Thursday, February 16, 2006


A few years ago, the smelt run on the Sandy River was a big event and the locals lined the riverbank with dip nets and filled buckets to take home. In recent years, the smelt have not been so plentiful. But this year, the Sandy is running clear and cold and the conditions are promising that this could be the year of the return.

The smelt have been sighted in the Columbia a few miles west of here. The fickle little fish may take a right turn and head up the Sandy River to spawn. Or not. They could just stay in the Columbia or turn up the Cowlitz in Washington. But the residents of Troutdale and Wood Village are hopeful. We will all watch for the long-handled dip net stuck in the umbrella hole at Jack’s Snacks and Tackle that will signal a smelt run.

The little business is close to my house and on my route to Lewis and Clark Park or the Sandy River Delta to run the dogs. I doubt I’ll go smelt dipping myself, but I would love to see the schools traveling by. There have been only two runs since 1989. Isn’t it about time for the little fellas to return? We’ll be down at the river watching.


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