Egegik to Naknek

Emily Lints2 comments

The chase continues! 

Fishing in Egegik continued to slow and the stragglers of the run started to show up, indicating the near end of the Egegik run.  When you start to see fish with lesions, missing fins and crooked spines you know two things- that salmon are one determined species to make such a large journey back to their spawning grounds to procreate (!!), and that it's about the end of the run.  Sensibly, the males also return towards the end of a run, giving the females time to get up river, make their redds and lay their eggs before the males spread their milt.  Kyle and crew made one more transfer to Nakenek with hopes of "a last ditch effort to save the season." The F/V Northland can fish again tomorrow at 7am and is hoping to connect with some good fishing.  The usual peak in Bristol Bay is July 4th, so everyone is assuming that not too many weeks of fishing are left.  Rumors abound of a 'huge mass' of fish moving north and jumpers all the way south to Ugashik.  Do the rumors have fish behind them or just there to help a bunch of tired fishermen get out of their bunks? Time will tell- is there just enough of it to get a great return and a strong season for 2015 or not?  Will it be a year of rice and beans or caviar in the Lints' household? Uh oh.  Too much time on their hands means old boots on their heads! Uh oh. Too much time on their hands means old boots on their heads!

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Egegik to Nushagak to Egegik

Emily Lints1 comment
20150628_125717_resized Fishing can be a guessing game, especially in a season when everyone is still wondering where the fish are.  An original forecast for the 2015 run to be the biggest in over 20 years got everyone excited, ourselves included.  With the arrival of July and still an absence of large numbers of Sockeye Salmon returning, everyone is scratching their heads.  The test fishery index numbers have spiked to near 100, up from 10, a few times but have not held.  It's too soon to throw in the towel and all the fishermen and women are hoping for a condensed run that comes in fast and hard.  What will the next few weeks bring!?  From a biology standpoint most of the rivers are on their way to escapement goals, or the goal of how many fish the biologists want to spawn, and that's a good thing! In terms of the adventures on the F/V Northland Kyle dropped his permit card in the Nushagak district, fished a few slow days and then pulled his card to transfer back to Egegik.  He had to sit out 48 hours and will fish the next opener.  Some boats are still waiting to commit to where they are going to fish, with hope that they'll score big once more fish come.  Kyle's gamble is to transfer before the fish come . . .

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Slow to Come

Emily Lints2 comments
20150612_221526_resized Kyle, Jake and Jake aboard the F/V Northland are ready for some real fishing to happen.  They've bounced between Egegik, AK and Naknek, AK fishing a few days and then having a day or two off due to mandatory fishing closures.  Enough salmon need to go up each river before the biologists give the go ahead to allow a lot of fishing openers.  In Bristol Bay days when you can't fish often mean that you're hanging out in a cramped little boat or you put the boat up high and dry on the riverbank at low tide and then get a good mud walk in. 20150615_190521_resized The fishing has been fairly slow with most days bringing in only a few hundred pounds of salmon.  It's too soon to say if the run is late or going to come in much less than projected.  They are headed out for another fishing opener tonight.  Tomorrow is a big day because every boat has to drop their permit card in a river district.  If you decide to change districts after dropping your card you are penalized by not being allowed to fish for a period of time.  If this forced closure hits you at the peak of the season it can really cut into your yearly catch.  Where will they drop their card!?

Good luck boys!

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Ready to Go!

Emily Lints1 comment

Kyle's been in Bristol Bay for a week and a half and is ready to go:

20150606_163255_resized Naknek River and Leader Creek

 

Boat in the water (gosh we're older and smaller than most of the fleet!)- CHECK Two crew members named Jake on board- CHECK 20150610_213615_resized Jake 1 and Jake 2 New anchor roller installed- CHECK 20150607_121916_resized Bow thruster operational- CHECK 20150606_163147_resized Refrigerated Sea Water pumps updated- CHECK 20150606_163234_resized First test sets of the season made (two)- CHECK First fish caught (one Sculpin)- CHECK  

All we need now is salmon heading into Bristol Bay!

  The next fishing period is Monday and the boat will probably head south to Egegik.  So far there aren't any 'fishy reports.'  After Monday every fishing period is declared based on abundance and announced as Emergency Orders. Thanks for all of your orders!  We'll try to put up some extra salmon that isn't sold yet, so keep the orders coming in.  If there's something you'd like to know more about, just ask.

