Biologists Discover Landlocked Chinook Salmon In Oregon


By: Cassandra Profita, Oregon Public Broadcast


It took some snorkeling and biological detective work to prove it.

But now Jeremy Romer and Fred Monzyk can confidently say they’ve found the first documented examples of Oregon chinook salmon spawning without swimming to the ocean and back.

The two Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists published their findings in an article this month in The North American Journal of Fisheries Management.

The discovery was the result of an investigation that started when they noticed something strange about the chinook salmon fishermen were catching in Green Peter Reservoir southeast of Corvallis: They looked wild.

In photographs printed in local newspapers and on the website, several of the chinook being caught in the reservoir clearly had their adipose fins – little fins on their backs that are clipped off in hatcheries to mark the difference between hatchery fish and wild.

But there’s no way for wild fish to get to the reservoir.

The reservoir was created by Green Peter Dam on the Santiam River, a tributary of the Willamette. And the dam doesn’t have a route allowing fish passage to the ocean.

Up until 2008, the state had released excess hatchery chinook above the reservoir. But those fish were essentially trapped. They were only released so fishermen could catch them. And according to their biology, they should only have lived to 2012.

“Several pictures were of chinook captured in 2013,” Romer said. “That’s where the math didn’t add up because the last releases happened in 2008, and fish in the Willamette rarely live to age 6.”

So, the fish being caught in the reservoir couldn’t be the hatchery fish the state released in 2008 – not only because they had adipose fins but also because those fish were supposed to be dead already.

“One of the biggest clues was that we kept seeing photos in local newspapers of happy anglers with salmon we knew we didn’t put in there,” Monzyk said.

So, if these fish weren’t the hatchery chinook released by ODFW, where did they come from?

“It was an ideal opportunity for us to investigate,” Romer said.

The biologists went snorkeling and saw nine adult chinook salmon with their adipose fins intact. They also recovered six carcasses of wild-looking chinook. They ran tests to see if chemistry inside the fish indicated that they’d been to the ocean. It didn’t. Nonetheless, they found four female fish that appeared to have successfully spawned in 2012.

Their conclusion: The hatchery chinook released above the dam didn’t go to the ocean, but some of them spawned anyway. And fishermen were catching their offspring in Green Peter Reservoir.

“It’s another example of the resilience of chinook in the Pacific Northwest,” Romer said. “It’s pretty amazing that even though they can’t fulfill their regular pathways or life history they’re able to adapt and still reproduce. Like Jurassic Park, they’ll find a way.”

You may have heard of kokanee – they’re landlocked sockeye salmon. Chinook don’t usually evolve to live without going to ocean and back, Romer said. It’s been known to happen in a few places, but this is the first time it’s been documented in Oregon. Romer and Monzyk say it likely won’t be the last. They suspect a similar situation has already unfolded in Detroit Lake, southeast of Salem.

Triple Rescue And Rehab Ends Well For Lucky Ospreys

Rehabbed osprey flies away after its release Wednesday in Finley, Washington.Andrea Berglin
Rehabbed osprey flies away after its release Wednesday in Finley, Washington.
Andrea Berglin


By Tom Banse, NW News Network


Three young ospreys and a parent are flying free along the Columbia River today after surviving close calls with litter.

One of these ospreys was rescued by BPA linemen last week as it dangled from its nest in a tangle of plastic baling twine near Kennewick, Washington. The other two were pushed out of a different nest near Burbank, Washington, when their mother thrashed about in a wad of derelict fishing net.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Army Corps of Engineers staff captured and cut the mother free last month. All three youngsters were rehabbed at Blue Mountain Wildlife in Pendleton, Oregon.

Center director Lynn Tompkins said the trio was released together at the first nest this week.

“The parents are still there. They’ll feed all three babies. Birds are just amazing that way. It’s like the one baby went back to his nest and he brought two friends home from camp,” Tompkins said with a chuckle.

Tompkins said the second nest was not easily accessible to stage a release there. She said ospreys have an unhealthy fondness for feathering their nests with discarded baling twine or fishing line. No one can explain why.


Twice earlier this year, volunteers with Tompkins’ center responded to osprey entanglements, but the birds were dead by the time rescuers arrived.

“This is as good as it gets. Three out of three,” Tompkins enthused.

