Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kokanee Salmon and the Strawberry Festival

The annual Strawberry Festival will be held this Friday and Saturday at the Forest Service visitors’ center near Strawberry Reservoir. A similar event, Kokanee Salmon Day, will be held on Saturday at Sheep Creek, a tributary of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Spawning kokanee salmon are the key attraction at both events. The landlocked salmon turn a bright red and migrate up streams where they spawn and then die. The fish are highly visible in streams and it is fascinating to watch them go through this annual ritual.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) biologists will be on site at both locations to answer questions and help people view the fish. Participants may also be able to see deer, elk and other wildlife in that area.

At Strawberry, the DWR and U.S. Forest Service have built a viewing area along the Strawberry River. There are interpretive signs and a boardwalk along the river to view spawning pairs of fish. Other activities will also be offered at the visitors’ center.

Besides watching the kokanee at Sheep Creek, viewers usually see bighorn sheep from the viewing site. Visitors often report seeing elk, moose, mule deer and bald eagles in the area. DWR has this report about the Sheep Creek Event.

Deseret News has this detailed article about kokanee, and about the Strawberry Festival. DWR also has this report.

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