Author Topic: Sockeye salmon "season"?  (Read 10928 times)

Offline ExpatCanadian

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Sockeye salmon "season"?
« on: January 19, 2010, 04:26:06 AM »
It's been a while since I've posted, haven't done a whole lot of smoking for the past few months, mainly due to having filled my freezer with pretty much smoked everything over the summer.  With only 2 of us, most of the leftovers ended up in the freezer to be enjoyed again later!

But, FINALLY there is some space appearing, and I'm about to do up some more salmon.  Last year I posted that I had found some wild sockeye from Alaska in Costco here in the UK.  I bought enough to fill the Bradley and it's been slowly consumed ever since.  I'm down to my last few packets....  so am gearing up for the next batch.  Only problem is, I can't find any Sockeye anymore!  I've found that I actually prefer the leaner & slightly drier texture of the Sockeye to the much oilier Atlantic salmon that we can get anywhere over here.

My question for the fishermen out there is, is there a sockeye salmon season that might be affecting the availability of it here in the UK?  If I know when the season is, I can then check in again at both Costco and the local fish markets, and hopefully find some again!

Offline snowrider84

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 09:09:23 AM »
i would start looking around august to september thats when the runs are coming in and the most fish are harvested.

Offline leftcoast smoker

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 10:24:41 AM »
The sockeye season here was shut down well never really opened this year do to the extremely low numbers and millions of missing fish. thats probably why your having a hard time finding any

Offline Quarlow

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 11:57:46 AM »
The sockeye season here was shut down well never really opened this year do to the extremely low numbers and millions of missing fish. thats probably why your having a hard time finding any

Yeah Left is right. The Sockeye's in B.C. are all but wiped out. They get a few here and the price is a premium but as far as a commercial fishery I think it's down the tube.
I personally like to use the Chums for smoking as they are not as thick in the body and smoke better. And they are cheap too. But the flavour of a smoked Sockeye's is awesome. Pinks smoke up real nice too but I have a slight stigma to them and find it hard to touch them since my days on the commercial trollers.
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Offline leftcoast smoker

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 01:24:50 PM »
pinks smoke up real nice too but I have a slight stigma to them and find it hard to touch them since my days on the commercial trollers.
[/quote]
sounds like it could be a funny story care to share?,
 I smoke pinks all the time usually pretty easy to come by and cheap to buy still taste great when done and everyone always compliment
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Offline Kummok

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2010, 01:28:41 PM »
First time I've seen Atlantic described as oilier than Reds...not that I doubt the report, it's just different than my own experience. Reds and Kings (Sockeye/Chinook) up here are at the top of the "oily" list and highly prized because of that. As Q describes so well, Chum (Dog) and Pink (Humpy) are much lower in oil.....IF you can get them locally there??? While I don't know the market movement from catch to UK market, Sockeye are normally the June run of the season up here, closely following May Kings and mixed in a bit with early Pinks.

I see that BC suffered considerably in the Sockeye run last year, especially the Fraser River, with some blaming the Georgia Strait fish farms for sea lice infestation killing wild salmon fry. http://www.adopt-a-fry.org/  Most already know what I think of fish farming!  :P >:( :( :'(

Alaska didn't do that bad Sockeye-wise, according to most reports, e.g.; "11 January, 2010~...What remains unchanged is the health of Alaska's sockeye fisheries. According to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G), the Bristol Bay sockeye fishery, which accounts for two-thirds to three-quarters of the state's total sockeye catch, yielded 30.9 million fish this year — the seventh largest haul on record." SeafoodSource.com

Offline Quarlow

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2010, 03:19:53 PM »
It's not that great of a story. Basicly I don't like the smell of their guts when you clean them. If you have ever cleaned the 4 species you would likely agree that the stomach of a pink has a distinct odour more so than the others especially if they are eating krill which is their main food source. And if you then have to clean up to 1600 a day you would not care for them much. But they are good to eat. And I am starting to be able to buy them again after 28 years. One thing you will never see me do is spend money on farmed atlantic fish, Kummok I have your back on this for sure. If I was on the eastcoast and someone caught a live one right in front of me ot of the ocean and then cooked it right there I would try it, but I tried it once and one bite was enough for me. If I want to take drugs I will go to the doctor.
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Offline tsquared

