September 22, 2013

Seeing Red

Attending Kokanee Day has become somewhat of a tradition over the past few years. We look at it as a way to welcome the changing colors and temperatures of the fall season. Seeing these fish make the transformation from being a silver bullet, to the bulky red brute controlling the river never seems to get old. In just a few short weeks, they spawn, and die, completing their life cycle. Not only do you get to learn about the fish, but there is also fishing games for the kids. Smokey the Bear also makes an appearance which also seems to be a kid favorite.
A great way to know fall has arrived is to see the beautiful kokanee salmon.
A future fisherman in training.
We enjoyed seeing the fish in the river and at the fish trap, where fish biologists answered any questions that were asked about the fish. They catch the fish in the trap to collect eggs. They are able to get better numbers by doing it this way, although their are a lot of fish that still spawn naturally.
Kokanee in the fish trap waiting to be "milked".
The little ones seem to be just as impressed as the adults.
I also asked where one might go to have a good shot at catching some of these beasts of the river, to which they gave me all the information I needed. They told me that kokanee no longer eat once they begin the spawn, so you have to use something that will trigger a strike out of aggression.

With that in mind, I headed to one of the spots the biologist mentioned, and found that their were a good group of them in this location. I used something that I thought would get their attention, and in short order it did. They still had a lot of fight in them, and I landed several nice kokanee, including a new person best that measured 20 inches. My wife took a quick picture, and all the fish were returned to the lake to continue their journey. 

A few nice hens...

The hens keep the shape they had before they spawn, but the males grow a big hump and their jaws curl in. They are also equipped with a nice set of teeth to battle other fish when they find a good spot to spawn in the river.
and a few nice males...

Kokanee Day is a great way to see these fish. It is also a fun way to teach kids about these interesting fish, and get them involved in the outdoors. You have about another two weeks to see them this year before they are gone, so get out and enjoy them while you can.


  1. Looks like a great time. I still find it interesting and fascinating how those fish morph and look so different physically.

  2. Fantastic fishes! I love how those red beauties stand out so much in the water! did oyu catch them on the fly?