WATCH: Lake Tahoe’s Kokanee Salmon Suffering Heavy Losses Due to Low Water Levels

One of the most delightful fall activities in the Tahoe region is watching the Kokanee salmon return to Taylor Creek for their annual spawn. This year, the drought has dried up the creek, halting any of the salmon from traversing their way to the natural spawning habitat.

Local fishing guide JD Richey recently visited “The Gauntlet” – a sandbar where the salmon cross into Taylor Creek each year to spawn. With the low water levels, the fish are suffering heavy losses from predators after getting stuck in the sandbar. See his video:

The landlocked Kokanee salmon return to Taylor Creek each fall, typically in October, to spawn. These magnificent looking fish look straight out of a fall catalog, due to their bright red hue. The salmon were introduced to Lake Tahoe by biologists in 1944 and the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has created a unique educational program to view the Kokanee Salmon in their natural habitat at Taylor Creek.

With low water due to the ongoing drought in Northern California, the salmon have not been able to return to the creek. Instead, they’ll find other creeks to spawn this year and return to Taylor Creek in the future. Due to this development, the Fall Fish Festival has been cancelled, although people can still visit the Taylor Creek Visitor Center for information on the salmon runs.

The impact of the drought is being felt especially hard this fall. Start rain dancing, NorCal.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


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