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2010, 08:22:09 PM »
Expat--the downfall of BC sockeye runs is enough to make you cry. I used to make a lot of money off them 25 years ago, fishing commercially. In fact, I paid the down payment on my first house with sockeye money. When I stopped commercial fishing I still used to get lots of sockeye sports fishing as they used to run right past my house on their way to the Fraser River. Now it seems fish farms, (sealice from the farmed fish get on the juvenile salmon as they are going by on the way out to sea--it kills them) ocean mortality and warmer summer weather than we used to have that heats up the rivers up to the point where the returning adults can't make the spawning trip, have led to the ruining of the run. I'm glad to hear the Bristol Bay runs in Alaska are still healthy. (It's ironic that I am glad for the Bristol runs as we used to hope that their run was not so good. It was earlier than ours and therefore we were hoping the Japanese market would not be flooded and we'd get a good price.) As for your original question, I'd wait until July when the Alaskan run is finished and see what comes to your market over there.
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Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 03:49:19 AM »
Thanks for all the responses, very informative.

It's pretty hard to find anything other than Atlantic over here....  and as I mentioned the only time I have ever seen Sockeye was in Costco.

My wife is from Steveston, BC, and we often wander along the docks there as the fishing boats come in.  I wonder if next time I'm there I could somehow bring a bunch of salmon back?  Flash frozen and appropriately packaged, it should arrive ok. 

I'll have to keep looking here in the UK, and in the meantime settle for Atlantic.  Not a bad thing...  just now my preferences have been "tweaked"  :)

Offline Quarlow

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 10:07:39 AM »
You should be able to buy frozen fish from a freezer boat. They are frozen within hours of being caught and are very good quality. Then pack them in and styrofoam shipping cooler and fly them home. They should make the trip no problem.
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Offline CB

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2010, 10:43:40 AM »
Here's a local direct-from-the-fisherman I buy from in Seattle at the farmers markets (where they have a stall) or at their boat moored at Fisherman's Terminal.


 Loki Fish Co.
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Offline CB

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 10:50:16 AM »
Hiya Kummok ---

always appreciated your "farming' graphic and adhere to that. BUT did you hear about this company that is farming salmon in freshwater and has been approved by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Fish Watch program?

Aquaseed Corp. SweetSpring branded freshwater farm raised salmon gets Monterey Bay Aquarium "Best Choice"

For those of us who are not inclined to be over-the-top tree-huggers but desire to support native wild fisheries, fisherman, and the N. American fishing industry - much like non-hunters who support Ducks Unlimited - this may be a good thing.  I truly miss the days of the wild salmon in Puget Sound and the healthy fishing industry based nearby.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 10:53:16 AM by CB »
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Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, 11:03:54 AM »
So 10lbs of Wild Pink Salmon for $98.34

~$10.00/lb - I haven't seen wild in our markets in months, and the last time I did it was $17.99/lb

but the Coho and Sockeyes are right up there with the $17.99 stuff.
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Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2010, 05:11:55 AM »
Here's a local direct-from-the-fisherman I buy from in Seattle at the farmers markets (where they have a stall) or at their boat moored at Fisherman's Terminal.

CB, thanks for the link!  My sister lives in Edmonds, WA just north of Seattle...  so next time I'm there visiting her, (which should be this summer) I'll check it out!

I wish there was some way I could reliably get it shipped over here.  I'm sure if I accepted the risk of loss, I could persuade them to do it, but I have no idea how much FedEx would charge and if it would be even allowed to personally import fish from North America.

Offline ExpatCanadian

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Re: Sockeye salmon "season"?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2010, 05:29:14 AM »
Hey...  turns out I am allowed to import 20kg  :o  :o of Salmon as long as it is for personal use!!  It can either accompany me or be sent to me....  but the silly thing is that they use the gross weight of the entire package, and if the whole thing exceeds 20kg they will seize it all!  A bit harsh I think.