They are fishing on the Sandy River for smelt. We used to go there every year when I was a child.....
charlott on 19th August 2013 @ 7:06am
Dipping - not Fishing - They'd be smelt - Sandy River - note the rain attire - my guess ...
Steve on 19th August 2013 @ 7:09am
Did you deep fry them and eat them whole?
Buzz on 19th August 2013 @ 7:10am
I'm sure they are the same fish we used to call hooligan and ate them like french fries. Head, bones, guts, feathers and all.
Buzz on 19th August 2013 @ 8:06am
Yes, some people called them holligan.....When I was little there was no limit and the river was just full of them. A bunch of Hood River families would all go and have a day outing, yes, DIPPING for smelt, kids playing around in the water. Also a very good picnic was in order.
More playing than fishing, as you could get all you wanted in a very short time. He doesn't have a very full net. Sometimes they were so full, it was all a man could do to pull in his net.
As an adult, my husband and I went down on the Cowlitz to get smelt, but there was a limit, by the pound, but don't recall what it was.....
charlott on 19th August 2013 @ 8:22am
And that last comment was #5000 on Historic Hood River. Thanks to all of you for adding such an important layer of history, local knowledge, and fun to these photographs.
Arthur on 19th August 2013 @ 9:03am
Have dipped on both the Sandy and Cowlitz. Seems to me it around ten pounds per person. I think the "hooligan" moniker is an aberration of Eulachon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eulachon
Mom and Dad always cleaned 'em, breaded and pan fried. But one of my fishing buddies used to smoke 'em whole, and that's how we'd eat 'em. Yummy!
In any event, area looks much different now, appears to be around Lewis and Clark park, on the Sandy, between the Halsey bridge and the Freeway (railway) bridge, from the east side, looking northwest?
spinsur on 19th August 2013 @ 9:07am
Smelt make for good sturgeon bait too!
dsc on 19th August 2013 @ 9:50am
I think they are the same fish that some Alaskans called candlefish. They are real oily and they would get the oil out of them and make candles.
Buzz on 19th August 2013 @ 10:44am
I think back to how much smelt ended up in peoples freezers, never eaten, to be "sturgeon bait", and wonder how much that contributed to the decline of the runs. It's a little tougher to blame dams on the decline of fish that don't go above the first dam!
spinsur on 19th August 2013 @ 11:12am
As far as I am concerned, too much work fixin' and they really were OILY!
Judy on 19th August 2013 @ 6:43pm
Charlott- beat me to it - by three minutes- OK- I need to get up earlier... :)
Steve on 19th August 2013 @ 8:05pm
Maybe a fisheries expert will add to this: in 2010 Pacific smelt runs on the Columbia were listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act, so smelt dipping (or even possessing dead smelt) is illegal now. Spring 2013 runs were strong, so maybe we'll see dipping return to the Sandy some day, though I think I'll pass.
Arthur on 19th August 2013 @ 8:10pm
A fish snob I am not. I love smelt.
There is a bit of politics involved in the smelt endangered species act.
The Cowlitz tribe asked that smelt be put on the endangered list. The Cowlitz tribe still dips smelt when they come into the river.
They might be endangered. But they disappeared in the 1800's for thirty years and then reappeared.
l.e. on 20th August 2013 @ 11:02pm
I think there are references that smelt traveled to the Hood River and Klickitat River.
l.e. on 20th August 2013 @ 11:11pm
I think the Eulachon or Candle Fish is an Ocean Smelt which looks and tastes a little different than the Columbia River Smelt.
In BC there is the "Grease Trail" which was a trail the Natives used to carry the oily fish from the coast into the interior for trade.
l.e. on 22nd August 2013 @ 8:28am
The Hood River secret was to dip them from Tanner Creek, no crowds and close to home. Dried or fryed they were great. Since there were so many we also planted one in each hill of corn the Indian way.
Bill P. on 1st October 2013 @ 4:22pm