Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lake Tahoe ~ Taylor Creek Field Trip

Thaniqua came home from school on Monday and her field trip had been changed to Tuesday instead of Thursday. She had a beautiful day. Here is a little bit about her trip and what it all means.

They went to Taylor Creek , Lake Tahoe to see the " Kokanee Salmon "

Why ~ To study the kokanee salmon life cycle in conjuction with the third grade Science standard on structures of life.

One of the beautiful trails at Taylor Creek

The Kokanee Salmon of Lake Tahoe

The Kokanee, landlocked cousins of the sea-going Sockeye Salmon, were introduced to Lake Tahoe in 1944 by biologists working on the lake's north shore. These predecessors of today's inhabitants quickly adapted to the alpine environment, joining brown trout, rainbow trout and Mackinaw among the most prominent game fish in Lake Tahoe. However, no other species in Lake Tahoe offers such a spectacular show during their mating season.

Each autumn, nature calls mature Kokanee to return to the streams from which they were hatched, select a mate, spawn and die. As that time approaches, adult males develop a humped back and a heavy, hooked jaw, equipping them for the inevitable battles over both mates and territory, and both sexes turn from their usual silver/blue color to a brilliant red. Then, en masse, the fish make one mad dash to their mating grounds, fighting their way up the shallow stream, displaying their colors to attract a mate, then battling to protect the small patch of gravel streambed where they make their "redds" or nests.

Along the stream banks, the autumn aspens, willows and grasses will be as brilliant as the display in the creek below. Almost as dramatic as the story of life and death being played out in the water are the colorful combinations of orange, gold and red as the vegetation prepares to shed their foliage in anticipation of winter.

The Kokanee Salmon can be seen in Taylor Creek throughout the month of October.


Holly said...

What a neat field trip. I would have enjoyed that.

Trennia said...

That is really neat!

Jingle said...

love these images, very beautiful!

That corgi :) said...

I didn't know this! Usually when I think of salmon, I think of the Pacific Northwest, like up by Seattle. Not in Lake Tahoe. Beautiful fish! and I loved the walking path; can you imagine taking walks on that during the different seasons? Sounds like a fun field trip!


Debby@Just Breathe said...

What an awesome field trip. I bet she had a wonderful time. It looks like a beautiful area.

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