Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Rainbow Trail...Taylor Creek Watershed Area

Dave took me around Lake Tahoe one day soon after we got to Nevada. He remembered a trail he'd taken on a school field trip and wanted to find it. It is called the Rainbow Trail and is actually part of the Taylor Creek Watershed Area. It's a short interpretive trail that talks about what a watershed area is and why it's important. Some of the signs talk about the animals that live in the wetland area--frogs, skunks, birds, etc.

Dave standing under the sign at the head of the trail.

Taylor Creek

There was a bridge where we could look in the water and watch the bright red Kokanee Salmon swimming upstream. That brought back memories from the Escape Club (an outdoor club we had in junior high school) trip in Vernal going to the Flaming Gorge area to watch the salmon run. If I can find my old pictures, I should scan them and get them online. It was a great trip.

Taylor Creek

 The last part of the trail involves walking down a sidewalk into a tunnel that goes under Taylor Creek and we could see the fish and a cross section of the stream bed. Dave taught me how to identify a brown trout! He also told me that the Lahontan cutthroat is native to this area. Lake Lahontan was a prehistoric lake covering most of this area. It's similar to Lake Bonneville in Utah, where you can still look up at the surrounding mountains and see where the various levels, or beaches, used to be.

"Who wants to go into the dark, scary tunnel first?" (National Treasure)

Brown trout on the right, Kokanee salmon far left. I think the fish in between may be a rainbow and a Lahontan cutthroat.

Brown trout...

It was a really cool interpretive exhibit inside and I wish I'd taken more pictures. The whole thing was made to look like we were actually inside the stream bed with rocks, more "fish" and interpretive exhibits. Next time I'll try to remember to take more pictures!