Thursday October 6, 2022

South Tahoe Now

Among one of the rites of Fall is the Kokanee salmon’s annual spawning trip up Taylor Creek at Lake Tahoe. This may not be the case in 2022 due to impacts of the current drought.

After the driest three-year stretch on record, rivers, streams, and creeks in the whole state, not just the Lake Tahoe Basin, are experiencing significant low water flows and some have even dried up. In addition, most waterbodies in California including Lake Tahoe, are experiencing increased temperatures due to the changing climate and multiple years of drought, according to USFS-Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Aquatic Biologist, Sarah Muskopf.

Muskopf said Taylor Creek is currently flowing at 2-3 cubic feet per second (CFS) and would likely be even lower if not for the Fallen Leaf Lake Dam. Under natural conditions, large portions of Taylor Creek would be dry under current drought conditions. In addition, many streams around the Lake Tahoe Basin are currently intermittently dry.

There is currently no route for the Kokanee to get into their normal spawning area of Taylor Creek due to low water levels.

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