Then You’ve Got to Clean Them!

Then You’ve Got to Clean Them!

Harvey & 47lb Spring
– photo courtesy of my friend Harvey Humchitt

Nice fish eh? This one is a forty-seven (47)  pound (21.3 kg) Spring Salmon.

One of the problems of catching such a big fish is someone has to clean it! It is a messy job, but when done well it gives the fisherman two lovely fish fillets1 which can be cooked or preserved in a myriad of ways.

In my years on the lighthouse I cleaned and cooked many fish, including salmon, but there are those of you who have never seen a fish as large as this, or even seen how to clean (filet1) a fish.

It is not hard, just messy, as a large fish like that holds a lot of blood and very large internal organs. Please look at the photos in the album below. In this case my friend enlisted a cousin to do it. These photos were donated to me and show the young Heiltsuk lady doing the filleting job very well.

As I said in the gallery above the salmon can be prepared many ways – by baking, frying, roasting, barbecuing, etc. There are so many different recipes. The photo below shows another method – smoking!

Smoking a fatty fish like salmon creates a delicacy that is hard to beat. If anyone is interested I will post some recipes for preparing salmon in another article. Please comment and let me know.

Smoked Coho salmon
Smoked Coho salmon – photo courtesy of Bob Haslett



1 FILLET or FILET – which is it? I found this clarification from the Boston Globe the best, but there are many other opinions!


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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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