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Thread: A bit sad at the waste

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    Member Delta Tenderfoot's Avatar
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    Unhappy A bit sad at the waste

    I was at the transfer station here in the Fairbanks area and came across this file of stripped fish. I am a bit sad at the amount of meat left on the fish after filleting and then dumped at the transfer station. I am no pro at processing my fish but it really appears that the person who did this has neither the respect for the resource or the respect of his community. Just sayin.

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  2. #2

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    unreal... the stuff flowing down the Russian in past years when I've gone has been a pretty sad scene too. What's really crazy (to me) too is folks at Chitina filleting their fish and rinsing the (poorly cut / butchered) fillets right there in the silt and putting them all in a big black bag to slime together and become one big sloppy mess. Some folks must not know better because you'd think after putting the effort in to catch the fish would translate to proper care for catch, respect for resource...crazy

  3. #3

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    It shows the intelligence of the person responsible for the mess and wast that they would throw out the best part of the fish. Sockeye bellies are by far my favorite part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Predator Control View Post
    It shows the intelligence of the person responsible for the mess and wast that they would throw out the best part of the fish. Sockeye bellies are by far my favorite part.
    Oh man....that makes my mouth water...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Yeah well, they butcher them in the sand at the mouth of the Kenai, and then rinse them off in water that has so much bird and people poop in it, that it in unsafe to drink. The Kenai city sewer dumps in just upstream from where the dipping is going on. Not to mention Soldotna waste goes into the Kenai also. And lets not forget all the private systems, some that merely have a pipe running under the yard to the river.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Wow, that squaw candy looks great, mind passin on your recipe? Thanks, I am always lookin to try sometin
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    PM me your email and I'll send it to you. It's nothing special, very simple it's the bellies that make them the best. Can't believe people think of them as scrap

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    We often smoke the bellies separately from the sides (not always, but sometimes). Sometimes I just cut the sides down to the middle of the belly, and leave a half of a belly on each filet.

    Either way, despite liking them a lot, they're SO rich in fat that we rarely eat more than two or three of them at a sitting, due to the amount of oil/fat, and the richness. It's easy to O.D. on the oils and get upset stomach.

    But when we separate the bellies from the sides, I often hard-smoke the bellies considerably longer than the sides, to firm them up. Awesome but very rich food.

    Puts an end to thinking a person needs to buy fish oil capsules. ;^>)

    Quote Originally Posted by Predator Control View Post
    It shows the intelligence of the person responsible for the mess and wast that they would throw out the best part of the fish. Sockeye bellies are by far my favorite part.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Sorry. I think of salmon bellies as halibut bait. Then again same goes when I catch an octopus. It too becomes halibut bait.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Definietly save the salmon bellies. They are great eating.
    With the right jigs you really don't need halibut bait anyway.
    Or maybe a little herring to draw them in first. But salmon carcasses (trimmed of as much meat as possible) work just as well.
    What a shame to see all that waste.
    I saw they were dumping carcasses on the trails in Anchorage now too.
    This can't help out with all the bear encounters this year either.
    I guess this just let's us know dipnet season has started!


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    Member AKducks's Avatar
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    I remember my first time at chitna with some guys from Fairbanks watching them fillet fish. looked a lot like that. Not only were the bellies thrown away but there was a ton of meat left on the backs!

    What really got me was the whole time they criticized me for "filleting slowly" because I made sure to get all the meat. Still ticks me off. lluckily the guys I go with now value getting as much meat as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruffle View Post
    We often smoke the bellies separately from the sides (not always, but sometimes). Sometimes I just cut the sides down to the middle of the belly, and leave a half of a belly on each filet.

    Either way, despite liking them a lot, they're SO rich in fat that we rarely eat more than two or three of them at a sitting, due to the amount of oil/fat, and the richness. It's easy to O.D. on the oils and get upset stomach.

    But when we separate the bellies from the sides, I often hard-smoke the bellies considerably longer than the sides, to firm them up. Awesome but very rich food.

