We want to start this post off with a big "WELCOME BACK!" to the Olympia Farmer's Market. We've missed you during the winter months and it's always a very welcome sign that Spring has arrived when The Market opens back up. Yay!
Another sure sign of Spring (and we really can't have too many, can we??) is the arrival of the first of the fresh local Kings! Read on for more information on these outstanding fish.
We have a nice line-up this week including fresh halibut, fresh ling cod, fresh true cod, fresh sole, fresh salmon, fresh Hawaiian yellowfin and albacore tunas, fresh local shellfish and some excellent smoked salmon. As soon as the ocean settles down a bit we do expect live crab and fresh Westport spot shrimp to make another appearance as well! Fingers crossed for improving weather for safe fishing conditions!
Columbia River Springers
In the spring, the Columbia River Spring Kings are most sought after of all salmon and are locally called the "Springers". These Chinook Salmon are in prime condition, full of fat and nutrients to carry them literally hundreds of miles on their way to their home streams. Most of their lives are spent in the North Pacific, living on krill, herring, sardines, smelt, and squid, which make these fish some of the very best quality. They are often so fat that they self-baste on the grill! Many of us who have had the pleasure to enjoy fresh Springer, find them no less a treat than (and often preferable to) the famous Copper River salmon from Alaska.
Not only do we have these amazing fish available, but we are lucky enough to get ours direct from family fishermen. Namely, my Dad and my brothers! Here's a picture of my Dad, Jerry, unloading the first of these awesome fish.
Currently, our boats are fishing on weekly openings as dictated by our Fish and Wildlife Department. Today (Wednesday) is this week's opening day and the guys get four hours to fish from 5:30 to 9:30PM. They use a "tangle net" which is a non-injuring net designed to catch the salmon by tangling them with their teeth. This enables the fishermen to release any native salmon that still has it's adipose fin unclipped. There's even a recovery box installed on each boat so that if the native fish is showing any signs of stress, it goes in the box. This gives the salmon a bit of a break before having to brave the sea lions that have learned to look for an easy meal to appear during a release.
We expect to get a nice tote of these amazing salmon here at the shop first thing Thursday morning and we'll have them through the weekend. If you're a salmon fan, don't miss the chance to get a piece of this amazing fish!