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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Strawberry Valley Wildlife Festival Offers Chance To See Unusual Fish

The annual Strawberry Valley Wildlife Festival will be held on Sept. 24, 2011, at the Visitor Center adjacent to Strawberry Reservoir. It offers the chance to see unusual wildlife, including bright red kokanee salmon.

Kokanee are a land-locked salmon that only live in a few waters in Utah. They turn red just before they spawn. The swim up streams where they are easily visible, spawn and then die. The festival is timed so participants can see red fish in the Strawberry River, above the reservoir.

Fishing picks up at Strawberry Reservoir during the fall, and fishing information will flow freely at the festival. It is great fun to attend the festival and then head over to the reservoir to fish.

Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources provided the following information about the festival. They also provided the photo.

The Strawberry Valley Wildlife Festival is Sept. 24, 2011

Wasatch County — Bright red kokanee salmon have started to swim up some of the tributaries to Strawberry Reservoir. The salmon make this journey as part of their annual spawning run.

You can see hundreds of these salmon—and possibly other wildlife, too—at the annual Strawberry Valley Wildlife Festival.

The festival will be held Sept. 24 at the U.S. Forest Service visitor center at Strawberry Reservoir. The visitor center is along U.S. Highway 40, about 20 miles southeast of Heber City.

The festival is free. It runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Friends of Strawberry Valley host the festival every September amid the valley's beauty and changing fall colors.

Seeing the salmon

When you attend the event on Sept. 24, you'll see some salmon in the Strawberry River next to the visitor center. But if you walk to the fish trap and egg-taking facility behind the visitor center, you'll see hundreds of the bright red fish.

Division of Wildlife Resources biologists will be available at the facility to show you the salmon and talk with you about the peculiar life cycle of the fish.

Festival activities will include a chance to look at animal tracks and hook and land a 'virtual' fish on a fishing simulator. Several other booths and displays will also be available. The U.S. Forest Service will invite Smokey Bear to make appearances throughout the day.

For more information about the festival, call the Uinta National Forest at 435-654-0470 or Scott Root with the DWR at 801-491-5656.


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