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Sagehen Live Fish-Cam...

The windows look out from the basement of our Fish Observation Building into a controlled segment of the actual Sagehen Creek main stream channel.

The fish you are watching are mostly native & endangered Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus (=Salmo) clarki henshawi). You may also see some smaller Brook, Brown & Rainbow trout. If the water is cloudy, it's either raining or snow is melting. If there are human legs in the windows, it's glass cleaning day!

A big LCT- rainbow hybrid. Looking for LCTs in the fish house channel. Glass cleaning day! Visitors in fish house.

More information about:
Virginia Boucher & Peter Moyle's research project abstract for these particular fish
Science films made in the Sagehen Fish Observation facility (some titles available at the Truckee Public Library).

Click for periodic updates about the fish & other Sagehen happenings.

Click the "control" button above to move the camera manually or to select a different preset view.


Annual Highlights:


Spring... Stream-flow increases, water temperatures rise & fish reactivate as food becomes available. In a wet year, this can be well into June but will more often be May.

Dark spots on windows are snails or caddis, mayfly & stonefly nymphs. Shiny cylinders in channel are water temperature data loggers (not beer cans!). You will begin to see groups of visitors in the observation chamber.

Stonefly emerges from stream.
Summer... Fish are active & appear before the windows in great numbers. Watch for the appearance of an American Dipper that nests on the building above the channel--she frequently swims in the stream & her nestlings toss their egg shells & white castings into the water. Dipper eggshells fall from nest to stream bottom.

Fall... The stream bed accumulates a layer of golden willow leaves & brook trout spawn in the gravel beds in front of the glass windows during the day.

See a video clip (12.4M) of spawning Brook trout highlights from the film Reproductive behavior of the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), by R. L. Butler and V. M. Hawthorne.

Brook trout spawning in window.
Winter... During winter months the surface freezes & anchor ice forms on the channel bottom; trout are sluggish & rarely seen, so we don't often get into the frigid water to clean the windows. Anchor ice forms on bottom of creek.
Thanks to everyone who made this camera possible!
The Harold McAlister Charitable Foundation

UC Natural Reserve System

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service