The 2017 Fall Fish Festival is Saturday and Sunday, October 7 and 8. This free annual event at Lake Tahoe offers things of interest for both kids and adults, and gives everyone a chance to learn more about Kokanee salmon and other fish swimming the waters of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Taylor Creek Visitor Center is the location for the Fall Fish Festival. Besides a chance to watch bright red salmon on their fall spawning run, the event includes lots of activities for children, informational booths by various agencies involved with wildlife and Lake Tahoe, and food and drink vendors. You can take a stroll on the Rainbow Trail to the stream profile chamber and see what life is like below the surface of Taylor Creek.

Taylor Creek Visitor Center is three miles north of the town of South Lake Tahoe on Hwy. 89 (locally known as Emerald Bay Road). It is a right turn (toward the lake), just past the Tallac Historic Site turnoff. There is a big parking lot, but it can fill up during the Fall Fish Festival. The best tactic is to get there early. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

Traffic note: Nearby Camp Richardson Resort holds its annual Oktoberfest during this same weekend. Come prepared for extra heavy traffic and be alert for wandering pedestrians.

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Beginning in May or June, the Truckee River through Reno usually flows at levels just right for tubing, rafting, and general water play on hot days. Not so this year.

The Truckee River is flowing high, fast and really cold due to continuing snowmelt from the epic snowpack dumped on the Sierra Nevada last winter. We around 200 percent of average snowfall, there’s still a lot of snow and it’s going to be a while before enough of it melts to let the river subside to lower flows. Until that happens, please heed these river safety guidelines from the Reno Fire Department.

  • River flows are extremely fast this year and river recreation by the general public is not advised at this time.
  • Consider waiting to float or swim the Truckee River until flows subside.
  • An unprepared person entering the water may experience hypothermia within several minutes, affecting their ability to swim and make decisions, leading to drowning.
  • If you do decide to go in the river, always wear a life jacket, helmet, thermal protection and sturdy shoes for river recreation.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use drugs when boating or tubing.
  • Never go into the river alone.
  • Have a plan and a rendezvous point in case you become separated.
  • Let a friend or family member know when you plan to return.

Even later in the summer, the river is likely to remain higher and colder than most people are used to. Use care and common sense to make your river play fun rather than tragic. Meanwhile, there are several public swimming pools and splash parks in Reno, Sparks and Washoe County where cooling off on hot days is a safe bet.

Truckee River, Reno, Nevada, NV

Truckee River flowing high and cold through Reno, Nevada. Photo © Stan White

Source: City of Reno press release.

Washoe Lake, just south of Reno, dried up as a result of the multi-year drought in Nevada and much of the southwestern U.S. Record precipitation over the winter of 2016-2017 filled the lake and then some. The lake is part of Washoe Lake State Park.

Washoe Lake, Washoe Valley, Nevada, NV.

October, 2016. Washoe Lake completely dry. Photo © Stan White

Washoe Lake, Washoe Valley, Nevada, NV.

March, 2017. Washoe Lake full and overflowing. Photo © Stan White