Smelt

Romaine Soucy, who lives on Oakes Avenue, waits for the evening’s run of smelt at Maple Grove on Camano Island. The fish dart into shore in a black drove. The smelt-raker must act quickly or the catch will elude his net.

Aug. 12, 1920

Skagit County in the first week of 1920 had exactly 33,488 inhabitants. That is the official announcement of the census bureau as given to the press this week. In 1910 the population was 29,241, showing an increase in ten years of 4,247, or 14.2 per cent. In this increase of 4,247 Anacortes contributed 1,116 and Mt. Vernon 960 or a total of 2,076. This places Skagit definitely in the fourth class insofar as salaries of the county officials is concerned, and will stand for the next 10 years or until a new state law is enacted. It was thought that while some of the smaller towns of the county would show a decided loss the rural population would be increased by many hundreds, that it has not, is disappointing, but the disappointment is temporary.

Aug. 15, 1940

Charging that discriminatory practice against CIO workers in the three AF of L Canneries in Anacortes were being used by these cannery owners, the International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America late Thursday afternoon authorized the Anacortes local to establish picket lines around these three canneries. …

According to word released by George Lane, Secretary of the International Fishermen and Allied Workers of America a lockout of some 20 employees was begun on August 15. Lane said this practice was begun despite promises from the cannery owners that no discrimination would be shown.

Aug. 17, 1950

With the clouds of war becoming more ominous, attention of many former servicemen, reserves and young men is focused on selective service quotas and increasing demands for recruits to fill the ranks of the armed services.

Already nearly fifteen Anacortes men have received notification for preinduction physicals at Fort Lawton, while a number of other young men are enlisting in branches of the service to avoid draft call.

Aug. 11, 1960

Bare hands can provide a meal of fish along the shores of Camano and Whidbey Islands — if you know where and how to look.

It’s the season of the smelt rakers but when the smelt are running so thick they blacken the waters, the rakes aren’t necessary. Fishermen can scoop their catches right out of the water, using only their hands. At high tide the smelt come rushing into shore to lay their eggs. Fishermen must know exactly when to start raking or else the smelt disappear back into the water at once.

Aug. 13, 1970

Schools have the legal power to regulate student dress and appearance only if they interfere or disrupt the school program. Appearance, grooming and dress therefore, must be the primary responsibility of the individual students and his or her parents. To assist, the Anacortes School Board recommends the following general guidelines:

BOYS’ DRESS:

1. Shoes and socks be worn.

2. Clean clothing in style but not extreme (some extremes are: Bermuda shorts, cutoffs or shorts, bib overalls, hats or caps, vests without shirts.)

GIRLS’ DRESS:

1. Shoes and socks be worn.

2. Clothing in style but not extreme (some extremes are: Jeans and T-shirt, cutoff, flop hats, micro and maxi dresses, tattered and torn clothing.)

Aug. 13, 1980

Like having Christmas in August, the Anacortes city council is offering the community a chance to present “wish lists” at a public hearing August 25. The lists and general input will help the council formulate the 1981 city budget.

Bob Olander, city manager, explained the budget process to the four council members to present at Monday evening’s study session. Olander stressed the difficulty of making major changes to the budget at last minute and urged members to submit changes and proposals as soon as possible.

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