Corey Boone of Taste of Alaska

Corey Boone of Taste of Alaska

 

Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon from Taste of Alaska

BristolBay20151794 (2).jpg

Corey Boone owns Taste of Alaska and took over the boat and fishing operation from his father, who fished the Bristol Bay fishery for 26 years. Corey took over the business when his dad unexpectedly passed away in 2012. Corey travels with a crew of deckhands to the Bristol Bay, Alaska sockeye fishery each year. They live and fish from the fishing vessel Bracor Bay in the months of June and July.  The sockeye begin their annual migration back to Bristol Bay around the 1st of June, with the peak of returning salmon arriving the first week of July.  By the end of July, the fishery is over and the sockeye have migrated up the Bristol Bay rivers to spawn. The crew uses gillnets to harvest the sockeye salmon.  A gillnet is comprised of a corkline, which floats; a leadline, which sinks; and gillnet mesh in between. The salmon swim into the gillnet mesh and get caught. The net is then brought on board, and the fish are individually picked out of the net. After the net is picked, the sockeye are bled and put in fish holds that have refrigerated salt water circulating throughout. After the fishing period has ended, the catch is offloaded to larger boats, called tenders, who take the fish to the processing plant for processing and freezing.

124_2499.JPG

From Corey: “Bristol Bay sockeye is one of a few truly wild salmon fisheries left in the world. The sustainability of our fishery is top priority for the fisherman and area managers. Our fishing periods are determined by Fish and Game, who actively manage the fishery. The Bristol Bay fishery is comprised of five fishing districts. Each district has a team of Fish and Game personnel who manage that river system for sustainability. They count the fish going up river, and let the commercial fisherman fish only when escapement upriver is in line with in-season objectives. When Fish and Game determines that a fishing period can commence, they broadcast that information across the local radio station. Once a fishing opening is broadcast, then fishermen ready their boats and get in position to fish.”

filletcropped.jpg

SOLD OUT! More coming soon! The sockeye salmon will be $12 per pound. Average package size is about 1.5 pounds.

 

Wild Alaska Salmon from Kvichak Fish Co.

IMG_6116resize.jpg

Amanda Wlaysewski owns Kvichak Fish Co. out of Polson, Montana and Naknek, Alaska. Amanda is a Montana native who started going to Alaska to work during the summers when she was still in school, and then created Nakeen Homepack in Bristol Bay, Alaska. She travels to Alaska each year to harvest premium salmon for local fishermen and brings back some to sell and process herself here in Montana. I was fortunate to be introduced to Amanda through a Meat Shares member— the best way to get connected! Amanda’s passion for a great product and her enthusiasm as an entrepreneur made her a great fit for us. She respects the ethics of a local fishery and understands processing by hand and packing properly.

Amanda processing smoked salmon in Ronan, MT

Amanda processing smoked salmon in Ronan, MT

Visiting with Amanda I learned about the huge corporations that own the canneries in Alaska, and that once the fish are offloaded with them, they are a commodity and aren’t handled with the same care as independent processors. These corporations have little incentive to protect the fisheries of Alaska since they are often owned by foreign investors from other industries. The small fisherman are often unsure of how much they will even be paid for their fish as they deliver to these massive canneries.

Amanda’s business allows at least some of these fisherman to see their product carefully handled and processed… known as Homepack.

Smoked salmon portion

Smoked salmon portion

We are offering the Ground Salmon Sockeye (burger in a one pound pack) for $9 per pound and Smoked Wild Sockeye Portions for $27 per pound.

Ground salmon

Ground salmon

It’s a family business!

It’s a family business!