Fresh salmon on the hoof

Jack and Carol Scott have a cabin at South Lake Tahoe, and we spend a weekend every year playing Doop (duplicate bridge for four people), cursing the state of the nation and trying new restaurants.  When I was a kid Tahoe meant either skiing or gambling.  I’m too old for the former and too smart for the latter, so doop and dinner are about as exciting as I get.

This afternoon, I wanted to stretch my legs and said I was headed for the outlet mall to wander around a bit and see if there was anything I couldn’t live without, but swiftly found myself outvoted when Jack suggested going to Taylor Creek to see the running of the salmon.

If I had known about his before we left, I’d have the big camera with me.  Fortunately, my new little Canon is a miracle of photographic design, so I got some good shots.

Taylor creek is on the west side of the lake, 3 or 4 miles north of the Y.  The creek leads to wetlands that lead to the lake; it’s all state park, well marked with informative signs.  After a 300 yard stroll looking at the pines and aspens, you end up at a gravel creekside and see some real nature in action.

These are kokanee salmon, little guys you won’t ever find on your dinner plate.  They’re mostly red; the females have greenish heads, the males are a bit larger and have a humped back, which they develop just prior to spawning.  If you need more fishy details, ask Lorin Waxman, he’s the fishiest guy I know.

Spawning salmon in the crystal clear waters of the creek


The waters are also filled with ducks, who follow the fish around and try to eat the eggs.  They get a bit more prominence here on the blog because they are easier to photograph, and I like ducks.

Duck floating


Duck grubbing for salmon roe.


Husband and wife


Nature girls on the walk


Going fish watching was more fun than shopping would have been.  We’re lucky that this is just the right time of year for spawning, we’re lucky to have friend like Jack and Carol, they’re lucky to have this funky old cabin we can hang out in and play cards.  Life is good.

3 thoughts on “Fresh salmon on the hoof

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