Smelt Runs In Sandy River

Though a smelt run has not occurred since 1985 when a small number of Columbia River smelt last ventured into the Sandy, some Troutdale residents continue to hope that the tiny silver fish will once again choose to spawn in the Sandy River.

Smelt are dipped with nets from the bank. The arrival of smelt in the Sandy... the last big run was in 1980... was once the signal for Portlanders to pile in their cars and come to dip or buy smelt. As many as 5,000 people ventured to the river in a single day, forcing Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies to make the Historic Columbia River Highway a one-way road into town, with outbound traffic one-way east on Stark Street.

While individual smelt dippers toted away the limit of 25 pounds of fish for personal use, commercial dippers sold their catch to Sea World in San Diego to feed the marine animals.

Copyright © City of Troutdale
City of Troutdale- Last Updated April 18, 2006