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May 28, 2010 10:32 AM

How do you bring home salmon heads from a fishing trip?

My boyfriend is going on a fishing trip to Canada this summer, and will be bringing back salmon and possibly halibut. Last year, he brought back only the gutted body of the salmon, with the heads removed. This time, though, I don't want the heads to go to waste! Unfortunately, the fishing boat doesn't have a flashfreeze device, and he will be bringing back the fish in coolers. We live in Seattle so it's about a 7 hour drive, and the trip is for 3 days so there will be some salmon sitting in the cooler from the first day. Would it be okay if he leaves the heads on these, or should they be discarded? Also, if older ones are no good, can heads from the day before he leaves be brought back?
He's going with his grandpa who's a fishing expert, but who would never even dream of eating a salmon head, so I'm not sure he would know... Therefore, I'm hoping to receive words of wisdom from you fisher-hounds out there! Please don't let these delicious salmon heads go to waste! Thank you :)

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  1. I think they'd be okay if 1) they're left on the fish and 2) when cleaning the gills are also completely removed.

    If the fish is packed in ice (in cavity and outside) and you're harvesting the ones from day 2 and 3, I can't see too much of a problem unless it suddenly turns into a heat wave.

    1. Agree with gill removal, since they need to be removed before you cook your heads, anyway. Also, commercial fishermen from both the Gulf and Alaska have told me that you won't even know fish is a few/more days old if you immediately pack it both inside and out w/ lots of CRUSHED (not cubed) ice.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Spot

        Thank you, both, for your speedy answers! Nice to know there's not much extra work. I'll look forward to all the delicious dishes that can be made!