Katie Dowe gives us Salmon Harvesting Tips she has learned over her years of fishing for wild salmon. Be mindful of harvesting fish when you are in an area with bears. Katie always cleans her fish in the water.
- Always bonk your fish directly on the top of the head between the eyes. Fast, hard and quick is the best. The eyes will have no movement and be stationary
- Bleed out your fish! Getting your hand underneath the full plate and pulling the gills out helps do this quicker. Blood left in the flesh creates a terrible taste so this is essential.
- With a sharp knife start at the fish’s anus and with your knife more horizontal cut up the gills. Make sure your just under the skin you don’t want to pierce the internal organs.
- Spoon is a great tool… First grab the organs up at the neck and pull straight down (most of the organs come out in 1 piece) this is where the spoon comes in handy.
- Inside the fish you will see a vein of blood going right down the spine. It’s called “the blood line” grab your spoon and start scraping that away from the flesh. Discard organs into the river.
- Rinse fish out in the river to make sure all blood etc is out. If I’m still fishing, I will keep the salmon in a (mesh bag) and put it in the shallows of the river to stay fresh and cold.
Be mindful when harvesting fish with bears in the area. Bears can smell blood miles away. I always clean in the water for that reason. Do not have fish gut piles on shore with you. If a bear does take your fish.. well that’s just how it goes!