Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > B.C. (inc. Vancouver) >
Sep 13, 2013 04:14 PM

Bringing back fresh salmon from Vancouver

Hello! I'm flying out of Vancouver on Sunday morning and want to bring a whole fresh sockeye salmon with me to cook in Toronto Sunday night. Any tips/methods/etc. on how to do this? Will a purveyor pack the fish in a sealed plastic bag for me? Should I carry it onto the plane as carry-on in a styrofoam container filled with frozen gel packs?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The last time I checked with an airline was 2-3 years ago but back then frozen gel packs were not allowed as carry-on because they're really liquid. If you find out otherwise please post.


    2 Replies
    1. re: FishTales

      That's correct. I fly live lobster from Halifax to Calgary whenever I'm down east. I did this last year. They can pack it in frozen veggies (peas seem to be the preferred choice). Direct flight, no problem.

      1. re: Office Broccoli

        Frozen peas, excellent idea, thank you. That had never occurred to me.

        & mjsmilloy, happy to hear that you got the fish home in good condition.


    2. Check with The Lobster Man on Granville Island, or 7 Seas Seafood on W. 4th. I hear they're adept in helping customers bring seafood on travels.

      1. you realize how perishable this is? (and if your luggage is delayed?)

        does it have to be fresh (ie not smoked souvenir)?

        i also understand the sentiment ... i am known to carry flowers from my own garden etc etc across mountain passes and beyond

        i once had to fly on a local bc flight (a Beaver floatplane) with some guy intent on carrying a big ole bucket of mom's kimchi with him - well, we all know what that is in our family, so we get it but - the pilot's face ---- let alone the response of the other pax on the (very small) plane ; )

        3 Replies
        1. re: Georgia Strait

          Hey at least it wasn't a bucket of hongeohoe. Or worst, surströmming ......

          1. re: LotusRapper

            ... or - on the other side of our family - some sort of crazy pickled herring! (only all in BC eh? ; )


            1. re: Georgia Strait

              So a Korean/Northern European household ? Opposites in terms of propensity of pungentness :-)

        2. Thanks for all the replies! I'm happy to report that everything went according to plan and I served cedar-planked salmon in Toronto on Sunday night. Bought one whole sockeye from the salmon shop in the middle of Granville Island (the one beside the charcuterie shop.) Cost about $50. They filleted it and packed it and gave me some gel packs. Morning of the flight, I popped the frozen gel packs in with the salmon and then put the whole thing in my checked baggage. Unwrapped it eight hours later and it was still fresh and well-chilled! (And no leakage.) Thanks for all your advice!

          2 Replies
          1. re: mjsmilloy

            that's great it turned out well for you - i think it's fun to have a practical souvenir (one w/ considerable Wow! factor no less) to share back home

            ... in all seriousness - how do all those folks who seem mainly to stay at the Delta Hotel nr YVR (guests of those expensive/fancy fishing resorts further up the coast) - carry their fish back home? I've chatted to people in the lobby who are from Trto - US - etc. - so they must be flying home w/ something

            Also - maybe someone is an expert at this - where does it say you can't carry fish in your carry-on? You can carry food (seeing as airlines don't supply food) thru security, can't you?

            just curious.

            1. re: Georgia Strait

              re:The Delta sportfishing groups-their product is frozen rock hard @ whatever lodge they're using, stored overnight in the hotel freezer and taken home in insulated cardboard boxes.

              Since most are just a few hour's flight away and cargo holds are unheated there is no issue with thawing.