• Loraine Nicole Meek

Run Salmon Run! - South Lake Tahoe's Fall Fish Festival

Updated: Aug 9, 2019

The Kokanee Salmon are regulars at South Lake Tahoe's Taylor Creek. They pass through every Fall during spawning season, hence the annual Kokanee Salmon Festival (aka Fall Fish Fest)! The festival takes place at the Taylor Creek Visitors Center in early October and includes activities for children, educational booths, arts and crafts, and guided tours.

I've got to admit, they're a bit scary-looking out of the water!

Taylor Creek is also home to bears, beavers, and a plethora of other wildlife. Some visitors have even been lucky enough to witness Black Bears hunting salmon in the creek. We didn't see any bears, but we sure did see a LOT of Salmon!


Taylor Creek is home to an abundance of wildlife including the beavers that left their mark on this tree stump.

To view the salmon, you just follow the Rainbow Trail. During our visit, the most popular viewing spot was a wooden overpass where guests were able to stand above the water and witness the salmon swimming upstream.


The little ones had no problem navigating this trail. It was a pretty easy trek.

It was amazing to view such an awesome natural event without disturbing anything or interrupting any part of it! The salmon have been spawning in Taylor Creek since the 1940's.



Before we had left on our trip to see the salmon, I had completed a unit study with my kids on the salmon lifecycle. It really helped them to understand what was happening while we were there.


Their reddish color comes with the spawning season. Their color changes from a silver-bluish hue.

There are an abundance of signs along the trail to educate visitors on the Kokanee Salmon as well as other local wildlife.


This is the perfect event for nature nerds like myself ;)

Another popular feature along Rainbow Trail is a small building that you can enter to watch fish swimming inside of the creek! This area also has a lot of educational posters and structures as well. There wasn't much going on in the water while we were there, but it was still pretty cool top watch a few fish swim through.


The kids loved seeing the fish through the window... it was like a natural aquarium!

Back at the visitors center, there were several booths highlighting various species and types of animals. The kids loved the booth that taught them all about the resident beavers. They even got to make their own beaver tails!


They loved all the arts and crafts at the festival!

Bead tables, tattoo stations, fish games, and even a giant blow-up fish for kids to run through made for a full day!



Overall, our experience at the Fall Fish Fest was pretty awesome!!! I'd definitely recommend it to any nature-lover. If you plan on visiting, I do recommend you book your accommodations well in advance, as there are two popular events that occur within the same weekend.



I hope you get a chance to check it out! For more information and details about the festival, click here!


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