oncorhynchus tshawytscha


King Salmon Tail

About a month ago I processed a king salmon from the Nushagak River. The tail was pretty impressive so I put it in salt. The bottom photo shows how the tail looked when I pulled it out today. The tail is still pretty oily and not all that desiccated. The most interesting thing to me, though, is how the red molting color has pretty much disappeared and the tail looks as though it came from a salmon before it got too far upstream.

I put the tail back into salt and maybe I’ll check on it again in another month. I wonder if this process will actually let it completely desiccate. Has anyone ever tried this process for fish or any other animal?


Chinook Salmon holding prior to spawning by Thomas Kline
Via Flickr:
Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) holding prior to spawning in a tributary of the Deshka River, Alaska. Aspect Ratio = 2:3.


I processed the king salmon. The belly was full of worms but the meat is still good. I pulled out all the organs and will be giving them to a friend for their dogs. One thing that surprised on the fish was the tiny nub of flesh behind the larger dorsal fin. There didn’t seem to be much in the way of bone in there.

With all the organs out, the large blood vessel in the back was exposed. This was dark with blood and still partially frozen. I then cut off the head and exposed the gills and the rather spiky tongue. The head will be used later in soup.

The final picture shows all that is left of the fish that won’t be used. However, I cut off the very end of the tail and put it in a jar of salt in hopes to preserve it. We’ll see how that goes. This is my first time trying this.


Chinook salmon by Langara Fishing Adventures
Via Flickr: