Grilling season with pride of bristol bay

Grilling Season with Pride of Bristol Bay

And just like that, grilling season is upon us.

As late-spring turns into early-summer, we look forward to fishing season, family barbecues, hanging outside with friends, and, of course, entertaining. That is one of our favorite things to do in the summer – entertain. When it involves being outdoors with the grill fired up, yard games sprawled across the grass, and friends having fun, there’s no better way to spend the weekend with your loved ones. With that in mind, we wanted to bring you a few grilling tips and tricks for our wild-caught sockeye salmon, from Bristol Bay Alaska. We have the best sockeye salmon you’ll ever have – guaranteed.

Grilling salmon is one of our favorite ways to enjoy this delicious fish. If you received our Wildly Devoted Dinner Box, you would have received this recipe, but if you didn’t, you can click here. We recommend grilling your salmon low and slow. In other words, just barely sear the flesh-side first, and then flip the salmon to the skin-side, and let it cook through to your preference. To prep your salmon for the grill, we love the “Rub with Love Salmon Seasoning”, click here to purchase. We also enjoy grilling our salmon with the basics: salt, pepper, a little bit of lemon, and parsley. Let that marinate in olive oil for a few hours, then grill.

Not only will you love these recipes, but your guests will love them too. Keep in mind that sales are unavailable in June, July, and August. Therefore, be sure to order your case today – either filets or portions. You’ll be able to entertain all summer long and restock in the fall. Enjoy the rest of May, and stay tuned for updates out of Bristol Bay Alaska as we head into our fishing season.

Bristol Bay Alaska

Wheels Up: Bristol Bay Bound

Captain Steve spent last week in Naknek, Alaska, the F/V Ava Jane’s winter home. This time of year, the boatyard is crawling out of its winter hibernation. In a month, it will be bustling with activity, especially at high tide, as boat after boat gets launched into the bay in order to start fishing.

Steve wanted to get a head start on a few boat projects, so he headed up early, to prepare on a quiet boatyard, where he can get some work done, instead of visiting with the whole fleet at the cannery Mug-Up. To get a taste of the tundra landscape at the coastal Bristol Bay boatyard days, check out this video that Filson made in the Dillingham boatyard last year.  

As of recently, the overall state forecast for wild Alaska salmon is exceptional: experts predict a catch of 213.2 million fish statewide. In Bristol Bay, the 2018 season broke records – the sockeye salmon harvest was 10% above predictions and the largest seen on record. Last year will be a tough year to beat. However, experts are still predicting historically large returns following a banner year, and a 2019 forecast of 40.18 million sockeye returning to Bristol Bay. This is still 16% above the average run (1963-2018). Most importantly, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game predictions expect “all [Bristol Bay river systems] to meet their spawning escapement goals,” meaning that the health of the overall run and ecosystem is looking sustainably strong. We are thrilled.

No matter the forecast, the pre-season work remains the same. The boatyard is waking up, and the salmon are heading back to their original spawning grounds. The Pride of Bristol Bay team is getting ready to fish!

A Note From Jenn: Why The Wildly Devoted Dinner Box

When Steve & I first went to Naknek, Alaska in 2001, the threat of the Pebble mine was not imminent like it is today. The mine wasn’t unheard of, but it wasn’t yet this familiar, looming fear.

Five or six years later the threat became more talked about, more widespread, more real. We were still young enough to be uncertain of just how much of our livelihood relied on Bristol Bay and its resources, but after just a few more short seasons of fishing and the 2010 Clean Water Act process to protect Bristol Bay underway, we realized that life as we knew it, and as we wanted to know it, relied on these salmon and the protection of Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Today, the threat of open-pit mining at the headwaters of the world’s largest wild salmon run is stronger and larger than ever, which is why we are dedicating so much of our energy to creative ways of getting the word out, inviting and urging folks to submit a comment to the Army Corps of Engineers, and sharing our passion for this livelihood as best we know how — with the Wildly Devoted Dinner Box.

The dinner box will only be available until April 30th – order today to help us spread the word about this special place and the protections it requires.

The Wildly Devoted Dinner box feeds 8+ of your friends and family, ships free, and costs just $99.

