When fishing for smelt along the Sandy River, fishermen should follow the rules and regulations established by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which includes using angling equipment of specific length and weight. Although following rules and regulations is paramount to smelt fishing success, fishermen can employ several preservation tactics after landing catches to retain their quality and safety. Freezing the fish on ice after catching reduces the chance of bacterial exposure as does proper cleaning, packing and storing.
For legal protection, fishermen on the Sandy River should be aware of all regulations and restrictions. These restrictions change regularly, but it is important that all who fish for smelt are aware of them. Certain restrictions, such as using fly angling or bobber angling gear only, may affect fishermen in specific areas. Additional restrictions might include a bobber weight no more than 36 inches below the surface.
After ensuring they follow protocol, fishermen can begin searching for smelt. Following a catch, it is important to have ice on hand to freeze fish immediately. Bacteria can grow in low temperatures (a mere 40 degrees Fahrenheit is the starting point) and multiply without proper storage. When cleaning fish, fishermen should remove and discard the head and pectoral fins, then remove entrails. If freezing, fishermen should cut fish into pieces or fillets, then store tightly and put in the freezer at 0 degrees for no more than 5 or 6 months.