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Jul 10, 2007 08:37 AM

Why Wild Salmon? Why Not.

Summer is a great time for Salmon. And at the seafood counter you are often faced with a decision--should you pick farmed or wild salmon?

Currently, Trout Unlimited is working on a Pacific Salmon campaign, with one goal of educating Salmon consumers about that choice. To learn more go to

By signing the Salmon Consumer's Bill of Rights and Responsibilities on the website, consumers are taking steps not only to secure safe, healthy salmon for consuming, but also that the natural environment is protected to ensure safe and healthy salmon.

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  1. I would only buy wild salmon that has been kept on ice, rather than deep frozen; most fish that has been deep frozen has a discernible loss of succulence that I cannot get over compared to local fish merely kept on ice. Anyway, that would be very expensive here on the East Coast because that means the salmon has to be flown quickly (all that petroleum, ach!) from the boats, et cet., since wild Atlantic salmon - the jewel of salmon - is very rare these days and very endangered.

    Having Copper River salmon in the Pacific Northwest/Southwest (from Canada's perspective, that is!) is a wonderful thing. Replicating outside its region usually is not quite the same thing.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      I have been sportfishing for king salmon for decades and have found no drop-off in quality at all in fish that's frozen soon after being caught.

      1. re: mpalmer6c

        I have,it's slight in the beginning and gets worse as time goes on.I mean if you thaw it out and eat it within a a couple months its ok but still not as good as fresh caught.
        Theres no comparison to fresh caught vs frozen.Another reason not to buy frozen is it's hard to tell how long or what condition the fish was in when it was frozen.I like to be able to smell and see the texture.I'll tell you even that $20 a lb Copper River salmon still isn't as good as eating a fish fresh out of the water same day,i'm sure you know that.It's a rare treat only us real fisherman get to experience.

        1. re: widehomehi

          Or mountain trout, caught and eaten right away. I would not bother with it otherwise.

          1. re: chef chicklet

            Tastes so good fresh.If you can get it straight out of the water why wouldn't you.

        2. re: mpalmer6c

          Well, I have, it's very noticeable to me and many other people, so you you should consider yourself lucky you don't notice it.

          1. re: mpalmer6c

            mpalmer6c, I'm with you. We eat more fish that we catch here than any other meat or poultry. I clean and fillet and make stocks immediately after reaching home. If fishing areas are far, I try to do the same there. Fillets get quick and deep frozen here at home due to a great freezer. I'll challenge anyone as to a blind tasting of my plated fish.

            Obviously, however, there is nothing like pulling a deep, cold water fish out of the sea and slicing up and eating sashimi at once!

        3. For cooking I prefer the wild. For sushi/sashimi, I prefer the farmed Scottish salmon; the Chilean has the fewest problems. I freeze all the salmon I use for raw; my home freeze gets cold enough. Because it's so cold it freezes quickly; tightly wrapped there's little textural loss.

          1. Given the choice between fresh farmed salmon or frozen wild salmon, which would you choose?

            1 Reply
            1. As far as frozen or fresh goes I understand that many fish are gutted and flash frozen the minute they are caught on the fishing vessel and that unless you see the fishing boat come in and buy directly, the flash frozen fish are probably fresher than so called fresh fish that might have been in the supermarket a couple of days or so. Taste wise I am also one that cannot tell the difference.

              1. Much rather have wild salmon, frozen or not, than farmed. There is a big difference in taste, on top of the environmental issues.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bat Guano

                  Well, environmental issues also would have to account for the tons of petroleum to ship it far, compared to more locally farmed salmon.

                  Anyway, I prefer arctic char (farmed) to farmed salmon.