2024 Fish Count

South Fork Smith River – August 2 – 3, 2024

The Smith River Alliance invites swimmers and wild fish enthusiasts to participate in this year’s Fish Count, August 2 – 3. During the count we will continue to track the abundance of California’s healthiest population of Coastal Cutthroat trout. We will also be on the lookout for the rare summer steelhead and spring Chinook salmon, as well as suckers, rainbow trout, lamprey, and herpetofauna. Snorkeling within the canyon walls and clear blue waters of the Smith River, volunteers will experience wild fish in their native habitat.

This event contributes to annual monitoring of summer adult populations in the Smith River and will take place at Rock Creek Ranch, ideally situated on the South Fork Smith River. Only good swimmers older than 18 may participate in the count. Please leave your pets at home.


Friday, August 2, 2024

An “entry-level” river snorkeling and fish identification workshop will be held on Friday from 1:00-5:00 pm. This training is fun and REQUIRED for all new participants who want to collect data on Saturday. Experienced fish snorkelers are encouraged to help with the workshop and improve their skills.

Saturday, August 3, 2024

8:30 am – Instructions and Team Assignments
5:00 pm – All data and equipment returned
Further details about the event will be shared closer to the event.

What to Bring

Mask and snorkel, full body wetsuit (5m is best), dive hood, gloves, booties, and closed-toed river shoes or wading boots. Divers need to bring all of their own gear this year.

Small durable pack with lunch, water bottle, and sunscreen. Bring camping gear, plus, musical instruments, stories, and talents for the campfire!

Bring high energy snacks, potluck items for Friday and Saturday, and lunch for each day. BYOB/ice. A full kitchen and BBQ will be available each day. The Hiouchi Hamlet (~25 minutes away) is the closest store so come prepared.


From Hwy 199 turn onto South Fork Rd. After crossing the South Fork Smith River, turn left (upriver/east) onto South Fork Rd. Continue for 7.9 miles. Rock Creek Ranch is located on the left side of the road after Oak St., Pine St., and Fir St. The driveway will be marketed.


You must RSVP to Attend!  Contact Priscilla Winters at priscilla@smithriveralliance.org.

Special Notes

Pacific Outfitters in Arcata/Eureka has offered a group discount to divers with our group. Please let them know you are with the Smith River Alliance.

Like us on Facebook, too! More information and details will be provided to confirmed divers as we get closer. Volunteers are needed for surveys, kitchen prep/cleanup, and shuttles. Novices are welcome but must have strong open water skills!

See you in the water!

Instructional Video