certified Skills Instructor?

It's nice to have a summer camp safety review certification.

This is not the same as a more advanced Certified Skills Instructor.

Our rental and tour safety reviews are not certified instruction.


A paid certificate skills class includes the participants receiving a participation card from the "National Organization" that certifies "You" as an instructor.  This includes The American Canoe Association (ACA), National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and British Canoe Union (BCU).

     Other organizations exist.  However, most often we partner with the ACA as they have partnered with the US Coast Guard (USCG), for over 100 years, in helping to set U.S. boating safety standards.

     The USCG focuses on motorized boats and watercraft while the ACA focuses on paddle sports.

     A certified course is at least 4 hours long at minimum and normally consists of Full Day and Multiple Day courses to obtain a certificate, after "studying and practicing" truly effective skills as apposed to a short informational introduction or demonstration, as in the "Paddle Smart" intro provided by the USCG.

    Our "rental and tour safety reviews" are the bare minimum and are often performed by our minimally certified water rescue, and lifeguard interns, as part of their on the job training and experience to prepare for more advanced certifications, instead of our "certified instructional staff". 

   An instructor may also be employed, at the high end of the lower rate, for working other positions to accumulate full time employment.  We never have full-time work as an instructor and this is true for the majority of outdoor tourism / education entities.

   Please do not attempt to apply for a certified instructor position unless you possess a "current level two or above skills instructor certification". 

   Certified Instructors may negotiate pay, as you may also be helping to certify our own team members and / or teaching the general public as a subcontractor under your own insurance. Certified Instructors may be working part-time for more than one business or organization or mostly full time managing a similar business. They also may create mostly consistent work for themselves by contracting for different seasons with different organizations in the U.S. or in other countries.

We have, and have had even more, staff certified to high levels of rescue and competition.

Though training to very high levels is not necessary to work with us, if you are interested, we can point you in the right direction and, in many cases, even help you practice for certification.

Repairs and Maintenance: We all participate in keeping our equipment clean, in good working order and in doing repairs to our infrastructure. The owner has worked on construction sites. Please let us know if you enjoy plastic welding which the owner can teach you to do.

   Water safety, Guides and Instructors should also learn the character of different types of paddlecraft and models, as well as to do quick easy repairs on the fly, for the safety of their clients.


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

SWR TII Jump 11082015 e.jpg
bottom of page