One year we personally ran out of our Small Scales Sockeye Salmon and purchased wild, Alaskan salmon from a supermarket. The flavor was too fishy and we didn't even eat the leftovers!
Point proven - the flavor of seafood is all in where it comes from and how it's treated. A recent study by Oceana genetically tested supermarket salmon and found that over 40% was mislabeled! Most mislabeling was farmed salmon being sold as wild (!) or inferior species, such as Pink Salmon, being sold as super species like Sockeye Salmon or King Salmon. Add to the fact that genetically engineered farmed salmon is currently in limbo on labeling requirements and it becomes darn important to buy salmon direct from the source.
WE ARE CERTAINLY SEAFOODS SNOBS, AND HOPE TO MAKE SEAFOOD SNOBS OUT OF YOU!
Your sockeye salmon comes from the remote waters of Bristol Bay in Western Alaska. Salmon are caught with a drift gill-net and promptly bled and chilled in 34 degree refrigerated salt water. Salmon are off loaded at least once a day and filleted, deboned of pin bones, vacuum packed and flash frozen. All of the boats in our Co-op, fishing for Leader Creek Fisheries, strive for the highest quality fish in Bristol Bay. Your salmon is the “A Grade” fish picked off the top of the whole run. Fillets and portions are hand sorted upon shipping to make sure the packaging meets our high standards.
Sockeye salmon spend two to four years in the ocean before returning to their home river to spawn. During this migration the Alaska Department of Fish and Game counts each fish headed up river and only allows commercial fishing once a river has met its escapement goals. This careful management of the five major rivers in Bristol Bay produces the worlds largest sockeye fishery and a wild, Alaskan salmon you can trust to be sustainable.
Your halibut comes from Kachemak Bay in South Central Alaska. The port town of Homer, Alaska is named the "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World." This halibut is the real thing! We catch your halibut with long-line gear by setting a long line of circle hooks on the ocean floor. Fishing in an open skiff, we haul in each fish with a pot hauler from relatively shallow depths to produce a fresh, top quality, low carbon input product. Your halibut is dressed at sea, and promptly iced and then filleted, skinned, portioned and vacuum packed back on shore. Flaky white flesh and very mild taste makes this a favorite among chefs in the finest of restaurants.
These flat fish spend the first year of their life in the middle of the water column until one eye migrates (!) around their forehead and then they live primarily on the ocean floor. We have a small amount of individual fishing quota (IFQ), a system which allows the National Marine Fisheries Service and the North Pacific Halibut Council to carefully manage the halibut stocks. Each year they determine the percentage of our quota that we are allowed to catch based on the health and abundance of halibut in our region This has varied from 60-130% over the past ten years to ensure the longterm sustainability of the fishery.
Your rockfish comes from the clear waters of Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet in South Central Alaska. We currently source your Alaskan Rockfish from another boat and ensure that it is a local, high quality product that we stand behind! It is caught hook and line and promptly iced, filleted, skinned, portioned and vacuum packed. The semi translucent flesh cooks to white and has a delicate, snapper like flavor.
Your rockfish is commonly called Black or Dusky Rockfish, and is common to the North Pacific. Black and Dusky Rockfish populations are stable in Alaska and their higher reproductive rate makes them resistant to overfishing, unlike their cousins Yelloweye Rockfish, commonly known as Red Snapper, which are longer lived, overfished and a protected fish further south. The small jig fishery your rockfish is sourced from rarely reaches the state set harvest cap, ensuring a sustainable product.
Your cod comes from the rough, wild waters of Kodiak Island in South Central Alaska. We currently source your Pacific Cod from another boat and ensure it is the highest quality cod we know of! It is caught hook and line or in pots, is promptly iced and then filleted, skinned, portioned and vacuum packed. Your cod only consists of the thick loins and not the thinner tail pieces. It is a high oil fish producing flavorful white meat.
Pacific cod, commonly marketed as True Cod or Grey Cod, is the affordable cousin to Black Cod. This is a plentiful fishery in Alaska that rarely meets its allowable harvest quota for the pot fishermen, ensuring a sustainable product.
Your Fishing Family
Kyle Lints, your captain:
A third generation Alaskan, Kyle started his commercial fishing career at 6 years old. Fishing is in his blood – both of his parents ran fishing boats in Alaska and he was born on a great day of commercial fishing in Cook Inlet. Fishing is both his passion and his livelihood. In the off season Kyle works as a carpenter in Twisp, WA with a dedication to renewable energy and affordable housing.
Emily Lints, your direct marketer:
Emily's passion for connecting customers and food producers began in her hometown of Winthrop, WA in fourth grade when she started raising pigs and selling them to friends and family. She fished with Kyle for five years before the munchkins arrived and is thankful to know the highs and lows of commercial fishing first hand. Emily, a Dartmouth College graduate, enjoys chasing her toddlers around the house, in the snow and on beaches and teaching Cross Country Skiing in the Methow Valley.
Maggie and Benjamin Lints, your deckhands in training:
Maggie and Ben's current training regimen consists of eating many meals of wild, Alaskan seafood rich in healthy omega-3s, learning to blow bubbles in the bathtub and building to-scale fishing boats out of their blocks. Maggie especially loves practicing acrobatic tricks on her swinging rings and Ben especially loves petting cows.
Your Fishing Vessels
We started running our own commercial fishing salmon boat in 2007 in Cook Inlet, Alaska. To keep our costs low the first season we leased a permit, borrowed a 24 foot set-net skiff, bought an outboard motor and pulled the drift gill nets in by hand. Everyone except the old-timers thought we were crazy. With hard work, thrift and luck we've slowly upgraded our fishing operation. In 2014 we bought a Bristol Bay Salmon Drift permit.
F/V "Northland," 1969, 32 ft Rawson:
The F/V "Northland" is a 32 foot drift gill netter built in 1969 by Ron Rawson. She has a long history fishing in Alaskan waters, originally a cannery boat owned by Wards Cove Packers in Kenai, Alaska. We purchased her in 2008 in nearly stock condition, with a wooden reel and plenty of rot. After running her as is for an adventurous season, Kyle gutted her and rebuilt everything from the stringers up. Although an old hull, she now sports all the mechanical components of a modern gill netter. A 200hp electronically controlled John Deere main provides propulsion and powers the accessories: a 7.5 Ton IMS Chiller, bow thruster, auto pilot, etc. Soft chines and a slender build earn these boats the nick name Rocking Rawson which means most crew members succumb to sea sickness now and then. Drawing only 20" she can fish with the fancier, shallow jet boats common in Bristol Bay. She is a good old work boat, only lacking in creature comforts.
F/V "Skiffy," 2015, 24ft, Tolman Skiff:
Kyle began commercially fishing for halibut in 2000, fishing his mom's quota. He built his first Tolman skiff in 2005 and started hauling in long-line gear by hand from Kachemak Bay, Alaska. Kyle now fishes halibut, rockfish and cod out of his fourth Tolman skiff build, 24ft F/V "Skiffy," aptly named by Maggie. Although new, she is nearly identical to the vessel she replaced, proving the Tolman's semi-vee hull design to be the champion skiff of the Alaskan waters.
We catch your scrumptious seafood!