As of late Thursday, the tide gates for the Shorebird Pool (aka the Kingsland Impoundment, the first body of water on your left as you enter DeKorte) are open, exposing this tidal impoundment to the ebb and flow the tides. At low tide, this means mud flats. We have had yellowlegs here this week.
As a rule of thumb, tides are roughly 1-2 hours later than the tides at the Amtrak RR Bridge on the Hackensack River. You can click here to get those tides. For example, low tide on Saturday in the Shorebird Pool should be a bit after noon.
Note, tides are affected by all sorts of factors, including rain, wind and Moon. In other words, water depth at low tide can vary drastically.
A lengthy but riveting explanation of how to predict tide follows.
An NJMC naturalist explains:
My estimation of when there will be low water in DeKorte Park is centered on the Kingsland Impoundment, since my chief concern is usually timing when to close the sluice gate in order to catch the lowest water level in the impoundment ( i.e., to catch it before the rising tide starts to re-enter the impoundment).
To do this I use the NOAA predicted time of low water at the Amtrak RR bridge and add 2 hours. To be certain that I catch the tide as it is still flowing out of the impoundment, I try to get to the sluice gate around 1.5 hours after the Amtrak RR predicted low water time. This method has served me well.
However, while the water may still be flowing out of the Kingsland impoundment, the tide is rising, both in Kingsland Creek and in what I call the Sawmill basin (the huge area of open water/mudflat to the south of the Transco Trail and between the Turnpike & the Sawmill Creek trail), so that 2 hours after predicted low water at the Amtrak RR, the mudflats in the Sawmill basin are already getting covered by the tide.
If folks want to catch mudflats in the Sawmill basin, it might be best for them to use the predicted time of low water for the Amtrak RR bridge, and get here perhaps an hour before that. This should allow them to catch the falling tide as the mudflats are starting to become exposed —-BUT — people need to keep in mind that a predicted "low tide" may still result in very little to possibly no mudflats being exposed due to the varying effects of wind, weather and/or the phase of the moon (e.g., if you come out on a neap tide with a NOAA predicted low water level of +1.5 feet when there is a cell of low pressure over the area and a stiff breeze out of the SE, you might not see any mudflats out there).
I use the following storm surge website to see if the actual (i.e., measured) tide will be close to the NOAA predicted tide. Although this site is for the Battery in NY, it is "close enough" to be useful for the Meadowlands. This might help folks decide whether it is worth making the trip down here.
I typically use this to see how high above the predicted high water the tide might get, but it could also be used to see how the low water prediction compares to the "actual" tide. If the forecasted tide level is going to be a foot or two above the predicted level of low water, they might want to make other plans….