Lucky Peak Kokanee Salmon On the Move Celebrate Idaho’s Fish at Kokanee Outdoor Day

Sun, 08/23/2009

Media Release

August 23, 2009

Contact: Pam Elkovich, 208.345-9800

For Immediate Release
Liz Paul

Lucky Peak Kokanee Salmon On the Move
Celebrate Idaho’s Fish at Kokanee Outdoor Day

After spending two to three years feeding in the deep waters of Lucky Peak Reservoir, kokanee salmon are red, fat and fighting their way up Mores Creek to spawn. The shiny red sport fish are a sight to behold and a symbol of Idaho’s productive rivers and lakes.

Kokanee Outdoor Day - a celebration of Idaho’s fish, clean water and rich outdoor tradition will be held on August 29. The free event features a road trip from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with five stops along Highway 21 between Boise and Idaho City and a festival with live music and many activities from noon to 6:00 p.m. in John Brogan Park in Idaho City.

Event organizer Pam Elkovich of Trout Unlimited said, “The Kokanee put on quite a show in Mores Creek and the festival will include story telling in a tipi, fly casting and water games as well as food and live music. Don’t miss this celebration of fish, so close to Boise.”

The kokanee have a two- to three-year life cycle and they migrate upstream into smaller streams to spawn and die. Kokanee in the reservoir are silvery green. At the start of the spawning run, the males will develop a greenish head and bright red to reddish-orange body. The females will get slightly red.

Once the fish have changed into their spawning colors and started to move upstream, they will die in seven to nine days. According to Idaho Fish and Game, the kokanee introduced into Lucky Peak Reservoir provide needed nutrients to Mores Creek. When they die they decompose in the river, and all the nutrients in them - nitrogen, phosphorous, carbon - are released back into the ecosystem. Lucky Peak is stocked with hatchery kokanee and provides a solid fishery, with good size fish.

The Kokanee Outdoor Day road trip will include five well-marked road stops along Highway 21, each one featuring a different free activity. Stop and view Idaho’s amazing red Kokanee, learn to pan for gold, plant a tree to improve water quality and more. Maps are available at

At John Brogan Park in Idaho City, children and adults can learn more about Kokanee salmon and Idaho’s fish and wildlife, play wild water games, enjoy storytelling in a tipi, learn how to cast a fly and listen to live music. Many other fun activities will also be offered.
Organizer Jessica Ruehrwein of the Sierra Club said, “Idaho’s communities and local economies rely on natural resources like clean water and fish. Many local businesses have teamed up with the event sponsors to present this fun-filled family event.”

 Food and beer will be available for purchase from local vendors.

Kokanee Outdoor Day is sponsored by Trout Unlimited, Sierra Club, Idaho Rivers United, US Forest Service and the Be Outside Initiative.

For more information, please contact Pam Elkovich at 345-9800.

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