She wishes more fishermen and farmers would pick up after themselves when fishing line gets snagged or hay bales are cut loose. “You know, people don’t think of the consequences of their actions, leaving all this stuff around. Or it’s not convenient or something,” Tompkins said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it has been involved in five rescues of entangled ospreys in the last three years just around its Mid-Columbia refuges.

“It’s a really big problem, and who would have thought it,” USFWS natural resource planner Dan Haas said. “It’s a miracle there aren’t more entanglements.”

Haas participated in the initial rescue of the osprey chick pair near his office in Burbank, Washington. He said he is delighted the young raptors recovered from their ordeal and were successfully released back into the wild.

“Who knows how many are dying without ever being discovered,” Haas said.

Recycling programs have started in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Idaho’s upper Salmon River valley to collect used baling twine so the ospreys can’t get it and bring it to their nests in place of lichens and grasses.

Nisqually tribal fisherman maximizing value of salmon

Nisqually fishers listen to a presentation on the upcoming salmon seasons and how to maximize the value of their catch.
Nisqually fishers listen to a presentation on the upcoming salmon seasons and how to maximize the value of their catch.


By: Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Aug 4th, 2014

For the past several years, the Nisqually Tribe has bought and sold salmon caught by their fishermen. This summer, the tribe worked with Sea Grant and dozens of tribal fishermen to review techniques to increase the value of their salmon.

The goal of the program is to pass as much value as possible back to the fishermen. We wrote about the tribe’s fish marketing program last year:

The Nisqually Indian Tribe is creating a stable market for tribal fishermen by buying and processing salmon.

“What we’re trying to do here is to make sure tribal fishermen can afford to stay on the water,” said James Slape Jr., Nisqually Tribe councilmember.

“They’re able to keep the resource price consistently high throughout the season,” Slape said. “Our goal is to make sure that tribal fishers, not only Nisqually, take home livable wages. A good portion of the fishers rely on fishing as a single source of income for their families.”

Currently, the tribe is selling more than 6,000 pounds a month of tribally caught salmon to wholesalers and food supply companies.

By taking steps like icing and bleeding salmon soon after they’re caught, tribal fisherman can increase the health of the entire buying operation. “A higher quality of fish overall helps all the fishermen,” said Rick Thomas, who runs the buying program for the tribe.

One step the tribe took in 2011 to help fishermen was to invest thousands of dollars in an ice machine that makes 11 tons of ice available fishermen daily.

Being Frank: New Hatchery is a Blessing


By Billy Frank, Jr., Chairman, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

OLYMPIA – I was excited to attend a groundbreaking ceremony recently for a new state salmon hatchery at Voights Creek near Orting. The new facility replaces a hatchery – nearly wiped out by floods in 2009 – that has been operating on the creek since the early 1900s. Close tribal and state cooperation made the new hatchery a reality. It will be the first new state salmon hatchery built in the past couple of decades.

I’m glad that the old hatchery is being replaced.  We can’t afford to lose any more of them or the salmon they provide, despite what you might be hearing these days.

Closing the Voights Creek Hatchery would mean the annual loss of 1.6 million fall chinook salmon and 780,000 coho salmon. That’s in addition to 400,000 more fall chinook and 100,000 additional coho that are transferred from the facility to the Puyallup Tribe’s hatchery for release into the Puyallup River each year.

Hatcheries have been getting a bad rap lately. Tribal, state and federal hatcheries are under fire from lawsuits filed by a few extremist groups who think that all wild salmon and steelhead are good and all hatchery-produced fish are evil. I’m not sure what they’re trying to achieve. All fishermen – Indian and non-Indian – rely on hatcheries, because fisheries are supported by them. Some hatcheries produce fish for harvest. Others serve as nurseries to supplement weak wild stocks.

It’s really pretty simple. No hatcheries equals no fishing. For anyone. That’s unacceptable to the treaty Indian tribes in western Washington, because our constitutionally protected fishing right depends on salmon being available for harvest.

Hatchery opponents argue that when hatchery fish breed with wild fish, their offspring don’t survive as well. But research by the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho has shown that’s not always the case.

