Best way to catch a fish

| May 6, 2011 | 0 Comments
Boy in front of a fish tank

Visitors can get up close with Taylor Creek's aquatic inhabitants.

Rainbow, brown and Lahontan cutthroat trout, Kokanee salmon and speckled dace.  You can catch all the fish you wish at the stream profile chamber at South Shore’s  Taylor Creek Visitor Center. But leave the barbs and bait at home. The only angling  you’ll do at this underwater observation spot is to get a better view of these Tahoe  piscatorial denizens, alive and well, in their native habitat.

First built in the 1960s and reconstructed following the 1997 floods, the concretelined  tunnel with viewing windows beneath the surface of Taylor Creek is “pretty  unique in that it is built into a natural stream environment,” says Susanne Johnson,  USDA Forest Service information assistant. “It’s not an aquarium.” The Taylor Creek  Visitor Center is located on National Forest land and operated by the Forest Service,  Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.

Located a quarter-mile along the self-guided Rainbow Trail, the stream profile  chamber provides a peek into the underwater world of a diverted section of Taylor  Creek. Plaques and interpretive signs help visitors—including several thousand  schoolchildren each year—identify what is swimming around in the five or so feet of  water. As the chamber is located within a wildlife observation area, in addition to the  aquatic species, visitors might also see eagles, hawks, raccoons, geese and black bear  in the vicinity. In the autumn, the spawning red Kokanee salmon (sockeye that live  and reproduce in landlocked streams and lakes) put on a colorful show both in the  chamber and the rest of Taylor Creek.

Several ranger-led walks include a stop at the chamber. Best of all, no entrance or  parking fees make this fishing trip free. By Susan D. Rock. TQ

Category: Best of Tahoe 2011, Museums

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