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Kokanee Salmon Run

Summer may be coming to an end, but there are still opportunities to spend time with your children surrounded by the amazing nature that Utahns are so lucky to have access to. One particularly unique opportunity is presenting itself in the coming weeks! The Kokanee Salmon Run is the final life stage of the Kokanee Salmon, a landlocked cousin of the Sockeye Salmon. These determined little fish travel throughout the Western US hoping to lay their eggs in mid to late September. Fortunately, the Kokanee Salmon run through Utah on their journey.

The Kokanee Salmon spend most of their life with silver scales, but in their final stage they become a vibrant red, with males developing prominent back humps and elongated jaws. This transformation makes for a stunning spectacle for those who are lucky enough to see the run in action! Taking children to see the Kokanee Salmon run is a great opportunity for them to learn about life cycles and soak up the last bit of sunshine before Utah’s beautiful but frigid winter moves in. Keep in mind, you are not allowed to catch Kokanee Salmon during this stage.

There are several areas in Utah where the Kokanee Salmon can be seen on their run. Those closest to the Salt Lake City area include Jordanelle Reservoir, Porcupine Reservoir, and Smith and Morehouse reservoir (via These locations are within a 1.5 hour drive from the CCNS campus. For additional viewing locations and more details, please visit the Utah Division of Wildlife’s blog at