Fun and Educational

Fall Fish Fest

When the Kokanee salmon migrate, even they want to vacation in Lake Tahoe. So, Tahoe created an event to celebrate them, the family friendly, fun and educational Fall Fish Fest.

Stream Profile at Taylor Creek for the Fall Fish Festival Kokanee Salmon costumes at the Fall Fish Festival at Tahoe South Kokanee Salmon spawning at Taylor Creek

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2021 Taylor Creek Visitor Center Fall Fish Festival canceled

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif., Sep. 30, 2021 – Due to ongoing drought conditions and low water levels at Fallen Leaf Lake causing dry conditions in Taylor Creek, the Fall Fish Festival will be canceled this year. With low water flow in Taylor Creek, it is expected that the Kokanee salmon will not spawn in the creek this year. However, the Kokanee have been known to find other creeks to swim up and spawn in and are known to return to Taylor Creek the following year when conditions allow. Read the news release at https://go.usa.gov/xMy3b.


Fall Fish Fest is a two-day event taking place each fall in Lake Tahoe. The Festival celebrates spawning behaviors of the Kokanee Salmon and other varieties of fish in Lake Tahoe. Fall Fish Fest offers events including the Salmon Feed, children’s activities, educational programs and booths, stream-side programs, a children’s run, 5k, 10k, and half-marathon trail runs and even a giant Lahontan cutthroat trout with activity stations for kids inside. The Fall Fish Festival includes activities for families to learn about the Lake Tahoe environment while having fun.

The big attraction at the Fall Fish Fest are the Kokanee Salmon. These fish turn bright red as they make their spawning run up Taylor Creek. Visitors can walk the half mile loop Rainbow Trail through forests, meadows and marsh lands to the creek and see the Salmon. Guests are welcome to see the spawning up-close in the underground Steam Profile Chamber as well.

Getting There

The Taylor Creek 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 Lake Tahoe.

With the popularity of the Fall Fish Festival at the Visitor Center and Octoberfest at Historic Camp Richardson Resort, the parking lot at the Visitor Center fills up quickly. 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.

Lastly, Black Bears visit Taylor Creek on a regular basis during the annual spawning run of the Kokanee Salmon. The U.S. Forest Service has posted “Be Bear Aware” signs alongside the creek to educate the public about proper bear safety. Read more bear safety in our Fall Fish Fest blog post.For more information about Fall Fish Fest this year, visit our events page.

 . . . It’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul . . . just as salmon swim upstream.

Neil Armstrong


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