The bottom line is that we will need salmon hatcheries for as long as lost and damaged habitat prevents salmon recovery. We would prefer not to rely so heavily on hatcheries, but today more than half of the chinook and coho harvested by Indian and non-Indian fishermen come from hatcheries.

We’ve become dependent on the fish produced in hatcheries because we are losing the battle to recover naturally spawning salmon and their habitat. I think we are going to rely on hatcheries for quite some time, because salmon habitat is being lost and damaged faster than it can be restored and protected, and the trend isn’t improving.

While we celebrate this year the 40th anniversary of the Boldt decision in U.S. v. Washington, we’re also marking the 40th anniversary of the federal Endangered Species Act. The ESA is supposed to help recover threatened wild salmon stocks, but that’s not happening because the law is not being used to protect salmon habitat and ensure that recovery plans are being implemented.

That’s why we are also marking the 15th anniversary of the 1999 ESA listing of Puget Sound chinook, Hood Canal summer chum and Lake Ozette sockeye. Puget Sound steelhead were added to the list in 2007. While some stocks of Hood Canal summer chum are showing signs of recovery, Puget Sound coho are now a candidate species for listing.

Even closing all hatcheries and ending all fisheries would not bring back the salmon. That’s because fixing and protecting habitat are the most important components of salmon recovery. From the beginning to the end of the salmon’s life cycle, it is the overall quantity and quality of habitat that determine the strength of the resource.

It’s one thing to restore salmon habitat. It is another to protect it. If we want salmon in our world to thrive once again, we must do both.

Chickasaw Fishery Saves Endangered Species While Sustaining Fishermen and Tourism


KC Cole, Chickasaw Nation, 2/16/14

Nothing elevates the hope and heart rate of an angler more than hearing that first predawn “ZWIIINNGGG” of a casting reel as fishing line slices through the early morning air and the lure plops into the water.

Whether it’s the first or last day of the season, fishermen hope that  is a dinner bell ringing in the ears of their desired quarry.

The outdoor enthusiasts who pursue a multitude of game fish seeking refuge in coves, holes and brush in Oklahoma’s lakes and streams make a sound too: The cash register’s “cha-CHING” can be heard with predictable regularity.

With more than 700,000 anglers using the many public lakes, ponds and streams within Oklahoma each year, work is underway to guarantee the state’s natural fish resources will exist for generations to come. These efforts incorporate fish hatcheries located throughout the state, including the Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery.

The national hatchery was established in 1929 on lands purchased from Native Americans. Located less than 15 minutes from the city of Tishomingo, it has been named in honor of Chickasaw Chief Tishomingo—one of the tribe’s most celebrated leaders.

Hatcheries play a major role in preserving imperiled species and provide millions of fish for recreational purposes. The Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery is one of only 70 fish hatcheries managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Each hatchery is unique, but all work to protect and conserve fish populations within the United States.

“Our hatchery is different from most for a couple of reasons,” biologist Brian Fillmore said. “While we do raise recreational fish, national hatcheries focus on threatened, endangered and species of special interest. Included are paddlefish and alligator snapping turtles, a non-fish species. Also, the water we use is gravity fed to our ponds, so we don’t have the added cost and headache of large water pumps.”

The hatchery sits on the banks of historic Pennington Creek in Johnston County. The location is a natural choice for the hatchery. Pennington Creek has a continuous flow of water provided by the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer. The hatchery relies on the aquifer to provide clean, cool and pristine water, even during extreme drought. The creek flows through the heart of Chickasaw lands, making its way through the historic capital of the Chickasaw Nation, Tishomingo. The water is cleaned through natural processes once used by the hatchery.

“The hatchery is careful with the water we use and the local environment,” Fillmore said. “Once used, the water flows through an affluent that catches solid particles within it. The water released is tested by the state. It is as clean and pure as when it first arrives. We also take steps to make sure fish not native to Pennington Creek don’t get loose.”

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the hatchery is bordered by 3,400 acres in a conservation easement on the north that protects Pennington Creek and other area watersheds.

With more than 50 ponds located on 235 acres and a staff of eight full-time employees, the hatchery breeds many types of fish. They include the prehistoric paddlefish, catfish, alligator gar and alligator snapping turtle. The hatchery has a captive breeding and rearing program for threatened and endangered populations, including the Arkansas River shiner, which resembles a minnow.

