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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Porcupine Reservoir Kokanee Salmon Run

Saturday evening we drove up to Bear Lake to enjoy the Labor Day weekend.  On the way we stopped at Porcupine Reservoir to see the kokanee salmon spawning.  As we drove up the canyon, a rainbow played peek-a-boo with us in the rapidly fading light. 
The kokanee salmon make their spawning run every September.  They turn bright red, then head upstream to spawn.  The Utah DWR has implemented restrictions to protect them, closing to fishing the tributaries they spawn in from August 15 to September 30.  
At the top of the reservoir, we ran down the hill to the East Fork of the Little Bear River.  Bingo!  The peak of the spawn is usually mid-September, so we were pretty excited to see the little red salmon already in the creek. 
The light was fading fast, but we got a few mediocre pictures.  Most of the fish were about 12 inches long.   We walked up and down the bank looking for fish until it was too dark to see.  I'm glad we made this stop! 

Nearest City: Avon, UT
Location: N° W°
Time Needed:
Kid Friendly: Yes
Additional Info: Kokanee Salmon Info


  1. How strenuous is the hike, how long? This is the main tributary running into the reservoir, above it? Great pics, thanks for sharing!

  2. Just drive to the end of the road. There's a gate there for a church camp. Park, then hike down the hill to the stream (main tributary to the reservoir). It's maybe 50 yards, but it's a little bit steep. Once you're at the stream, just walk up & down the bank & you'll see the fish. It's a whole lot of fun!

  3. If the campground hosts are there they usually let you open the gate and drive right into the camp so all you have to do is get out of your car and walk 10 feet to the creek to see them. Just be very careful not to go into the water or throw or kick anything into the water, also try not to make too much noise or use the flah on your camer. The fish are very while they are spawning and too much noise, light, or other intrusions may disrupt them.