As Soon As It Starts It Ends

Emily Lints

Good Looking


Only a few weeks ago we were just finishing boat work, beginning to fish some slower days, waiting for the fish to show up, diligently putting up our top quality direct market fish.  Suddenly the fish started coming in big numbers! Kyle, the crew and the Northland fished for 12 days straight.   Two really great days helped to make the season a great season for us- one where we deckloaded (filled all the hatches and had to bag fish on deck) and one with a nice boatload (below hatches.)

Click here for a short video of the deckload.

A number of pretty good catching days have rounded things out.  Last night was the first night that Kyle, Jake and JP slept off the boat and they're recuperating after their long push.  During the last two weeks they were only able to get a few hours of sleep a night in between all their duties; by the time the fishing period ended at 7 or 10pm, they ran the boat back into the river (which is tidally dependent especially with a slower boat), waited for an off load at the dock around 3am and then soon headed out again to be on the grounds to set the net out again by 7am. We'll fish again on Monday to see what's still out there and sooner or later pull the boat out of the water.  It's always remarkable that on a big day some 2,600 fish are caught and now we're down to about 50 fish a day (with less Sockeye each day and more and more Humpies), with our low point at the beginning of the season being 7 fish!  When the fish come they come!  That's why we really try to put up our direct market fish before the peak of the run hits, so that we can manage the quality the best. We've sold pretty much all the direct market scrumptious salmon we put up (THANKS!). If you're still interested about fish this year, let us know and we can see if there's a little extra once we've delivered fish to everyone.

A few snapshots:

Fish Pickin' The Gear Out, Waiting for Fish Icing the Beauties Kyle's View From the Flying Bridge, Looking for Jumpers Late Night Sunset

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2012 Order Details

Emily Lints
The amped up flying bridge- better for fish finding.[/caption] With a few weeks of fishing under our belts the jury is still out as to if the run is coming in small or coming in late.  We're keeping our fingers crossed for late but large!  The good news is that the fish are still super beautiful and because we are still small scale we'll still surely get all of our great customers some Scrumptious Salmon! 2012 Prices: $8.50/lb for Homer pickups, $9/lb for Methow and Anchorage pickups.  $14.95/lb (salmon, packaging and shipping included) for shipped orders of 25 pounds.  $13.65/lb (salmon, packaging and shipping included) for shipped orders of 50-150 pounds. 2012 Ship/Pickup Dates:  Our shipped orders will begin shipping out July 16th.  Homer pickups will be ready starting July 23rd.  Anchorage delivery will happen on August 3rd from 5:30-7pm at REI.  Methow pickups will be available approximately August 16th-23rd.  More orders?:  We're pretty full but have friends contact us to get on our waitlist. A few small print details you don't really need to know (but you might want to know):  We are switching from our former processor Coal Point, to Tanner's Seafoods.  Coal Point decided at the last minute that they were not able to fillet our fish.  We feel great about Tanner's Seafoods and are thankful to have found such a quality operation.  We will now be shipping UPS and not FedEx because of this change.  The only real difference this makes is that rural and non-rural shipping prices are now the same.  Your fish should be as amazing as ever and will otherwise be the same great product!

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The Season is Underway

Emily Lints

We've been out for two days of fishing.  The fish are starting to show up, the boat is running great with some new improvements and our new crew is great.  This year JP (John Paul) returns and Jake Beaudoin joins us.  (Yep, it took two strong young men to replace Emily's deckhand skills ;). Two of our favorite salmon spawning ground research tools: packrafts. On the shore of Skilak Lake, headwaters to the Kenai River.

Check out our Facebook page or click on this link to see some fun pictures from the trip we took before the season began.  It was a bit of a 'research' trip because we explored two of the main glaciers that drain into the rivers where our fish spawn, the Tustumena and Skilak glaciers.  Now you REALLY know where your fish come from!

We have just a handful of orders left.  

Thanks to everyone for already placing your order!

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Salmon Education

Emily Lints3 comments
A frequent question we get from our customers is 'how many species of salmon are there in Alaska and which ones do you catch?'  So here's a brief salmon lesson: There are five species of salmon in Alaska and we catch all five.  We mostly catch Sockeye salmon and rarely catch King salmon (because they run closer to the beach).  One day this past season we caught every specie and attempted to photograph them while underway.  Here's a King Salmon, a.k.a. Chinook.  He has spots throughout his body and much larger teeth than the other species.  King average 20lbs and have a succulent flavor and firm texture.    Here's a Sockeye Salmon, a.k.a. Red.  Her tail fin does not have silver in it and her scales and eyes are an average size.  Sockeye average 6lbs and have a rich flavor, firm texture and deep red flesh color.  (Sockeye are what we sell to you!)    Here's a Coho Salmon, a.k.a. Silver.  His fin has silver in it, his eyes are smaller and his body is rounder than the Sockeye.  Coho average 12lbs and have a delicate flavor with firm orange-red flesh. Here's a Chum Salmon, a.k.a. Keta, Dog, or Silverbrite.  Her tail displays some silver color, the body is slimmer than the Silver and her body tapers off quickly in front of the tail, unlike the Sockeye.  Her eyes are larger than the Silver.  Chum average 8lbs and have a mild flavor and pink meat color.  Here's a Pink Salmon, a.k.a. Humpy.  His scales are very small, while spawning he develops a hump behind his head .  Pink average 3lbs and have a mild delicate flavor, soft to medium texture and rosy pink-colored flesh. Those are the basics!  Now see if you can identify each specie in this group posed photo.

