Dear hungry reader,
The salmon have returned to the rivers, so we Alaskans have, too. My husband and a group of friends spent two days on the Copper River, one of the most famous salmon streams. Regardless of where you live, it’s possible that you’ve seen Copper River sockeye on a menu or in a grocery store.
Dipnetting is one of the most popular methods for subsistence fishing. You lower a long-handled, wide net into the river and scoop the salmon out of the water. This type of fishing is allowed for Alaskan residents only, and in only a few rivers. It’s regulated to help people get their fish for the year while still protecting the salmon population.
When Sam went last week, each Alaskan family was allowed 40 fish. He brought home 35 sockeye, also know as red salmon, and one king salmon. This is a wonderful blessing, but it also means a lot of work. Everyone in the family pitched in over the course of two days, and now we have the salmon filleted and either preserved in jars or frozen in vacuum-sealed bags. Here are a few photos.
This catch alone will provide us with about 70 meals for the year. For dinners, we thaw the frozen fillets and grill it or bake it in the oven. The jarred salmon is cooked during the pressure cooking process. We store it in the root cellar, and use it to make something similar to tuna salad for sandwiches, salmon burgers, salmon-cream cheese spread, and pasta recipes, as well as just eating it out of the jar. It is some of the most healthy, flavorful meat in the world, and we’re thankful to have it! We’re also thankful to be done with the work. At least until we go king salmon fishing later this week.