Unprecedented Late Run!

Emily Lints
20150702_184226_resized  Last week with his bags packed, Kyle decided to stay in Bristol Bay a little longer.  On his planned departure day too many fish were being caught to leave and yet his crew had to get home and his boat was already out of the water.  2015 set records for so many fish returning so late!  Commercial fishing is one big financially dependent decision after the other based on a complex, ever changing system of oceans, rivers, fish and management plans. In desperation Kyle took his permit aboard another boat and crewed for a handful of days.  A boat with two permits gets an extra shackle of gear allowing them to catch a little more fish.  This choice was the best option at that point and a nice way to unwind from the insanity of fishing Bristol Bay.  Kyle wanted more than anything to return to his baby, toddler and wife after almost two months apart and eventually decided that being home was more valuable than making more money. The run seemed  to slow down and most boats pulled out of the water a few days ago.  But even yesterday the remaining boats are catching a lot of salmon.  At this point 51 million salmon (!) have returned to Bristol Bay, out of the preseason forecast-ed 52 million.  During the season the return was so slow that even the scientists doubted the pre-season forecast and downgraded the forecast to 30 million.  There are just so many variables involved. ]photo 1(4) The many glaciers that feed into remote Bristol Bayphoto 2(4) Ahh Home Sweet Homer!

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Egegik to Naknek

Emily Lints1 comment

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 Lints
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 Lints
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 Lints

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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Ready for 2015 orders!

Emily Lints

It's that time of  year again . . .

Spring Corn in the Methow Spring Corn in the Methow, Toddler Style
  • time to place your 2015 order if you LOVE our salmon!
  • time to finish eating your 2014 salmon if you have any left (we just finished ours- darn!)
  • time to tell friends about Small Scales Seafoods and save $10 for every 25 pound referral!
  • time to find the last of the snow and the first of the flowers.
  The 2015 sockeye salmon forecast for Bristol Bay is the best return in over 20 years and we want to help you fill your freezers with some of best wild Alaskan Salmon out there! Click here to submit you order for a Share of Small Scales Seafood's Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon.  We run out of our Salmon Shares every year, so get your order in now.  (Ideally before May 31st for your best chance!)  We will offer a Seattle and Methow pickup option this year. For every new customer you send our way we'll take $10 off your order.  Just have them mention your name!  ($10 off for every 25 pound referral)
For all the details, including ways we're improving quality and shipping in 2015, pricing, and fall delivery information, read about our Salmon Shares.  Subscribing to our blog is a great way to get announcements about the 2015 season and your order. We hope you're well and enjoying those last scrumptious pieces of the 2014 season. Thank you, thank you, Emily, Kyle, Maggie and Ben

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Salmon Specials!

Emily Lints2 comments
Kyle will be in Seattle next Friday, 3/13 at 5:30 pm with the last of our Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon Shares! All shares are in portions (5-7 oz. size, flash frozen, vacuum packed) and sold in 25 pound increments.  $12/lb!  If you’d like to come and pick up a share contact us and we’ll send you the details.  The pickup will be near Capitol Hill, just E of the intersection of I5 and I90. We will also bring some shares to the Methow after the 13th.  Let us know if you’d like in on that!  I know some of you are anxiously awaiting getting some more salmon.  The first 25 pounds can go much quicker than you’d think. We have a handful of halibut shares left as well, sold in 10 pound increments.  For $29/lb it ships out of Alaska.

Thanks for reading =).

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Family of Four

Emily Lints5 comments
DSC_6791 We've been busy the last month with our new greatest project: Benjamin Harding Lints, born 10/10/14 in Brewster, WA.  Benjamin weighed 8 lbs. 10 oz and measured 21 inches at birth.  He is healthy and content and already proving to be a gentle soul.

We are so grateful!!!

We are spending the fall-spring back in the Methow Valley of WA.  We joke that the Methow is our calving ground and Alaska is our feeding ground.  Last week we bought boxes of winter storage onions and squash from a local farmer in Twisp.  The beauty and succulent taste of the onions is so incredible and so much better than what we buy at the grocery store.  Granted, we had to coordinate back and forth to arrange a pickup time and may have paid more than the non-organic, non-local store counterpart. It reminds us that buying directly from the producer is so much more rewarding in knowing who we are supporting and in the quality of the food.  We hope you feel the same about buying fish from us! We are doing our best to get back to customers but may be on a newborn sporadic schedule for a little while.  It's amazing how a little one can shake things up!  We have about 500 pounds of sockeye to sell before the end of the year and 300 pounds of halibut and will be in touch soon.  Thank you to all of you have already bought your Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon Shares this year.  We hope you are enjoying the scrumptiousness!

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2014: Pricing and Shipping Details

Emily Lints
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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