Heading to Tahoe’s Fall Fish Festival? Beware of bears

The U.S. Forest Service’s Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit cautions those attending this weekend’s Fall Fish Festival to beware of bears.

“Some black bears in the area have learned to feed on the spawning salmon, and visitor center staff routinely encounter unsafe situations as guests get too close to the bears,” Lisa Herron, a public affairs specialist with the unit, said in a news release.

“If encountering a bear, remember do not approach them,” Herron said. “Bears are wild animals and may attack if threatened. Stay on paved trails, keep a safe distance and leave the bear an escape route.”

The popular, free annual festival is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, three miles north of South Lake Tahoe on Highway 89.

It focuses on a variety of fish species that live in Lake Tahoe and its streams, including kokanee salmon, the threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout and little-known smaller fish, such as speckled dace.

The festival includes children’s activities, food vendors, educational booths, streamside information and Kokanee Trail Runs on Sunday. For more information on the trail runs, visit www.tahoemtnmilers.org/kokanee-5k--10k--half-marathon.html.

Because the annual Oktoberfest at adjacent Camp Richardson Resort occurs the same weekend, the parking lot at the visitor center fills quickly, Herron said, and those attending are encouraged to bike, walk or take public transportation to the events.

The Fall Fish Festival is sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and Tahoe Heritage Foundation.

More information is available by calling the visitor center at (530) 543-2674 or visiting www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/FallFishFest.