Drought, low water cancels Tahoe Kokanee salmon festival

October 4, 2021 GMT

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A popular, annual fall fish festival at Lake Tahoe scheduled later this month has been canceled because low water levels are expected to keep Kokanee salmon from spawning in Taylor Creek due to lingering drought.

The U.S. Forest Service said the landlocked cousins of the sea-going Sockeye salmon have been known to find other creeks to swim up and spawn and return to Taylor Creek the following year when conditions allow.

Weather officials said earlier this summer Lake Tahoe was experiencing its third driest precipitation year in 111 years. The lake’s level dropped about 3 feet (.9 meters) from June 2020 to June 2021.

Introduced to Lake Tahoe in 1944, Kokanee salmon typically turn from their normal silver and blue color to a brilliant red as they head up Taylor Creek near South Lake Tahoe, California to leave eggs that hatch about 100 days later.


The Taylor Creek area, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) west of the California-Nevada line, will remain open to the public.

The Forest Serve visitor information will continue to provide outdoor visitor information on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 17, but the Stream Profile Chamber where visitors view fish below the water surface will remain closed due to vandalism.