Where to see the Kokanee Salmon run in Utah

Kokanee Salmon Run in Utah
Kokanee Salmon Run in Utah

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Every year beginning in early September, the kokanee salmon run begins in lakes and reservoirs all across Utah. The salmon undergo an amazing transformation as they trade their silver color for a bright red, and the males begin to grow humped backs, hooked jaws, and elongated teeth.

In lakes and reservoirs around the state, you can observe this annual ritual.  If you go, please respect the wildlife and don't interrupt them on their journey. While it's fine to observe the fish, it's not okay to catch them. You'll still have plenty of great photo and video opportunities! Be aware that Utah law protects salmon populations during the fall. If you catch a kokanee salmon anywhere in Utah — from Sept. 10 to Nov. 30, 2019 — you must release it.

Here are all of the places in Utah where the Salmon Run can be observed:

  • Causey Reservoir (Our favorite place)
  • Electric Lake
  • Fish Lake
  • Flaming Gorge Reservoir
  • Jordanelle Reservoir
  • Porcupine (Easy Access)
  • Smith and Morehouse Reservoir
  • Stateline Reservoir
  • Strawberry Reservoir (Easy Access)

To find the fish, locate any of the tributaries coming into the lake. Sometimes these can be accessed on foot, but non-motorized boats are required at some locations.

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