Even though Lake Tahoe is only three and a half hours away from my Northern California home, I hadn’t been there in over ten years. So, when Peter and I were offered a free cabin for a couple of days there was no way I was turning down this getaway. Free is good. Besides it was salmon spawning season and I had my heart set on watching the salmon run. I am a voyeur like that.
Taylor Creek Salmon Run in Lake Tahoe, California
Taylor Creek has many beautiful sights, but one of the most interesting is seeing the Kokanee salmon run each fall.
Perfect timing for us. We parked at the head of a trail and walked the short distance to the main attraction.
Along the way, I found the largest pine cone…EVER. And Peter found the smallest.
Truth be told, one of the biggest pine cones in the United States is the Sugar Pine which could be over 24 inches long and my find was just a mere 9 inches. But, it was still bigger than my head.
After playing with pines cones, we passed by these gorgeous Aspen trees.
Then we came upon this…thing. I couldn’t even begin to wonder what the heck it was. I guessed it was some sort of sun observation device. Nope.
It is a monitoring station used to predict the annual water supply created by melting snow. Okay.
We slowly gawked and walked past the 9,735 foot Mt. Tallac. Seeing the Salmon run was starting to be an afterthought to all of the other beautiful sights along the way.
And then we arrived.
In the fall the salmon begin to turn bright red and the male develop a hooked jaw. This signals the start of spawning season and they begin to travel back to Taylor Creek where they were born.
Once the salmon arrive, the female builds a nest, the male fertilizes the eggs and both sexes die. Very Romeo & Juliet-esque. Several months later the babies are hatched.
We walked to the trail end where hundreds of salmon end up to spawn and you are able to witness this moving sea of red.
I am a big fan of any traveling that starts out with a check off my bucket list. I think I’m going to like Lake Tahoe.
Have you ever seen the salmon run? Have you ever been to Lake Tahoe in Northern California?
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13 thoughts on “Watch the Salmon Run in Lake Tahoe, California.”
I was able to see the salmon run at Goldstream Provincial Park in British Columbia, but it was completely different from what you described here. There were far less (alive) fish. Most of them were dead on the shore as the seagulls picked at them. Maybe this is due to the extreme shallowness of the creek where we visited. It was less than an inch deep and the salmon really struggled to make it upstream. Beautiful photos, by the way!
I think if we would have been there a few weeks later many more of the salmon would have been dead. So, I’m happy we arrived when we did :)
Wow what an incredible place!!! I would have taken home a couple of pine cones.
I should have! I could have made Christmas ornaments out of them :)
Wow, the photos look stunning and I love those pine cones – I want one now, will have to add it to my bucket list!!
Next time I’m going to have to take home a pine cone!
I always thought that this event only happened in Alaska, lol.
I really want to visit Lake Tahoe (do you have a preference for the Nev or Cali side?).
Both sides have so many beautiful aspects. When you go, you have to drive the 72 miles around lake. It is STUNNING!
Thanks for this post and really nice to see the outdoors. Those pine cone's are certainly one of the biggest that I have seen – keeping in mind that i come from the Himalayan belt in India where we do have cedar pine trees and the cones are half the size to the Aspen species. :) Incredible views and bird species much be great?
I’m sure the birds are beautiful, but I was too preoccupied with the salmon to look. Next time ;)
Seen the spawning in Alaska (between Fairbanks Anchorage) with gigantic salmon. Just have to keep an eye open for the local bears as these streams are like their local sushi bar and they are very protective. You can wade in the stream and have to kick the salmon away as they are side by side & totally cover the width of the stream. The males are vari-colured from bright green to red with enormous 'beaks'.
That would be a great experience! I am happy that I did not encounter any bears while I was in Tahoe.
Romeo and Juliet is one of my favourites, tragic though it is. The animal world is so incredibly fascinating.