Kokanee Salmon run at Causey Reservoir
Kokanee Salmon run at Causey Reservoir
The Salt Project has just gotten back from the Utah Tourism Conference in Vernal and I have lots to write about, but I wanted to hurry and get out this information about the Kokanee Salmon run at Causey Reservoir!
What's so cool about a Salmon Run?
Well, for one, the salmon turn bright red and change body shapes. You'll want to check it out on this KSL article I read. Also, these salmon DIE after spawning...I find it extremely crazy that they change their bodies, swim upstream just to plant eggs and die. I mean, isn't science crazy?
How do we view the Salmon?
According to the KSL article above, you can hike, canoe, or drive right up to see the salmon. Some view points are better. We chose to canoe to the opposite side into the Causey Fingers and do a short walk up. We could have driven, but it didn't sound very promising. The last option was hiking 5 miles and with 2 toddlers, that was just out of the question.
We rented our canoe from Weber State Outdoor center for $25 bucks. It came with two life jackets and a giant canoe. We actually have a canoe, but it’s super old and we patched a hole with fiberglass forever ago. But that fiberglass got all over the inside so it’s not exactly comfortable…and I might have ripped a hole in the seat too. So let’s just say, our canoe is no sea worth right now.
We have this nifty canoe rack thing. It’s made so one person can load up a canoe, which is awesome for me when the husband is around.
Sometimes, your quick plans turn into long plans. Like, I needed to find a canoe. Then I needed to make sure that I could actually see salmon for sure. Then I needed to pack some snacks, life jackets, warm clothing, water, gloves, hats, jackets, sunscreen, ya know, ALL the things.
Then I thought it would be much easier if we didn’t bring the baby. I’m sure she would have been fine, but it would have made it a wee be tougher. So we had to call grandma to watch her and then drop baby off. Plus pack a bottle, extra clothes and diapers.
Then it was 1:00 and overdue for lunch. So we stopped and got lunch.
Anywho, we got to Causey, set everything in the boat and headed down the steep walk. The canoe was WAY heavier than we expected, so we had to take it slow. We literally threw the kids in the canoe and headed down the reservoir. We had to have the canoe back by 5:00 so we knew we’d be tight on time.
Causey is an amazing place. I love to kayak/canoe/cliff jump/fish. But this time we were going for the fish and just to look at the fish. I haven’t been to the back of Causey for over 8 years, but I knew it would take a while.
We paddled as fast as we could to the “fingers of Causey” with only 2 potty stops along the way. The second being a tricky trick by our funny 3 year old.
Don't forget your life jackets. Everyone must have on one at Causey.
New Salt Project Beanies are HERE!
Did you know there is a rope swing at Causey? I wouldn't recommend going now, but it's been calling me for a few years. (It's in the photo above.)
Causey was pretty full of visitors and we chatted with many of them to see which section would be best. We decided on the left when you hit the fork. We were told that you had to hike about 5 minutes through the river to find the pool of salmon.
When we finally reached the back of the reservoir we found many other boats left by other fish finders.
For some reason, I decided to put everyone in shoes and socks…instead of sandals. Ya know, since it was only 50 degrees that morning I’m not even sure what I was thinking. We took everyone socks off and put their shoes back on. I decided for whatever reason to leave my shoes in the canoe. It wasn’t my smartest move of the day but I lived. The water got colder and COLDER the more we hiked back in.
We got really excited a few minutes later when we saw a few salmon swimming up river. They were BRIGHT red and working really hard to get up stream. They were also much smaller than I would have thought, but super cool nonetheless. We found some dead fish and salmon eggs on the dry side of the river. The kids thought it was cool to find the eggs. Funnily enough, I remember thinking that it smelled just like a little bottle of salmon eggs. For some reason, I never really put the fact together that the salmon eggs we used for fishing truly were salmon eggs.
After trudging up the river/dirt/sand/rocks/FREEZING Water we finally made it to the first pool.
There were probably around 50+ salmon swimming in the pools. The little shady area was super pretty and very lush. I actually realized I forgot to take a photo because I was so concentrated on the fish. I also couldn't get a photo of the actual fish. I only had my little floating stick on my gopro and I couldn't even get close to the fish without them swimming away.
Either way, here’s some video. The river water was FREEZING. At this point my toes and feet hurt so much I could barely move. I’m not sure how those fish were living in the river.
I don't have an extension for my gopro so all my videos are from far away. Those fish would see me a mile away and swim as far away as possible. I didn't want to disturb the eggs...but dang, I wish I had that extra armlength. The camera really couldn’t do it justice of how bright red the fish were.
You'll just have to go for yourself and check it out.
We probably spent 30 minutes hiking in and out plus hanging out with the salmon.
We were on a time crunch to get home and return the canoe, so we boogied it pretty quickly back.
Plan at least 2 hours to get to there and back again. We aren't in the best shape of arm strength, but I felt that we made really good paddle time.
It's totally worth going to see if you can. Nature is pretty amazing...even if the salmon were planted here, it's cool anyway.
Be sure to #thesaltproject if you go. I'm sure ya'll can get better photos of the Salmon than me!