Living Off Grid - Mountain Salmon

| 9/19/2012 11:52:26 AM

canned kokaneeOne of the things we miss the most after moving into the mountains is the saltwater and all of its bounty. Laurie and I fished for salmon and bottom fish, dug fresh clams, and caught Dungeness crab in Laurie’s crab pot. That’s right, Laurie’s crab pot. She got it for her birthday!

We both grew up in Bellingham, WA in the northwest corner of the state. When I was a teenager I water skied in the saltwater almost every day. Laurie’s family sailed the San Juan Islands and camped on many of them growing up.

My dad was a commercial fisherman and as a teen I reef netted and gillnetted with my Dad. Laurie put herself through college gillnetting with her brother. Needless to say we miss the salt water.

Moving calls for adaption to our surroundings. We bought a little crawdad trap for the lake a few miles from us. We haven’t caught anything yet but we will. We just need to leave it there for a few days, something we haven’t had time to do yet.

We’ve also learned to catch one variety of fish in the same lake called Kokanee or Silver Trout. These fish are planted by the State. They are raised in a hatchery where we both come from on Lake Whatcom. My company did the last remodel and expansion for the hatchery in the 90’s so I got a firsthand account of how it is done.

Kokanee trout are actually land locked sockeye salmon. Every fall they go up the creek next to the hatchery in Lake Whatcom where they are caught and processed just like salmon at hatcheries all over the state. The result is fish that are large enough to transplant in lakes for sport fishing.

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