Our Direct to Door program will be open for orders of 2019 Bristol Bay sockeye portions and fillets Monday, September 23rd. After another successful fishing season, we are ready to offer the high quality sockeye you have been waiting for. Stock your freezer with our 20 lb. case (or save a little room for ice cream,) with our NEW 10lb. case. Whichever option you choose, both are shipped directly to your door for FREE!
We have also been working closely this year with our processor, Leader Creek Fisheries, to make significant improvements on the durability of the packaging of our products by increasing the thickness of vacuum packs and reinforcing the seals (more on this coming soon). We remain dedicated to providing the freshest, highest quality salmon delivered from our nets to your door!
Be on the lookout for our newsletter announcing the launch on Monday. If you don’t already subscribe, you can sign up at the bottom of our homepage to begin receiving our most up to date information, recipes and news from Bristol Bay!
The fishermen of Pride of Bristol Bay saw a busy, successful season!
“Patience is the word of the year.”
Most people will never know the intensity of working on a gill netter in Alaska; it is a unique and exciting experience! We wanted to give you our take on the Bristol Bay season aboard our summer home to shed some light on our dedication to sustainability and quality in our product.
“Patience is the word of the year,” said Captain Steve Kurian of the F/V Ava Jane as he reflected on this year’s Bristol Bay salmon season.
Many of you who fish for fun may be familiar with this feeling, but on the commercial grounds it can feel like it all happens at once and that no patience is required. Well, that was not the case this year as the weather was “hot, dry and flat” according to the fishermen. This change in situation required captains and crews put in extra effort to seek out the fish and steadily pick their way through the gear towards a successful season.
Most bay fishermen enjoyed a lack of rough weather this year, but the fish follow those patterns as well. If the Bering Sea blows a strong wind into the river system, the fish certainly come with it. When there’s a light, consistent breeze, the fish make their way to their spawning grounds upriver from the fishing districts as always – just at a bit of a slower pace. As the Alaska General Seafood – Naknek beach boss, Joe Stewart put it on the final KDLG Fisheries Report of the year,
“It was a great season,” Stewart said. “Record number of fish, very steady, not the big waves of fish like usual.“ That was the experience on the Ava Jane this year, which served the new guys very well. This way, there was a bit more time to learn the ropes and get their sea legs.
Pride of Bristol Bay is grateful for the fish that came through as well as the local community who supported the team when the boat had a brief, but significant electrical breakdown. Yet again, patience was the word of the year. The boat was towed into Naknek by another member of the fleet (a tender) and fixed within just a few days. Thankfully, this occurred early on, and she was back in operation on June 26th.
On a bay-wide level, the returns of sockeye are encouraging for ocean health. The Bristol Bay watershed saw a total run of 56.3 million salmon return to the river system this year. The harvest was the second largest on record, distributed in five river systems and closely monitored by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. Again, this year saw another strong run in a world of much uncertainty. The weight of Pebble Mine, and the disappointing summer news about backroom (or Air Force One) deals, certainly weighed on the summer, but we are encouraged by an uptick in mobilizing around the issue in the community – noting more t-shirts, flags, and stickers rocking the bold “No Pebble Mine” logo.
Thanks to all of you who share our dedication, and for following along with this issue on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We see you working to spread the message to your friends and family. Finally, we thank you for your patience as we found our own sea legs over the past year. Keep an eye on our social media as we share more about summers lived by the wind, tide and fish!
Every summer, there are 1400+ boats that fish commercially in Bristol Bay. However, Pride of Bristol Bay is a part of a unique, dedicated fleet of fewer than 100 boats – and their fishermen consistently produce the highest quality, fresh-frozen, wild Sockeye salmon. Since 1994, this dedicated fleet has upheld the highest standards and the most premier fishermen.
When the salmon are caught, they are removed from the nets using slides/trampolines to reduce bruising. During this process, crew members bleed each fish by hand. Once bled, the Sockeye salmon is placed in refrigerated holds of 33-degree circulating seawater. The handling practices are designed to preserve the catch’s quality and pure nature. In turn, this guarantees unblemished, rich-tasting, firm flesh, wild Sockeye salmon at its very finest! Every 10 hours, the salmon is offloaded into a larger crab boat for immediate tender.
Once the salmon is at the processor, it is quickly filleted, flash-frozen, and vacuum-sealed with cutting edge processing technology; this process captures the flavors of Bristol Bay. Once packaged, our wild Sockeye salmon is ready for you to cook, create, and savor Bristol Bay upon delivery directly to your door.
For more information, sign up for our newsletter! You’ll receive an update when our direct to door program launches.
Cedar planks (available in seafood section of supermarket) with enough surface area for salmon
4 Alaska Salmon fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen
Olive oil spray
1 Tablespoon fresh (or 1 teaspoon dried) favorite herb for salmon (dill, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
4 large sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise into wedges
1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
Soak cedar planks for 1 to 2 hours (or overnight) submerged in water. Remove and pat dry.
Heat grill to medium heat (400°F). Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Salmon under cold running water; pat dry with a paper towel. Spray cedar planks and salmon with olive oil spray. Place salmon on planks; sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper. Place sweet potatoes in a bowl; spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to coat.
Place cedar planks and potato wedges onto grill. Cover and cook about 3 to 4 minutes; turn wedges over and continue cooking until potatoes are soft and cooked. Keep warm. Cook salmon 12 to 15 minutes, just until fish is opaque throughout.
NUTRIENTS PER SERVING
350 calories, 10.5g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 27% calories from fat, 91mg cholesterol, 33g protein, 33g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 277mg sodium, 36mg calcium and 1700mg omega-3 fatty acids.
Sara’s Tip: We found slicing the sweet potatoes vertically (into coins) helps keep them from falling through the grill grate. For larger “coins,” microwave them briefly before grilling so they cook through without burning on the outside. Of course, sweet potato fries can also be roasted in an oven preheated to 400°F. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
1. Heat oven to 400°F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together potatoes with olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread out potatoes in an even layer. Roast for 15 minutes, or until they’re just starting to soften and brown.
2. Push potatoes to one side of the sheet pan and arrange salmon down the center. Rub salmon evenly with 1 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of parsley. Add the asparagus to the other side of the pan. Combine 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the melted butter together and pour the mixture over the salmon and asparagus. Season everything with the remaining salt and pepper.
3. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and continue baking until the potatoes are golden and fork-tender and the salmon is opaque throughout. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Optional: after 8 minutes, turn on the broiler to char the edges for the remaining 2 minutes.
4. Garnish with lemon slices and serve immediately.
We want to extend a wholehearted thank you to everyone who has purchased wild-caught sockeye salmon through Pride of Bristol Bay this season. It was quite a year, and your support means the world to us. It wouldn’t have been a success without you!
We’re getting ready to head up to Alaska (spoiler alert: we can’t wait to get fishing), because, believe it or not, the 2019 season is almost upon us! The run is expected to be great this year – possibly not quite as large as last year – but we will certainly be returning with more than enough to share.
If you have a freezer full of salmon and are in need of recipes, head over to our blog. We have some great recipes, as well as articles full of tips, tricks, and updates from the crew here at Pride of Bristol Bay. Additionally, head on over to prideofbristolbay.com and hover over “The Daily Catch” to read the articles of interest. Lastly, if you live in one of the buying club locations, pre-orders are open. Click here for more information on dates and locations.
Once more, we would like to extend a warm THANK YOU to everyone who continues to support Bristol Bay and the fight against Pebble Mine [http://www.savebristolbay.org/]. We hope to see you this fall!