Smelt are small (6 to 10 inches) silvery fish found in large schools in shallow near-shore waters. In years past, they were so plentiful that one pass with a large dipping net could yield 20 pounds or more. Even though their numbers have been greatly reduced, each spring they still migrate by the millions to coastal rivers from the Klamath River in northern California, north to the Nushagak River in Alaska and to the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.
Yachats is one place they used to come in great numbers but no more. As soon as the first one was spotted, the word was passed and the townspeople were out with their dipping nets and buckets. To commemorate those historic smelt runs, Yachats has an annual smelt fry that always draws a crowd.
This year's 38th Annual Yachats Smelt Fry is being held at the Yachats Commons on July 12 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. It’s all you can eat smelt, with coleslaw, rolls, chips, pickles, and a drink. Sausage with all the fixings is also available as well as dessert.
Lively entertainment is to be provided by folksingers and other musicians. The Yachats Lions Club sponsors the event.
Oregon Coast Magazine July/August 2008