Fishhead Adventures

Warning: This post contains gory images of fish corpses.

And here’s the first one –

There's a fish in my kitchen sink!

Everyone (except for vegetarians, vegans and myself) fishes in Fairbanks. And who can blame them, we do have the world famous Copper River Salmon in their natural element, aka the Copper River, up here, a mere 6 hour drive from Fairbanks.

Since I did not in fact have the gumption/heart/mindset to club the fish over the head myself, this following story is hearsay.  On a rainy Friday night 3 brave boys set out on a smelly, muddy, exhausting trip to Chitna to dipnet in the Copper River. First stop was to acquire fishing permits, for a mere $20, the limit for Salmon up here is 30 per household. Imagine 30 15lbs salmon…that’s a lot of fish. Needless to say most people have freezer trunks outside – which incidentally don’t even need to be plugged in for most of the year.

Back to Chitna, the boys spent one sleepless night, 12 hours of driving and 8 hours of sticking a giant net into the river in the hopes a salmon would jump straight into the net and then gutting and hiking the fish back to the car.  As the river is rather wild, you can’t drive straight up to it, so you have to park and then hike to the river and tie yourself off while dipnetting so you don’t fall into the river.

In any case, let’s speed forward to the part I was involved in… the boys returned with roughly 10 salmon between them and after a sleep and several hot showers the butchering could begin!

Can I just say that 10 fish, their blood, juices, fins, skin and flesh bits and other random things that sprayed from them equal a very messy kitchen! While the boys knifed, filet, skinned and vacuum sealed the girls fluttered about with their cameras shrieking at the all the appropriate places and tried their hand at lighting the BBQ to produce a decadent meal of freshly caught Alaskan salmon. The pictures below speak for themselves..

Last but not least there remained 10 fishheads, sad and lonely and without purpose. But alas, quick on my feet, I thought of a fabulous purpose for them: the star attraction in a legendary fishhead drop! From the second story window – with a countdown – splat to the porch.


~ by yhossain on October 5, 2011.

2 Responses to “Fishhead Adventures”

  1. Great post! The picture of Nate filleting the fish looks very much like the one of his cousin Gary in LA “sniffing” the fish during the Gulf oil spill to see if they smelled of oil, after countless hours of “federal” fish sniffing training. Gary achieved further fame last year when one of the Mardi Gras floats depicted his nose in graphic, giant detail!

    I only started eating salmon a few years ago. I ENVY you all of those packages……….


  2. Great post! The picture of Nate filleting the salmon looks very much like one of his cousin Gary in Louisiana “sniffing” fish after the Gulf oil spill to see if they smelled of oil, after intensive “federal” training in fish sniffing. Gary achieved further fame when a Mardi Gras float depicted his nose in gigantic, graphic detail!

    I only started to eat salmon a few years ago – I envy you all those packages!


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