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Types Of Salmon In The Northwest


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Yes, I think salmon trout and steelhead can be used interchangeably (as was mentioned earlier on this thread). Although salmon trout just sounds unpleasant.

You may be right, but the salmon-trout that we used to use ran smallish (like a coho). In my limited experience with steelheads, the flesh seemed to me more amber. Kind of like a char. In fact when I was cleaning some pretty good sized arctic char recently, I was struck by the similarity (color of the flesh, not the skin) to that long ago wild steelhead.

Wild Steelhead. Something I miss. I remember that the pin-bones used to be a bear.

I'll run to my AJ McClane later. It's out of date, but has good taxonomical info.

Nick

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Thanks Jim.... I'm also reading on that site, that not only does Sockeye have the most omega 3's (the good stuff) of any salmon, it says that Alaska Sockeye salmon has the highest level Omega 3 oils of any fish at all. Good stuff to know. I would have thought some other oily fish would maybe have more, but doesn't look like it. I wonder what it is about the sockeye that gives them the most? Does it have to do with that it has the brightest orange color maybe?

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The comparison to arctic char is a good one, Nick Italian-for-Cats...the flesh was pinky-orange on the alleged wild steelhead, like the char my Icelandic neighbors sometimes give me, maybe a little more tender than the char when cooked. But too the Icelandic char had been frozen.

What I have seen in restaurants and fish markets sold as salmon trout has been small fish, with pale orange flesh. The alleged wild steelhead sides I was buying would have been from fish of about two feet long, I would guess.

And Jim, that's an interesting thought, that maybe CA steelhead regulations differ...I'll research some more.

Edited by Priscilla (log)

Priscilla

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The comparison to arctic char is a god one, Nick Italian-for-Cats...the flesh was pinky-orange on the alleged wild steelhead, like the char my Icelandic neighbors sometimes give me, maybe a little more tender than the char when cooked.  But too the Icelandic char had been frozen.

What I have seen in restaurants and fish markets sold as salmon trout has been small fish, with pale orange flesh.  The alleged wild steelhead sides I was buying would have been from fish of about two feet long, I would guess.

And Jim, that's an interesting thought, that maybe CA steelhead regulations differ...I'll research some more.

Yes, that jibes with my experiences, though I'm no expert. McClanes Encyclopedia of Fish Cookery has a pretty good photo of a Steelhead under the Trout entry.

Nice thread all. I enjoyed it. Very informative.

Nick

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Yes, I think salmon trout and steelhead can be used interchangeably (as was mentioned earlier on this thread). Although salmon trout just sounds unpleasant.

You may be right, but the salmon-trout that we used to use ran smallish (like a coho). In my limited experience with steelheads, the flesh seemed to me more amber. Kind of like a char. In fact when I was cleaning some pretty good sized arctic char recently, I was struck by the similarity (color of the flesh, not the skin) to that long ago wild steelhead.

Wild Steelhead. Something I miss. I remember that the pin-bones used to be a bear.

I'll run to my AJ McClane later. It's out of date, but has good taxonomical info.

Nick

According to the Field & Stream web page, 'Sea Trout' and 'Salmon Trout' are the same thing, but are actually of a different genus that the other species that have been discussed here (Cynoscion vs. Oncorhynchus ). I also learned that Steelhead and Cutthroat were, until fairly recently, classfied and genus Salmo, but have been reclassified as genus Oncorhynchus .

Of course the other difficulty is that its quite possible, if not extremely likely, that common usage of these different names doesn't always correspond to scientific classifications.... :hmmm:

Edited by tighe (log)

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Reading the info on the Field & Stream site reminded me of some other nicknames for King salmon that I've heard in the past: 'spring salmon', 'tyee' and 'blackmouth salmon' (what my Dad always called them).

The other issues that no-one has touched on is the occasional appearance of "white" King. I've had it a couple times and couldn't discern any difference with the more conventional pink variety, except for the price! Has anyone else here tried it?

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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According to the Field & Stream web page, 'Sea Trout' and 'Salmon Trout' are the same thing, but are actually of a different genus that the other species that have been discussed here (Cynoscion vs. Oncorhynchus ).

