Jonah and the F/V Loki are currently finishing up our summer fishing season locally in Puget Sound catching tons (literally!) of fresh Wild Pink Salmon as they return to local rivers to spawn. Since we are catching these guys so close to home, we are able to get them to our customers at farmers markets, groceries, and restaurants, with lightning-fast turnaround times to ensure the freshest salmon possible.
Pink salmon, also known as Humpies, are the smallest and most abundant species of Pacific Salmon, averaging 3-5 pounds. They also have the shortest life-span of just two years.
When/Where Do Pink Salmon Run?
Pinks run every other year (odd numbered years in the Pacific Northwest, even numbered years in most parts of Alaska). In Southeast Alaska where we fish, intersecting runs means that we have the opportunity to harvest Pink salmon every summer.
Why Haven’t I Seen or Heard of Pink Salmon? And Why Do Some People Have an Aversion to Them?
Pinks are by far the most underrated and misunderstood salmon species. Their small size and plankton-based diet mean that they have fragile flesh that must be handled properly when caught in order to reach market in suitable shape. Unfortunately, most Pinks are handled poorly out of the water, sucked through a vacuum tube onto a processing boat where they are then cleaned. Firmer flesh salmon such as Sockeye can withstand more of this abuse, but under this type of stress the Pinks don’t fare nearly as well and end up getting bruised and industrially canned. For these reasons, Pinks have gained a reputation as being mushy, low quality salmon and are not often found in grocery stores or restaurants.
Why Should I Buy Loki Fish Co. Pink Salmon?
As discussed above, Pinks gained a bad reputation through rough handling procedures that cause them to lose quality rapidly. However, a properly handled Pink salmon is a different animal altogether; with a mild flavor and a tender, delicate flake, Pinks are a staple source of protein for many of our customers.
All of our fish are caught in gillnets that are selectively sized to target a specific species of fish. The net fishes the top of the water column, and each and every fish is taken out of the net individually by hand. The Pink salmon are bled and cleaned immediately on the boats and immersed in 30 degree refrigerated seawater until they make it back to fishermen’s terminal, where they are off-loaded to our trucks to be filleted and prepped for sales. Our thorough and gentle handling procedures ensure that our customers are getting the freshest possible fish, almost immediately after they come out of the water (as quickly as 1-2 days!)
Additionally, while none of the salmon species that we harvest have issues with toxin levels, due to their short life-cycle and eating low on the food chain, Pink salmon are the cleanest of all the salmon species in terms of bio-accumulation of toxins.
I’m Sold! Where/When/How Can I Get Some Fresh Pink Salmon from Loki?
Loki is most known for our presence at local farmers markets. Next weekend, you can find more fresh wild Pink salmon at University District (Saturday), and Broadway/Capitol Hill, West Seattle, Ballard (Sunday).