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Oddities of the 2011 Season

Emily Lints2 comments
Looking back on the 2011 Salmon Season,

we reflect on a few 'oddities':

-Connor Duffy displaying his 'Uni-Suit.' What year did Grundens make these anyway!?-Swimming in a cold sea, using the flying bridge as a swimming bridge.                    (Click here to see the video on YouTube.) -A tattooed fish . . . can anyone explain these markings?-We realize that the reel doubles as a carnival ride! (You can also hear Kyle's token laugh in the background)                                                  (Click here to see the video on YouTube) -We catch a questionable fish.  The dock crew guessed Atlantic Salmon, but we're not convinced.  Maybe a hybrid?-Kyle grows a fish eyeball! Arrrggghhh!  Upcoming posts that customers have requested:  A lesson on salmon species and an informative post about just how sustainable our fishery is.  What else do you want to know?

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Anchorage Delivery!

Emily Lints

Ode To Our Customers

Anchorage salmon lovers,

do not fear.

We have not forgotten-

your fish is near!

Methow salmon afficionados,

you are to come.

We will venture south soon-

and bring you some.

Anchorage pickup info:

Come pick up your Scrumptious Sustainable Sockeye Salmon Shares
from Small Scales Seafoods!
When: this Friday, August 19th from 4:30-6:30pm.
             (although not preferred, appointments can be made for early the next morning or later in the evening if necessary) 
Where:  REI parking lot, Anchorage (1200 W Northern Lights Blvd)
            *Look for an older white and turquoise Ford F150 pickup truck parked in the back.
What to bring and know: Check or cash for $225 per 25 lb. share.  Each order will be packaged in a wetlock, non-insulated box.  If you have a long drive bring a cooler to put your fish into.  I will have the fish in freezers in the truck until you pick them up and will bring extra gel packs.  Each share is filleted and packaged in approximately 25 individual packages.
Questions?:  Email or call and I'll get back to you asap.

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Kathy visits

Emily Lints3 comments
Last summer Emily's dad, Ernie, came fishing with us and that prompted Emily's mom, Kathy, to come this summer and see what her daughter is up to. Now that the season has slowed down we had time to enjoy a fresh fish barbecue on the back deck while floating in calm seas.

20110801-112510.jpg Just as we were ready to eat the radio blared with a fish call and we packed up and headed north, eating while underway.

20110801-113459.jpg We ended up catching a few hundred fish which is not bad at all considering the season is nearly over. Kathy had the opportunity to find out just how thrilling picking fish can be.

20110801-114011.jpg As the tide turned the seas picked up to a three foot chop and by the time we returned back to the river Kathy had experienced all the components of a fun day of fishing. She's not quite ready to sign on as a deckhand for next season but she had fun and now knows what it's all about!

20110801-114601.jpg We are super psyched that our customers have had the "opportunity for great seafood at an amazing value." Our shipments have arrived in tip top shape and salmon lovers around the country are learning what super high quality wild Alaskan salmon really tastes like.

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Naps, Birthdays and Ashes

Emily Lints1 comment
It is 11 pm. We are driving the boat south to anchor up in a good location for tomorrow's opener. The past few days have brought less fish but more sleep. We are always excited to catch fish but we were also psyched to sleep. Today the winds were blowing just right so that we could turn the boat off and drift with our net out while taking a long nap. Ahhhhh. Many of our shipped orders are going out this week. We hope you enjoy our fish! On more personal notes: Yesterday we celebrated Kyle's birthday! He is a ripe 29 years old. We celebrated by decorating the pilot house and eating carrot cake. Tonight we stopped the Northland in the midst of calm seas and a majestic sunset to spread some of Ernie's (Emily's dad) ashes. Ernie loved Alaska, fishing and the Northland. He is certainly with us in memories, tears and laughter this season. We love you Ernie! Good night.

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Sleep on the horizon?

Emily Lints1 comment

It is 10pm and we are driving the boat back to our anchorage in the Kasilof River. There is a gale warning tonight and the seas have picked up to a four foot swell. The boat is performing wonderfully. We are going on six days of fishing in a row! This equates to lots of fish, not very much sleep, no showers and fish scales everywhere. For Cook Inlet this is a lot of continuous days. We are out fishing today on an Emergency Opener which means that Alaska Department of Fish and Game declared last night that drift gillnet fishing is open for today. It is a day by day game to know if we fish the next day or not. The run is so strong this year that many canneries are limiting the pounds of salmon that can be delivered. One day this week 250,000 salmon returned to the Kenai River! They are counted a ways up river after commercial and subsistence fishermen catch their share. The biologists want at least 1.2 million salmon to return to the Kenai river this season and that goal is almost reached. Too little or too many fish up a river can jeopardize future runs. Alaskan salmon runs are closely monitored to ensure sustainability of the resource. We have been catching about 500-1,000 salmon a day which is great for us. We dream of deck loading our boat but maybe that is asking for too much. It is hard to know when the 'fish faucet' will be turned off but when the fish are running you have to keep your net in the water!



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Fish by Fish

Emily Lints3 comments


We are fishing the day away, catching fish by fish. The last two fishing periods the fish hitting the net have come in single hits, and not big schools of fish. With about five hours of fishing left we have about 1,000 fish iced in our holds. Here are a few terms for the different ways salmon hit our gillnet.

Size categories: Singles, Bunches, Groups, Mega hits

Adjectives for a type of hit: Splashers, Bobbers, Jiggers, Tuggers, Deep V, Lead line stealth hit, Tail dancer

For example, Erick Anderson in our radio group recently announced, "Yep, it looks like I had one tugger bunch on layout."

If you can think of terms we are missing comment below to build our list!


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