Judging by that website, Sea Trout may = Salmon Trout, but it's nothing like a steelhead at all.

Or again, it's name-confusion run rampant.

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According to the Field & Stream web page, 'Sea Trout' and 'Salmon Trout' are the same thing, but are actually of a different genus that the other species that have been discussed here (Cynoscion vs. Oncorhynchus ).

Judging by that website, Sea Trout may = Salmon Trout, but it's nothing like a steelhead at all.

Or again, it's name-confusion run rampant.

Right, I guess thats part of the point I was making, without actually making the effort to communicate it clearly.... :unsure:

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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The other issues that no-one has touched on is the occasional appearance of "white" King.  I've had it a couple times and couldn't discern any difference with the more conventional pink variety, except for the price!  Has anyone else here tried it?

As for steelhead, I have heard it referred to as salmon-trout, and is called that sometimes on menus.

White King salmon is delicious! No discernable difference in taste from the red king salmon as far as I could tell. Same nice fatty meat and flavor. I believe the fish monger cannot tell the difference until he cuts into one. My Safeway manager gave me a couple nice fillets as a courtesy last year to try it out, and I am a frequent buyer of white king smoked salmon at Admiral Thriftway. It's so juicy and moist, just the way I like it. My favorite smoked salmon is from the belly though, but I have not had that in the white.

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Here's another salmon web page, coutesy of King County, WA: fishies. And another one; your tax dollars at work: more fishies.

And an update to the original names list with all the recent additions, and taxonomic names:

King = chinook = spring = tyee = blackmouth (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Sockeye = red = blueback (Oncorhynchus nerka) (kokanee is same species, but freshwater only)

Chum = keta = dog (Oncorhynchus keta)

Silver = coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch)

Pink = humpback (=humpy) (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

Atlantic (non-native, farmed in the PNW, Salmo salar)

Steelhead (trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Cutthroat (trout, Oncorhynchus clarki, some spend time in the ocean)

I'm not enough of a biologist to say why the atlantic salmon is a salmon, but different genus than the pacific salmon, but the anadromous trout are the same genus as the pacific salmon.

Edited by Human Bean (log)
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Steelhead (trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss)

What did the poor steelhead do to deserve the scientific name mykiss? Did some ichthyologist's 6-year old daughter get the naming rights or someting?

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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Steelhead (trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss)

What did the poor steelhead do to deserve the scientific name mykiss?

Well, since mamster is our resident bioscientist, as well as the Glorious Leader of this particular backalley of eGullet, I think he owes us answers to all these pesky unresolved scientific questions... :biggrin:

After all, he was the one that first mentioned a taxonomic name upthread, it must be child's play to him. :smile:

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Uh-oh, mamster is looking at the thread at the moment. :smile:

I did minimal further research on the question of 'white' vs. regular salmon; didn't see any definitive info.

I saw anecdotal reports that the white coloring is genetic (inability to properly process the carotenoids that cause the orange/pink color. It could happen, but IMHO would be rare).

I also saw anecdotal reports that diet is what causes the color.

Dunno until I see something more definitive/credible.

Edited by Human Bean (log)
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I'm no piscologist, oceanographer, limnologist, or fisherfolk, so I'm reading with interest, not leaning back in my chair and pointing smugly. As a student of mine once wrote on an evaluation form, "Matthew seems to know everything about biology, except marine life."

My hunch and hunch alone is that white salmon is the result of genetics; it's hard to imagine that the fish's diet could be so different in the wild that they don't pick up a trace of pink, and I know that white salmon are caught alongside red salmon. There was a big article about white salmon in the NYT a couple years ago; I could try to pull it up and at least quote liberally from it.

And as for Oncorhyncus tshawytscha, the only reason I knew that is that I once took a limnology course at the UW fisheries building, and they have a big king salmon mounted on the wall wearing its scientific name. I was actually trying to be glib.

Atlantic salmon (Salmo spp.) and Pacific salmon (Oncorhyncus spp, and why did they get the easy one) are both in the Salmonidae family, and I'd bet both are called salmon because the flesh is pink and they taste similar. Did you know that in the wild, Atlantic salmon (or at least the few remaining ones) are iteroparous?