Each box includes:

  • 8 – 6 oz. Sockeye Salmon Portions
  • 1 – Tom Douglas “Rub with Love” seasoning, renowned Seattle chef and Bristol Bay advocate
  • 1 each – Traditional smoked salmon and garlic pepper smoked salmon for starters
  • 1 – 8 oz. container of our Cajun Smoked Dip
  • 2 – Favorite recipes from our kitchen to yours
  • 8 – Postcards in which you and your guests can easily submit your comments to the Army Corps of Engineers condemning the mine
  • A summary and update of the latest news about Pebble Mine from Trout Unlimited
  • A personal letter from us explaining our passion for our work and where it takes place
  • 8 – Wildly Devoted Stickers

Wildly Devoted Salmon Lovers,

With 2019 well underway, Pride of Bristol Bay is celebrating another successful year of business. From the very beginning, we’ve prioritized sustainably fishing for sockeye salmon in beautiful Bristol Bay, AK, along with serving a growing, loyal community. We’ve also maintained the highest standards for selling salmon and customer service. It has been an honor and a privilege to share Pride of Bristol Bay with our customers.

Strengthening alongside our business is our devotion to wild salmon and the pristine environment that supports them. From the original trip to Alaska on a whim — to agreeing to captain a boat, to getting a permit, and finally acquiring the F/V Ava Jane – we have always understood that investing in the fishery is equally as important to investing in the environment. But beyond passion, conservation of the environment is also driven by economics. Fishing in Bristol Bay demonstrates the area’s worth, and protecting this sacred space is of utmost importance.

Bristol Bay

FEATURED ARTICLE: My Search for the World’s Best Salmon

By, John O’Connor with Gene Food

In light of the very real concerns about the farming methods used to raise most of the “Atlantic Salmon” you find in the grocery stores (and on restaurant menus), how can consumers find salmon they can trust?

I did a little research to come up with some answers.

Bristol Bay is Your Place for Salmon

And as I read more about where the best US salmon comes from, Bristol Bay Alaska kept coming up again and again. Turns out Bristol Bay is fed by multiple relatively pristine river systems that are home to a number of wild salmon species. The region has been called the “crown jewel” of the American commercial fishing industry, and at least historically, the eco system is sustainable. Even accounting for the 61 million salmon it pulls from the region each year, the fishing industry in Bristol Bay doesn’t decimate the salmon population, they still make their way from the ocean to the rivers and streams where they were born to spawn and reproduce with enough fervor to keep the whole machine churning.4

It’s an incredible system for both the natives, who benefit from the 480 million in annual revenue, as well as the fish population, which has been protected to a degree from environmental encroachment. Unfortunately, Trump administration roll backs of previous EPA protections, could pave the way for a massive gold and copper mine in Bristol Bay that many believe would ruin one of America’s last great natural fisheries. The decision as to whether protections will be rescinded is pending before the EPA.5

The EPA published a massive document analyzing the state of the Bristol Bay fishing industry, complete with an estimation of the environmental impact of the proposed mine. I’ve dropped in some of the highlights below:

  • The Bristol Bay watershed supports large carnivore species which rely on salmon, such as brown bears and wolves.
  • All five species of Pacific salmon: sockeye, Chinook, coho, chum and pink, are living in Bristol Bay as are 29 other native fish species.
  • Of the 31 native Alaskan villages in the region, an estimated 25 depend on the salmon industry for their economic survival. Bristol Bay salmon is to Alaska what the car industry is to Detroit.

At the end of the day, I picked a company called the Pride of Bristol Bay for my order. I reached out to them direct for an informal interview and published the results from Steve, the owner of the operation, below. Can’t say the answers were all that insightful, but there are some nuggets here, especially as it pertains to water quality in Bristol Bay. Essentially, the waters, which are free of industry and always have been, are pristine, but that all changes once that copper mine goes in…

Click here for the full article from Gene Food.

Fed and Fit

Salmon with Sweet Cherry BBQ Sauce from Fed and Fit

  • Author: Cassy at Fed and Fit
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the Sweet Cherry BBQ Sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh pitted cherries
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the salmon:

  • 1 large salmon filet, deboned
  • 1 cup fresh pitted cherries
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

Instructions

For the Sweet Cherry BBQ Sauce:

  1. Place the cherries, molasses, vinegar, and salt together in a small sauce pan. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes on low, or until the cherries have popped or softened in texture.
  2. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender (or by pouring the sauce in a regular blender), blend the sauce until you reach a desired consistency.
  4. Season with the cayenne pepper.
  5. Note: if the sauce seems too thick, add a tablespoon of water until it reaches a consistency you’re happy with.

For the salmon:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Season the salmon with the sea salt and pepper, then place on the baking sheet.
  3. Spoon about half of the BBQ sauce over the salmon.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 14 – 16 minutes. Garnish with the fresh cherries and parsley.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

The leftover BBQ sauce will keep stored in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For more salmon recipes click here, and for more recipes from Fed and Fit click here.