“We are always trying new ways to raise fish, as well as different kinds of aquatic animals,” Fillmore said. “We are developing programs for the endangered Arkansas river shiner and leopard darter. We also raise alligator snapping turtles, a species most people would not think to be raised at a hatchery.”

Vital information is collected at the hatchery for protecting and managing the diverse types of wildlife found in the Arkansas and Red River basins. Both flow into the Mississippi River, which runs through the historic Homeland of the Chickasaw.

The hatchery visitor center is open to the public year-round. Aquariums, photographic exhibits, aquatic ecosystems and a display pool with various types of fish are present at the hatchery. For the adventurous, a scenic area with fishing access and a hiking trail is available. The trail was constructed by the Boy Scouts of America and the Chickasaw Youth Program.

Children from 6-12 years of age can participate in the annual Kids Fishing Derby at the Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery during National Fishing Week in June. Popular among visitors is the historic gristmill water wheel maintained by the hatchery. Visitors may enjoy watching it operate on the banks of Pennington Creek while touring the hatchery grounds.

“In the 1930s, there used to be an amusement park of sorts adjacent to the hatchery,” Fillmore said. “Near the water wheel was a miniature golf course, surround by outbuildings. The only thing left from that time is the grist wheel. We keep it maintained for its historical value.”

Guided tours are available from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. For large groups, call ahead as weather and scheduled job duties can affect availability of hatchery staff. For more information, contact the Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery at (580) 384-5463 or read about the hatchery at the Fish and Wildlife Service page devoted to it.



Fishermen test their own salmon for Fukushima radiation

File photo of Pete Knutson of Loki Fish by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times
File photo of Pete Knutson of Loki Fish by Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times

Posted by Rebekah Denn, The Seattle Times

Is it safe to eat fish from the Pacific Ocean in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster? The consensus since the 2011 power plant failure has been a yes, but Seattle’s Loki Fish Co. found customers remained concerned.

The fishing company, a local institution, went on to do its own testing for radiation levels in its fish, and shared the laboratory reports online. (The short version: The fish were fine.)

“We were getting so much blowback from customers that have just been reading incredibly paranoid stuff on the Internet,” said Pete Knutson, co-founder of the family-owned business. Beyond some of the “off the charts” fears, though, he understands why people would be concerned, and he’s always interested in knowing how pure his own products are. The decision: “Let’s just do the testing and let the chips fall where they may.”

It helped his decision that he could find no specifics from public agencies like the FDA, which simply says on its website that “to date, FDA has no evidence that radionuclides from the Fukushima incident are present in the U.S. food supply at levels that would pose a public health concern.”

After the $1,200 endeavor, Loki’s web page reported that “All seven stocks of salmon were tested for the radionuclides associated with the nuclear plant failures in Japan: Cesium 134, Cesium 137, and Iodine 131. Of the seven samples, five did not register detectable levels of radionuclides. Two of the samples registered at trace levels – Alaskan Keta at 1.4Bq/kg for Cesium 137, and Alaskan Pink at 1.2Bq/kg for Cesium 134. There were no detectable levels of iodine-131 in any samples.

“To put those numbers in perspective, the critical limit set by the FDA for either Cesium-134 or Cesium-137 is 370 Bq/kg, far above the amount found in Loki’s Alaskan Keta and Pink salmon.”

The full lab testing reports can also be downloaded from the page. (There was also a certain amount of both natural and man-made radioactivity in the ocean pre-Fukushima.)

Is that enough to ease the minds of diners? One customer on the Loki Facebook page wrote “A. it’s only January. B. keep testing.” Another warned that “it would be unrealistic to tell people afraid of the radiation on the basis of one test that the fish is safe forever.”

Knutson said that “I tell people, this isn’t conclusive, it’s only 7 samples, but it’s a random sampling,” not one that could have been gamed in any way. At the least, “it makes me feel better.”

Bellingham-based Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics, which sells fish online, has had fish tested several times with similar results. Knutson wasn’t aware of anyone else doing so, but thinks such moves might be more common in the future. His son, Dylan, faced regular queries about the radiation issue at Loki’s farmers market tables, though those customers are “a pretty motivated group that’s interested in chain of custody,” and perhaps more likely to raise the issue.