Oops, there I go again.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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the white coloring is genetic (inability to properly process the carotenoids that cause the orange/pink color

This is what I remember about white kings, too. It wasn't all that long ago that they were only eaten by fishermen and their friends, since nobody would buy a white-fleshed salmon.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I have had ""fresh"" white king salmon on 1 occasion and it was delicious!! Of course fresh normal colored salmon is delicious as well but there was something about the very hard to get white king/chinook that just made it taste better :)

Not sure about the genetic vs. diet thing either but I had heard it was genetics also.

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  • 2 months later...
There isn't really any comparision to farmed and fresh Steelhead as far as how they taste. About 5 years ago I used to fish for Steelhead on the Kasilof River in south central Alaska before Figh & Game closed it to Steelhaed fishing. Since then I have bought several (supposed) Steellhead from a grocer and was definately NOT impressed with the taste/quality compared to what I actually caught!

I can still fish for them though I can't keep them anymore.  :angry: Oh well I guess thats progress??

I wanted to bring this post about wild steelhead up again, since I noticed Flying Fish is offering Wild Steelhead as one of their menu choices on the 25 for $25 program this March (however call ahead as the menu is subject to change).

I haven't had wild steelhead in so long, I am really tempted to go. Please PM me if anyone else is interested in getting together to try Flying Fish this month. As of tonight when I called, it's on the menu, it's fresh, and offered with purple potatoes and roasted tomatoes. The preparation varies according to which night it is, but they said they will accomodate any preparation they usually make upon request.

FLYING FISH:

Below menus are subject to change. Please call for details.

DINNER ONLY

Starter choices:

Soup of the Day

Asian Pear Salad

Smoked Albacore

Entrée choices:

Wok Blackened Fish of the Day

Mahi-Mahi

Wild Steelhead

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Dessert choices:

Apple Bread Pudding

Warm Grappa Brownie

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Could it have been large rainbow trout I was buying?  Or is it more likely to have been not-wild steelhead labeled incorrectly?

I was raised on the Cowlitz River in Castle Rock WA (the Cowlitz empties into the Columbia).

Back in the 50's my grandfather used to take me fishing for steelhead in the Cowlitz, which was only a couple of blocks from my house. I'd always been told they were rainbow trout first, went to sea and returned as steelhead. He used to take the roe, treat it with borax to harden the shells and use it as bait. Heck, we had no idea you could eat FISH EGGS! They (the steelhead) sure were tasty when grandma cooked 'em up. The salmon I caught were from the Pacific off the coast of Northern Oregon (Depot Bay). King I believe they were. And smoked, they were a wonder to taste. Very oily and extremely rich. Everyone smoked their own, in little galvanized electric smoke boxes.

Netting smelt during their short run is another story! Yum!

--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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To jump back in regarding the Copper River Salmon thread, keep in mind too that not all Copper River salmon is the same. Bruce Gore is who made the Copper River famous and his processing methods really do result in a better fish than a lot of what is out there. (see link).

Just my $.02.

Hal

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The latest issue of Sunset Magazine has an article on the sustainability of the Copper River fishery and included is a chart of different species of fish and reccomendations on whether or not they are a good (sustainable) dining choice. I was hoping it would be on the Sunset web page, but no luck.

In searching the web though, I found a more comprehensive resource that is pretty interesting. The orgainzation is called Seafood Choices Alliance and their website provides a database of different species, descriptions of issues to consider and reccomendations from different environmental organizations. All of you who had the Chilean Sea Bass at the BOB dinner should be publically stoned, or at least flogged!! :biggrin:

In all seriousness, I find this to be quite helpful, as I can never remember what is taboo and what isn't.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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i grew up in alaska fishing for salmon, so this thread really interests me.  we used to never call them coho's,  it was always silver.  same with chinook vs. king.  always called them king salmon.  i still remember the best fish i've ever had was a silver we caught, my mom fileted it, squeezed a bit of lemon, a little butter, salt and pepper, put it over the campfire in a aluminum foil pouch and we were eating it 10 minutes later.  amazing how tasty REALLY fresh fish can be....

mike

What? No sashimi?

:shock:

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