    Puts an end to thinking a person needs to buy fish oil capsules. ;^>)
    I usually don't open a jar of smoked salmon bellies unless there is a few people standing around with a beer in hand. Or the open half gone jar goes in the fridge for someone else wanting a tasty snack. I don't wolf down a jar myself in one setting, it not ment to be a meal only a tasty snack. They are rich. That's what makes them good!

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    Those look pretty close to the carcasses left on a halibut charter by the deckhand. He was very quick, but there wasn't much of a fillet left, either. I think when the quantity of fish is high, more value is placed on speed than quality. And many people just haven't been trained well in the process of filleting fish. From selecting the right knife, to keeping it sharp, to keeping the meat clean throughout the process, to the stigma that has been placed on fats by our society.

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    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    +1 on these comments and observations. I was tempted to pull a few carcasses out of the Russian as they went floating by me this weekend. Some of them had bellies intact, half inch of meat on the filet, and an inch and a half of solid meat at the collars. As a hunter, I have no idea why the regs are so strict on hunters in taking all 4 oz of rib meat off a deer, yet people can leave twice that on a salmon carcass and not suffer any legal consequences.

    Aside from just adding to the gripe, I do want to constructively say to people that a simple spoon can help you retain more meat off your carcass, and I find not a lot of people do it or even know about it. Even if you suck at fileting (we all have to start somewhere), it just means you have less meat on your filet and more "spoon meat"; you still get it all. After cutting your filet off the fish, just take a regular spoon and scoop down either side of the spine. You will get a thin (or thick, depending on your knife skills) strip of meat. Put it in a bag or tupperware. Even if you are the world's best fileter, you will still get a few ounces of spoon meat per fish. If you clean 15 fish, you can easily get a couple / few POUNDS of spoon meat. It's really easy. Spoon meat makes great tacos, because you just throw it on the frying pan and stir it around with veggies and seasonings, and it breaks up into perfectly sized chunks.

    I also save the heads, de-gill them, season them, and throw them on the grill. You can pick a lot of meat off the collar, and the filet ends in a point up at the forehead that is really impossible to cut out with the filet. The cheeks are also good, about a half bite each. If I eat 2 fish heads, I'm usually pretty satisfied. They're good and oily up at the head too. Save it all folks!! You killed it, you really ought to eat the whole thing!


    -Gr

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    I knew a couple (old people) that used to bake a fileted salmon carcass and then pick the meat off the bones. The first time I saw them do this, we were playing cards at their house. Oh yeah, I had to have some. Nice treat.
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    When we do them separately from the sides, we typically seal them up 3-6 bellies per wrap, and put the remainder of the pack back in the fridge until done.

    We've also used the firmly-smoked bellies in place of bacon in a good Swiss cheese and broccoli quiche. Killer quiche with the hard-smoked bellies, and with bacon as outrageously priced as it is (despite a bottomed out/glutted pork market), it makes good economic sense, too..

    As far as the waste goes, if a person has even properly picked carcasses, and some garden lime, till it into the garden compost.

    Folks cry about composting fish bringing in bears, but when we lived outside of Valdez 25 years ago, and the authorities were live-trapping problematic brownies a block behind me, and down a ways, we were burying salmon guts from the canneries in the garden, tilling them in with a power tiller and suitable amounts of proper lime, and there was zero fish smell in the back yard; never had a bear there, despite their proximity in the 'hood. And fish carcasses provide awesome amounts of nitrogen and calcium. Cannery scraps from the slime line provide more nitrogen and less calcium, just because you're usually not getting the vertebrae in the deal..

    Quote Originally Posted by Predator Control View Post
    I usually don't open a jar of smoked salmon bellies unless there is a few people standing around with a beer in hand. Or the open half gone jar goes in the fridge for someone else wanting a tasty snack. I don't wolf down a jar myself in one setting, it not ment to be a meal only a tasty snack. They are rich. That's what makes them good!