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2014: Pricing and Shipping Details

Emily Lints1 comment
10603321_10203473997943779_9002264184845709032_nWe've switched our focus here in Alaska from harvesting salmon to harvesting blueberries.  That means that we're in the final round of summer up north.  We hope your summers are going well.
All of our logistics have finally come together so that we can provide you with pricing and shipping information.  Thanks again for your patience as we learn the flow of a whole new fishery and line of distribution.  The higher end fillet and portion market is holding high this year.  We've worked hard to keep our prices below comparable top quality wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon options.
2014 Small Scales Seafoods Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon Shares Pricing
PRICING INCLUDES EVERYTHING: Scrumptious Salmon, Processing, Packaging and Overnight Shipping!
  25 lbs. 50 lbs. 75 lbs. 100 lbs.
Fillets $15.75/lb $14.75/lb $15.00/lb $13.95/lb*
Portions $16.75/lb $15.75/lb $16.00/lb $14.95/lb*
*This price reflects the $80 discount for orders of 100 pounds or more!
(WA State customers will receive a discount on shipping from above stated prices.)
2014 S.S.S.S.S.S.S. Shipping Information
  • We are planning a September 15th ship date.  (The more orders that can ship on this day, the better.)
  • We are able to accommodate later, specific ship dates as needed for the handful of you that require this.
  • We are also able to have customers pickup orders from our cold storage facility in Sumner, WA.  This reduces your cost per pound.
  • We can give WA state customers a discount on shipping.
If you have any questions or changes to your order, please let me know.  We really appreciate your business and all of your word of mouth references that keep our little business running. We still have some Shares of portions available and a fair amount of Shares of fillets available.  Kyle is getting ready to fish halibut this week and we hope to offer some Halibut Shares in 2015 for the first time!  We'll keep you posted. ResizedImage_1407783274069 On a side note:  There is a large scale mine proposed at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, where we now fish.  If you care about wild Alaskan Salmon and the many people who depend on it, please submit a comment to the EPA during the final comment period. Help protect a fishery that should last forever from a short sighted mine!  It takes 30 seconds. http://www.bristolbayunited.com/savebristolbay

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Home At Last

Emily Lints1 comment

photo 1(3) Brock and JP with your Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon!

 

A few pieces of good news:

  • Your fish is moving one step closer to your home as it makes its journey by freezer barge from Bristol Bay, Alaska to Seattle, WA.

Fillets are already in transit and beginning to arrive in Seattle.  Portions will begin the journey south soon.  Prices are being set as we speak.  Shipping options are being researched for our new business model this year.  Now that we have an idea of when fish will begin to be available in Seattle we can tell you that shipments will happen in September.  We will contact you in the beginning part of August with all pricing and shipping details.  Thanks for your patience as we do our best to learn a new game plan in Bristol Bay and do our best to get you top notch fish.

 

photo 2(1) Kyle with a rare King Salmon

photo 4 JP showing off his war paint (a.k.a. blood from all of the fish that he so diligently bled to get you top quality sockeye!)         

  • Kyle, JP and Brock are all home safe and sound!
Kyle and JP returned to Homer, AK a week and a half ago.  Brock returned to Twisp, WA a little earlier after straining his arm.  There were still some fish to catch, but being short on crew and exhausted meant that safety was compromised.  Also, Kyle already had a great rookie season in a new fishery and was eager to get home to little Maggie and his pregnant wife. photo 3(1) Proof of the many beautiful salmon caught- rubber boots covered in scales.
  • We have some Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon Shares left in portions and a lot of availability left in fillets.
Thanks for sending people our way!  We will accept new orders through approximately the end of August.

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Past the Peak

Emily Lints
Thanks to so many people for getting orders in!  We do still have shares left, so just let us know if you'd like some Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon this year. IMG_0813 It's been a busy couple weeks for Kyle, JP and Brock aboard the Northland.  After waiting for the fish the arrive, the fish came on strong.  What was predicted to be a mediocre run turned out to be about 30% better than expected and Kyle's choice to drop his permit card in Naknek proved to be a wise one.  Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulates the fishery and decides when and where fishing is allowed.  With a lot of fish returning to the river boats were given two fishing periods a day and Kyle reported only having 2 one hour naps a day for a period of time and not knowing if it was day or night when awaking.  (It's still mostly all light up here in Alaska!)  For his first year in a new place Kyle is pleased with the fish he caught, whether battling it out on the boundary line of the district with all the big, fancy boats, or exploring for fish on his own up north in the sand bars.  Brock and JP asked Emily to ship out special knee pads so they could bleed each and every fish that came on board.  That's a lot of work to make sure we can offer you the best quality salmon! Sadly Brock re-injured an old rotator cuff tear and flew back to Washington this evening.  Thanks for all your hard work Brock!  We hope it heals up soon.  Kyle and JP are still fishing, waiting to see if more fish are on their way or if the run is over.  Some years the run is condensed and ends suddenly, while other years there's a long, steady decline. There are so many variables with fishing- from the weather, to the amount of fish that return, to how well your boat runs, to what's happening in the global market.  You never know until it's all over and then the speculation over the next year begins (yes, this is gambling at its finest ;).

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Fishing is on, where are the fish!?

Emily Lints

image(1) An old Bristol Bay boat. Did we mention that the Bay was fished by sailboats in times of past!?

