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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Ready for Orders and a May Update

Emily Lints1 comment

The 2012 salmon season is approaching and Small Scales Seafoods is ready to take orders!  

We're giving past customers a two week lead to get on our order list and then we'll open it up to people on our waitlist and the world at large.  Feel free to email or call to get on our lists!  We are the most limited in our Methow deliveries, have room to add some customers in Anchorage and the most room for added customers in Homer and shipped orders.  Read our Salmon Shares page and Orders page for more info.

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Here's a quick update on the past months:

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Kyle spent a month in Alaska working on his Uncle Frank's Chesapeake Bay Oyster Tonger, The Pixie.  The Pixie plans on fishing Upper Cook Inlet this season under Captain Tony Umlauf. 20120502-220954.jpg Homer had an epic snow year!  Kyle was pretty sure someone stole our two cars, but he later discovered that they were parked in the driveway. 20120502-221044.jpg Ernie, Emily's dad, left us two lovely, large "Spring Rots" (aka Springer Spaniel/Rotweiler) last summer.  They made the drive up the Alaskan-Canadian Highway with Kyle and are enjoying their first ever visit to the great north. 20120502-221118.jpg We had a fun road trip to California, complete with a 46km Nordic race at Mammoth Lakes and high altitude sunshine.  (Did we mention that Emily is pregnant!!  Being in her first trimester and skiing at 9,000 feet meant that this may have been her slowest, most challenging ski race ever.) 20120502-221242.jpg Enid, Kyle's sister fed us many eggs from her heritage chicken farm in California.  She collects almost 90 eggs a day! 20120502-221315.jpg We've enjoyed spring in the Methow, including a bit of backcountry, family and great friends.  Now it's a 30th birthday party on Cinco de Mayo for Emily and then we'll fly north on May 7th.

That's it for now!

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Ski Season or Fishing Season?

Emily Lints
In AK fishing season and ski season can always overlap if you seek it out! Emily is in the Methow enjoying perfect spring Cross Country skiing and Kyle is in Alaska rebuilding a drift gillnet boat for his Uncle Frank.  (Cousin Tony hopes to make the adjustment from setnetter to gillnetter this year!)  We'll admit we're a little perplexed about if it's ski season or fishing and boat season . . . After a jaunt to visit Kyle's sister in California, come May we'll both be in Alaska, likely still skiing and dreaming about fish. Whatever you're dreaming about these days, it's time to make sure and eat all of your 2011 Scrumptious Sockeye Salmon Shares to make room for the fresh 2012 shares!  Within a few months we'll figure out our 2012 business plan and reach out to past customers first, then interested customers, then the 'world at large.'  Methow orders are expected to fill up fast because of our small scale, but we expect to add to shipped and Alaska orders.

Happy Spring and Happy Salmon Eating!

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Merry Christmas and a Mexico Recipe Inspiration

Emily Lints2 comments

Merry Christmas!

Out at Sea, Mexico Style We are settled down in the Methow Valley of Washington state enjoying evenings by the woodstove, sunshine, great cross country skiing and our salmon delicacies.  Every salmon fillet we thaw and eat is a reminder back to the exciting and busy summer we had on the waters of Cook Inlet.  We're also enjoying the salted silver salmon we put up and are making jars of pickled salmon as little holiday gifts. Every one who tells us just how much they love their top-notch salmon makes our outreach efforts worthwhile.  Thanks for being our customers and for appreciating our efforts and the quality of your fish! Before the start of the ski season we had a little beach get away to Mexico.  One evening we ate at a little beachfront restaurant (complete with sand fleas nibbling on our ankles and a deep magenta sunset).  Our dish was Fillete Relleno, or a stuffed fillet.  In this instance it was a white fish, that we can't translate, stuffed with shrimp and octopus, topped with a red sauce and cheese.  Here's our version of a Salmon Fillete Relleno for you to try this winter with your fillets.

Salmones Fillete Relleno Americano

-two of your thickest salmon fillets, thawed

-fresh homemade pesto or a jar of pesto

-olive oil or butter

-small wild shrimp (Alaskan ideally ;)

-tomatoes

-shredded parmesan

Saute shrimp till partially done in olive oil or butter.  With a sharp knife make a butterfly cut into your fillet so that it opens up along one edge.  Layer pesto, shrimp and parmesan in the fillet and close.  Place in a glass baking pan and top with tomato slices and parmesan.  Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until the white fat just begins to show.  (NEVER overcook your Scrumptious Sockeye!) If desired broil for a few minutes to crisp the top.  Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

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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 Lints1 comment
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
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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
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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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