It’s time to take a drive to see some beautiful red colors of fall, and I’m not talking just about trees. This Saturday, September 20, is the annual Kokanee Salmon Viewing Day at the Strawberry Reservoir Visitors Center. From 9 am to 3 pm the United States Forest Service is inviting the public to the fish hatchery for a free event to learn more about the kokanee salmon, enjoy some fun activities for the kids, and even touch a real red salmon.
Scott Root, regional conservation outreach manager for the DWR, says these fish that are normally a silvery color turn bright red each year around this time as they begin to spawn. The fish will head up stream to find shallow waters to lay their eggs.
If for some unfortunate reason you are not able to make up to Strawberry this weekend for the viewing day there is still plenty of time to see the bright red salmon. The kokanee will be red from now until about mid-October.
Right now is a great time to get up to the Strawberry area with the fall leaves, the salmon changing color, and even the elk making their way down the mountains. Root says if you get to the viewing day early in the morning you may even be lucky enough to hear an elk bugling.
Make it a day up at Strawberry Reservoir this weekend. Go up to see the salmon, then head up to the Strawberry Bay Marina and Lodge for lunch and even do a little fishing yourself. As the waters cool down the fish are starting to rise making the fishing even better this time of year.
Getting to the Strawberry Visitor Center from the Heber Valley is easy. Just take Highway 40 south out of town head south for about 23 miles and you can’t miss it.