Lake Tahoe Kokanee Salmon Festival

    Fall Fish Fest

    October 5 & 6, 2013

    Animated Kokanee Salmon

    Celebrate the annual fall migration of the Kokanee salmon during the Fall Fish Fest at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center. The Visitor Center is located three miles north of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 89. Join the fun and participate in this free family event which has become one of the most fascinating educational and wildlife viewing events in Northern California.

    The festival encourages participation by children and their parents in a wide variety of educational and entertaining activities including:

    Treasure Hunt (free educational material) – sponsored by California Inland Fisheries Foundation, INC. (CIFFI)

    Fish Painting – sponsored by California Conservation Corps (CCC)

    Mascots – Sandy and Rocky

    A visit from Smokey Bear!

    Giant inflatable Lahontan Cutthtroat Trout – sponsored by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    Salmon Feed and other food – Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care

    Bumble Bee Ice Cream Truck

    Festival T-shirt sales – sponsored by ProLeisure and Tahoe Heritage Foundation

    “Wild Things” at the Lake of the Sky Amphitheater

    “Drama of the Kokanee – an Interactive Play”

    Kokanee Trail Runs – sponsored by Tahoe Mountain Milers and Sagebrush Stompers running clubs

    What to Expect

    From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, visitors can learn about the natural wonders of Taylor Creek from Forest Service biologists, as they stroll along the accessible, ½ mile loop Rainbow Trail. This peaceful walk meanders through forests, meadows and marsh lands to the creek where the Kokanee Salmon spawn within a few feet of your own feet. A close-up view of this natural event is available in the underground Stream Profile Chamber located along the Rainbow Trail path.


    Throughout the weekend, attendees will be greeted by the two official salmon mascots for the Fall Fish Fest, “Sandy and Rocky Salmon.” You might even run into Smokey Bear! Ice cream treat sales from the local Bumble Bee Ice Cream truck will entice the young and old alike. California Conservation Corp will assist children in making fish paintings. Come and enjoy the numerous educational booths from multiple agencies including California Inland Fisheries Foundation, Inc., California Conservation Corps, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and many others. Enjoy the self-guided nature trails and take a look at this year’s Kokanee Salmon T-Shirt design.

    On Saturday, at 2 pm in the Lake of the Sky Amphitheater, “Wild Things” will educate the public about native Sierra Nevada animals and feature live animals onstage. Please leave your pets at home for this show.

    On Sunday, at 2 p.m. in the Lake of the Sky Amphitheater, “The Drama of the Kokanee Salmon – An Interactive Play” will include audience participation to help act out the Kokanee Salmon Story at Taylor Creek. From egg to death, watch young audience members portray the different stages in the Kokanee salmon’s life cycle and its interaction with predators and scavengers.

    Kokanee Trail Runs

    On Sunday, the Tahoe Mountain Milers and Sagebrush Stompers running clubs will present the Kokanee Trail Runs. The half marathon will start at 9 a.m. The children’s ½ mile “Tadpole Trot” will start at 9:15 a.m. 5k and 10k trail runs start at 10 a.m. All runs will start at the Taylor Creek Snowpark parking lot. Race day registration will begin at 8 a.m. Registration and early packet pickup will be available at the Camp Richardson Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 6 from 12 to 4 p.m. Due to fuels reduction work by the Forest Service, the trail route for the 5k and 10k course has been altered this year. See the Mountain Milers website for more details. For more information email


    The Fall Fish Fest is held at the U.S. Forest Service Visitor Center at Taylor Creek. The Visitor Center is is located 3 miles north of the “Y” in South Lake Tahoe. Take Highway 89 north past the Tallac Historic Site. Additional information about viewing the Kokanee Salmon can also be obtained from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Please contact us for more information.

    With the popularity of the Fall Fish Fest at the Visitor Center and the Octoberfest at Historic Camp Richardson Resort the parking lot at the Visitor Center fills quickly. Some free parking is available at Camp Richardson where visitors can walk back and forth between the Fall Fish Fest and Octoberfest. Visitors are encouraged to ride a bike along the bike path between Camp Richardson and the Visitor Center or take public transportation from South Lake Tahoe. Contact BlueGo/Nifty Fifty bus service at (530) 541-7149.