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    First time I ate fish-head chowder was in the Yukon Territory in 1977. Boiled up lake trout heads, with all the same stuff you'd put in any other chowder; spuds, onions, thyme, basil, pepper, etc., in a milk (and if you're lucky, cream) base. Sprinkle with parmesan.

    I used to fish in Alaska (Gulf and rivers) with a fellow of Japanese dissent. Weight on the trip home, with ice, gear, and fish was always an issue, and he'd ask me if he could take up cooler space and the truck's gross weight capacity with carcasses of ALL kinds (ling, halibut, salmon, rock fish, etc), as his family practiced old Island traditions of picking -every- bit of meat from the carcass in different preparations.


    I admit I was sometimes stingy, trying to be kind to the air-springs, and I probably never harvested the same percentage of carcasses as he did. None the less, we try to be respectful toward what we bring home.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gr is for Greg View Post
    +1 on these comments and observations. I was tempted to pull a few carcasses out of the Russian as they went floating by me this weekend. Some of them had bellies intact, half inch of meat on the filet, and an inch and a half of solid meat at the collars. As a hunter, I have no idea why the regs are so strict on hunters in taking all 4 oz of rib meat off a deer, yet people can leave twice that on a salmon carcass and not suffer any legal consequences.

    Aside from just adding to the gripe, I do want to constructively say to people that a simple spoon can help you retain more meat off your carcass, and I find not a lot of people do it or even know about it. Even if you suck at fileting (we all have to start somewhere), it just means you have less meat on your filet and more "spoon meat"; you still get it all. After cutting your filet off the fish, just take a regular spoon and scoop down either side of the spine. You will get a thin (or thick, depending on your knife skills) strip of meat. Put it in a bag or tupperware. Even if you are the world's best fileter, you will still get a few ounces of spoon meat per fish. If you clean 15 fish, you can easily get a couple / few POUNDS of spoon meat. It's really easy. Spoon meat makes great tacos, because you just throw it on the frying pan and stir it around with veggies and seasonings, and it breaks up into perfectly sized chunks.

    I also save the heads, de-gill them, season them, and throw them on the grill. You can pick a lot of meat off the collar, and the filet ends in a point up at the forehead that is really impossible to cut out with the filet. The cheeks are also good, about a half bite each. If I eat 2 fish heads, I'm usually pretty satisfied. They're good and oily up at the head too. Save it all folks!! You killed it, you really ought to eat the whole thing!


    -Gr

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    First ate fish head soup on the Rez in Washington. My next door neighbor at my first place in Nikiski also made it. He butchered the heads, taking out the mouth and some other stuff. He chopped them into 4 pieces. Dang good stuff. He made awesome cranberry wine too.
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  19. #19

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    When im filleting my first slice is from the base of the belly right behind the neck down to the rectum, how do you fillet your's as to keep the belly intact and I'm assuming cut it off at the end? I'd love to keep them if they are good, had never thought to fret about it before!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllisonPtRocks View Post
    When im filleting my first slice is from the base of the belly right behind the neck down to the rectum, how do you fillet your's as to keep the belly intact and I'm assuming cut it off at the end? I'd love to keep them if they are good, had never thought to fret about it before!
    My first cut is basically the same as yours, only I cut the belly off whole and keep it completely separate from the rest of the fish before starting my filet. So the knife is horizontal to the fish, not vertical (or rather, the blade is perpendicular to the medial / symmetry line of the fish, not parallel to it). I cut from the rectum up to just under the chin, pulling the whole belly out intact. I put them in a separate ziplock or other container and then charge on with my filet. If you cut down the middle and keep it attached to the filet, you can still cut it off from the filet after the fact just below the ends of the ribs, but then you have 2 halves instead of a whole, and it's a little more of a pain to cook / grill, etc. imo. BTW, I've seen other folks do an initial cut like mine on a fish, taking off the whole belly, and then throw the whole belly into the river, and I've (no joke) stood downstream from these people and happily collected their bellies. I'll let heads go by, but not bellies! -Gr
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