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Wild Salmon – A Superfood

salmon for dinnerRecently, I had fresh, wild, troll-caught1 Coho from Costco ($4.99/lb whole) with wild rice and fresh strawberry walnut salad. The salmon was truly delicious as is the usual case with fresh, wild, troll-caught salmon.

Wild salmon like this is a “Super Food”.

“Salmon is a great source of protein and is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with a healthy heart and brain function. Look for wild salmon to get the biggest health boost.”

“Fatty ocean fish such as salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids and can help reduce cholesterol levels, especially when you eat fish instead of saturated fats from red meats. Herring, trout and sardines are also high in omega-3s. Fish is also high in protein and minerals.”

Having wild salmon available in markets is a very strong reason for upgrading the Central Valley Fall Run Chinook Salmon hatchery program, as I have advocated in earlier posts. Demand for salmon will be increasing as more and more Californians become health conscious. With the public recognition that farmed salmon are not “wild” salmon, there will be further pressure to increase production of “wild”, “free range” salmon in our coastal waters. Central Valley salmon hatcheries can help meet this need.

Approximately 90% of the coastal “wild, free-range” salmon come from the many federal, state, and tribal hatcheries on Pacific Coast rivers.

However, hatchery salmon and the fisheries they support can be a threat to native non-hatchery wild salmon runs, many of which have been listed as threatened or endangered under federal and state endangered species acts. Fishery harvest pressure on these non-hatchery “wild” salmon like the listed Winter Run and Spring Run Chinook of the Sacramento River, potentially put these runs at greater risk of extinction. With the greater risk comes fishery restrictions and less harvest of hatchery salmon, and the need for careful planning and management of the hatchery programs and fishery harvest. Harvest can be focused on times and locations where endangered salmon are least frequently present, but often this may not be possible. Other measures such as gear and catch restrictions, terminal fisheries, and mark-selective fisheries could be employed, making it possible to “have our salmon and eat them too!”

  1. Troll-caught salmon are from regulated commercial fisheries in coastal waters from California to Alaska. They are caught live on trolling lines (in contrast to gill nets) and placed immediately on ice. I avoid purchasing “wild” salmon products from Russia or China that are available in grocery stores, because they come from “unregulated” fisheries, possibly even illegally from North American waters. Gill nets up to 50-miles long have been found fishing in ocean waters. I never purchase farmed salmon, which have little of the nutritional benefits of wild salmon.