People are “not fully confident the government’s telling the truth,” or that corporations are telling the truth, he said. Sharing such direct data from producer to customer, he said, might just be “where the future of food is.”

Updated Jan. 20 to reflect additional Vital Choice tests.

Gulf fisherman: “There is no life out there”

By John Upton, Grist

If it’s true that oysters are aphrodisiacs, then BP has killed the mood.

Louisiana’s oyster season opened last week, but thanks to the mess that still lingers after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, there aren’t many oysters around.

“We can’t find any production out there yet,” Brad Robin, a commercial fisherman and Louisiana Oyster Task Force member, told Al Jazeera. “There is no life out there.” Many of Louisiana’s oyster harvest areas are “dead or mostly dead,” he says.

In Mississippi, fishing boats that used to catch 30 sacks of oysters a day are returning to docks in the evenings with fewer than half a dozen sacks aboard.

It’s not just oysters. The entire fishing industry is being hit, with catches down and shrimp and shellfish being discovered with disgusting deformities. One seafood business owner told Al Jazeera that his revenue was down 85 percent compared with the period before the spill. From the article:

“I’ve seen a lot of change since the spill,” [Hernando Beach Seafood co-owner Kathy] Birren told Al Jazeera. “Our stone crab harvest has dropped off and not come back; the numbers are way lower. Typically you’ll see some good crabbing somewhere along the west coast of Florida, but this last year we’ve had problems everywhere.”

Birren said the problems are not just with the crabs. “We’ve also had our grouper fishing down since the spill,” she added. “We’ve seen fish with tar balls in their stomachs from as far down as the Florida Keys. We had a grouper with tar balls in its stomach last month. Overall, everything is down.”

According to Birren, many fishermen in her area are giving up. “People are dropping out of the fishing business, and selling out cheap because they have to. I’m in west-central Florida, but fishermen all the way down to Key West are struggling to make it. I look at my son’s future, as he’s just getting into the business, and we’re worried.”

Ecosystem recovery is a slow process. Ed Cake, an oceanographer and marine biologist, points out that oysters still have not returned to some of the areas affected by a 1979 oil well blowout in the Gulf.  He thinks recovery from the BP disaster will take decades.

Tribes Try Alternative Fishing Gear

Nisqually Tribe uses tangle nets, beach seines to reduce impact on chinook

E. O’ConnellBenji Kautz, Nisqually Tribe, unloads chinook during the tribe’s fishery last fall.
E. O’Connell
Benji Kautz, Nisqually Tribe, unloads chinook during the tribe’s fishery last fall.

E. O’Connell, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

Treaty Indian tribes in western Washington are experimenting with fishing methods that help conserve depressed salmon

and steelhead stocks. The Nisqually Tribe began using alternative gear a few years ago, and this spring, the Lummi Nation and Upper Skagit Indian Tribe both held tangle net fisheries. Tangle nets are similar to gillnets, but have a smaller mesh size.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe will continue to lower impacts on returning chinook salmon this year.

“To make good on our recent gains in habitat restoration in the Nisqually, fishermen need to decrease how many natural origin chinook are caught,” said David Troutt, natural resources director for the tribe.

In recent years, the tribe has implemented drastic changes to its fishing regime, including a decrease of 15 fishing days since 2004; reducing the number of nets that can be used by a fisherman from three to two; and having just less than a month of mark-selective fishing with tangle nets and beach seines.

This year’s fishing plan will continue implementing mark-selective fishing, but only with beach seines.

“A historically large run of pink salmon is forecast to come in alongside chinook and coho this year,” Troutt said. Tangle

nets – which ensnare fish by their teeth – would catch an un- usually high number of pinks, which tribal fishermen aren’t targeting.

“Since 2004, Nisqually tribal fishermen have already cut hundreds of hours off their chinook season,” Troutt said. “Tribal fishermen are bearing the brunt of conservation for these fish so we can help them recover.”

In a mark-selective fishery, fishermen release natural origin fish that haven’t had their adipose fin removed in a hatchery. The adipose fin is a soft, fleshy fin found on the back behind the dorsal fin. Its removal does not affect the salmon.

“Mark-selective fisheries are a useful tool and the Nisqually is a unique place in western Washington where it could benefit salmon and tribal fisheries,” Troutt said.

