Interesting things you see in the bay and river
What is that new white stick on the speed limit sign at the mouth of the river?

This will give you a rough approximation of the current tide stage when you enter the bay. It should closely approximate the tide level given in the tide chart I reference on this site.
What's the deal with the golf flag?

 A few hundred yards northwest of the mouth of the Estero river there is a 4" PVC pipe with a golf flag in it. This has been here for at least 20 years (probably more like 40) and marks the entrance to Rocky Bay.
If you line up the flag with the radio tower to the north and follow that line it will get you into the bay, day or night. Stay on that line until you are about 200 yards from the mangrove and then follow the tips to the NorthWest and you will hit marker 10 going into Mullock Creek.
If anyone has more information tell us about it.

What are those big silver boxes?
 The US Geological Service maintains several water monitoring stations in the bay and rivers. The one in the Estero River monitors tide and salinity. This is below the salt water wedge in the summer so you will see salinity going from close to zero to over 16 with every change of the tide.
Who manages the bay?

The Estero Bay and the tributaries feeding it are managed by the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve, an agency of the Florida DEP.
Heather Stafford is our local manager. She also manages the Estero "scrub", the preserve on the old Sahdev parcel at the end of West Broadway.

The other state agency you will see is Florida Fish and Wildlife.
What is the Great Calusa Blueway?

You have probably seen new style "Marker" signs popping up in the river and bay. These mark the "Blueway" canoe trail that winds it's way through the Estero Bay and up the tributaries.

How do the White sticks work?

I imagine the first guy who ever went out on the water in a boat put some sticks in the mud to help him find his way around around. You will see them everywhere boaters run their boats. Generally they will mark a sand bar and in cases like the sticks in Rocky Bay on the oyster bar 2/3ds of the way between the Golf flag and the entrance to Mullock Creek they mark the shortcut through the bar.
There is still one of the original sticks that marked the bar extending out from the mouth of the Estero River. It marks the end of the bar.
In the Estero River itself the sticks are more clear cut. You will run the side with the stick when negotiating two of the curves that have sand bars. The long sweeping curve near the big silver (USGS) box is the most unforgiving. You really need to watch the sticks and run close to the first one, then cut across to the opposite one if the water is low.
The second (upriver) curve before the long straight stretch only silts up on the inside of that curve.
 When coming upriver you really don't have to worry about a bar coming out of the second curve, the sticks are only for when you are going down river. The long straight stretch is pretty deep all the way across. It is only when you get on the north side going down river that you get in trouble.
For the rest of the river you can usually just follow the rule that the deep water is on the outside of the curve.
For canoe'ers the swift currents are also there so you are generally better off on the inside of the curves. That keeps you away from the boats who will be looking for the deeper water.
The last stick, opposite the little beach before you get to Estero River Heights is just attempting to pull traffic away from the beach. If you actually sound it you will find the north shore is the shallow side because of erosion.
We are trying to prevent any worse erosion and also to provide some extra safety for swimmers coming in from the scrub.