 

Kyle and crew left Homer three weeks ago and have been in Bristol Bay for almost 2.5 weeks.  Last minute preparations were made and early season fishing has been underway.  Last season the fish came early and many boats missed out on a large percentage of their season's catch.  So of course everyone showed up early just in case this year.  Turns out the fish didn't get the 'early fish' memo, so lots of boats have been lined up scratch fishing, only catching a little bit of fish in each opener. In the last few days the numbers of fish has slowly increased, so things should be starting to happen soon.  In Bristol Bay the first weeks of fishing are declared 'Free Week' and a boat can fish any district.  However pretty soon every boat has to drop their permit card in a specified district (Naknek, Egegik, Nushagak, Ugashik, etc.).  In order to switch districts you forfeit 48 hours of fishing, which can be critical in the peak days of the fishery.  It's a big decision to be made, especially for a first time Bristol Bay fisherman like Kyle. A lot of research and 100 times more speculation is put into what will happen in a fishery, and yet you never really know how it will all shake down until the season is over!  

(PS- Keep those orders coming!)

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Ready for 2014 Orders!

Emily Lints4 comments
Dear Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon Customers,
It's been a loaded spring.  We are in Homer, AK enjoying the land of the north and preparing for the upcoming salmon season.  Kyle is excited for an exciting new experience in Bristol Bay and is getting the F/V Northland ready for her new fishery.
With so many things changing it's taken awhile to figure out the details of our Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon Shares for 2014.  Here they are:
Our new partnership with Leader Creek Fisheries, our new cannery and processor in Bristol Bay, will help us improve our Salmon Shares in a number of ways:
  • We are not as limited in our ability to put up Salmon, so will be able to offer more Salmon Shares!  (Tell your friends and family and put together a group order!)
  • There will not be any bones in the Salmon!
  • We will offer Salmon Shares in either portions (5-7oz) or whole fillets this year!  (Fillets will be slightly cheaper.)
  • Each cut of Salmon will be beautifully trimmed, leaving less pieces of meat exposed to freezer burn on the edges!
  • All Salmon Shares will be barged in a freezer van to Seattle and will then ship out of Seattle instead of Alaska.  (This should simplify and shorten your fish's overnight journey to you.  If you live in Seattle we are looking into the easiest way to get fish to you.)
We are now a part of a coop of fisherman, all equally dedicated to quality.  This means that we can no longer assure that the fish we sell to you are the ones that we specifically caught.  (Your Salmon Share may include some of our fish and some fish from other boats in our coop.) We are still your connection to some of the highest quality salmon out there and can inform you of every step along the way taken to keep your fish delicious. All boats fishing for Leader Creek bleed every fish and are equipped with Refrigerated Sea Water (RSW) systems that chill the Salmon to 34 degrees immediately after coming on board.  The fish that we are able to offer you are the top "A Grade" salmon picked out of all Salmon delivered to Leader Creek, the highest quality cannery in Bristol Bay.
Important order details on Small Scales Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon Shares for 2014:
  • Shares are again offered in 25 pound increments.
  • Choose between 25 pounds of portions (5-7 oz.) or 25 pounds of fillets (half of a salmon).
    • (We are not offering mixed portion/fillet shares, unless you order 50 pounds and want one box of each.)
  • Please get your order in as soon as possible, we will still serve customers on a first come first serve basis.
    • Email us your information:
      • Name
      • Pounds Ordered of Fillets or Portions
      • Shipping Address
      • Phone
      • Email
  • All orders will be shipped overnight to your doorstep, but we will only have a set day or two that fish ships out of Seattle.
    • (This will happen once the fish arrives to the cold storage facility in Seattle and we get it all packaged and ready for you.  We except this to happen mid-August to mid-September but will give a good heads up.)
  • Payment will still be by check at the end of the season once prices are set.
    • (The Salmon market is changing a lot lately, so we can't speculate about prices yet. Last year prices were $15.20/lb for a 25 pound Salmon Share and $13.90/lb for a 50 pound share.  Fillets will be slightly cheaper.)
  • New this year, we will offer group discounts to orders of 100 pounds or more!  Combine with friends, family and neighbors for a group order.  Contact us if you'd like to know more.
Please contact us if you have any questions about our Small Scales Seafoods Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon Shares for 2014 and get your order in soon!

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Goodbye Cook Inlet, Hello Bristol Bay!

Emily Lints4 comments

photo(1) The Northland fishing Upper Cook Inlet 2013.

 

Kyle has flown north to Homer, AK to start boat work for the 2014 season.  With summer right around the corner we wanted to give everyone some updates:

  • This winter we sold our Upper Cook Inlet Drift permit and bought a Bristol Bay Drift permit!  (We've long considered switching to the Bay and decided to make the plunge with permit values approaching each other and the political scene in Cook Inlet getting more and more volatile . . .)
  • We will still be offering some great Small Scales Scrumptious Sockeye Shares, but our distribution and exact product will be a little different this year.  (More details to follow shortly.)
  • On the personal, non-fishy note, our little girl Maggie is almost 1.5 years old and we're expecting another munchkin due end of September.  Rita is happily living with a new non-kid family, Dakota passed away last summer and Sassy is going strong.
As always, thank you to all of our great customers.  We love hearing from all of you about how much you're loving your salmon!!

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