Alaska fishermen flood Copper River for salmon season opener

The Copper River salmon season began at 7 a.m. Thursday, and gillnet fishermen will fish the Copper River Delta for 12 hours. The forecast initially called for gale-force winds, with gusts up to 45 mph by midday. But Mother Nature sided with the fishermen for the most part. Prince William Sound Marketing Assn.
The Copper River salmon season began at 7 a.m. Thursday, and gillnet fishermen will fish the Copper River Delta for 12 hours. The forecast initially called for gale-force winds, with gusts up to 45 mph by midday. But Mother Nature sided with the fishermen for the most part. Prince William Sound Marketing Assn.

By Jerzy Shedlock, Alaska Dispatch

The Copper River salmon season began early Thursday amid windy, dreary weather. But the gray skies didn’t stop Alaska’s commercial fishermen from crowding the waters to participate in one of the state’s most renown wild salmon runs, a highly prized stock of kings and reds famous in Alaska and the Lower 48.

Troll and drift gillnet fishing occurs earlier in May, generally in Southeast Alaska, but the Copper River represents the first big salmon run of the spring.

Restaurants race to be the first to get high-quality king and sockeye salmon to diners.

Gnarly weather subsides

The season began at 7 a.m. Thursday, and gillnet fishermen will fish the Copper River Delta for 12 hours. The forecast initially called for gale-force winds, with gusts up to 45 mph by midday. But Mother Nature sided with the fishermen for the most part. The National Weather Service is now predicting scattered rain and snow showers throughout the day, with winds possibly reaching about 30 mph.

Severe weather predictions didn’t prevent boat crews in Cordova from ramping up preparations Wednesday afternoon, with crews scrambling to set up their nets. They departed around 6 p.m., hoping to spend as little time as possible in the waters if the winds picked up, according to the Copper River Dock Talk blog, which is affiliated with the Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association.

Marketing is essential to the fishery’s success, and help Copper River kings fetch a high price. The first salmon of the season may cost restaurants as much as $50 a pound, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Last year, the season began one day later, on May 17. And in 2012, the sockeye salmon harvested during the Copper River District gillnet fishery totaled 1.9 million fish, more than one-and-a-half times the previous 10-year average of 1.2 million sockeye salmon, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. While the red run boomed, the king return was awful. Just 12,000 of the big fish were harvested, not even half the 10-year average of 28,000.

During last year’s first two 12-hour openers, Copper River fishermen harvested 373,959 sockeye salmon and 3,339 kings, according to Fish and Game.

And this year, Fish and Game expects 1.8 million salmon to return to the Copper River.

The river’s salmon are harvested using gillnets, a common salmon-harvesting method in Alaska. Gillnetting involves laying a net of up to 1,800 feet in the water, creating a wall of sorts in front of the fish. Reds and kings are ensnared in the mesh, the size of which is regulated to reduce unintentional catches.

It’s grueling work, but seafood connoisseurs in Anchorage and the Lower 48 shell out big bucks for early-season Copper River salmon entrees, and seafood markets take advance orders from customers who want them at any price.

Simon and Seafort’s stocking up

Simon and Seafort’s Saloon & Grill in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, will have the Copper River salmon entrees Friday morning. And once they’re in the door, the fish fly off the grills and onto patrons’ tables. The restaurant is purchasing 140 pounds of salmon, which will last the restaurant about three days. Between 40 pounds and 60 pounds of salmon sells each night, said sous chef David Taylor. That’s a lot of business, some 150 portions, he said.

The dishes including Copper River salmon weren’t decided as of Thursday afternoon, but the back-to-basics “simply grilled” dish will be available. The salmon is grilled in olive oil with kosher salt and pepper, with roasted fingerlings and lemon vinaigrette-tossed asparagus. Customers pay up to $35 a meal, Taylor said.

Foodies flock to Simon & Seafort’s because of the fishes’ oil content, word-of-mouth popularity and nationwide hype, he said.

The nutritional benefits of salmon are widely recognized. A 3.5-once filet of wild Alaska salmon contains more vitamin D than a glass of milk — and plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, too. The fats give the sockeyes’ their tender texture, and they likely benefit consumers’ health in various ways, such as improving heart health and reducing the chance of developing several degenerative conditions.