Salmon Facts and Trivia

1. Fresh salmon should always have a fresh ocean smell (NOT a fishy one!).

2. The Chinook salomn is Oregon’s official state fish.

3. Pacific salmon die after their first spawning (the reproducing process); the Atlantic salmon does not, and returns year after year to its breeding place to spawn again.

4. Salmon raised in fish farm pens have white rather than “salmon pink” flesh because their diet doesn’t include the natural foods that would normally color the flesh of wild salmon. Therefore, fish farmers have begun adding pigment to the farm raised salmon’s food to get that “natural” color.

5.The Jewish deli staple, lox, was originally salt cured salmon. In the days before refrigeration, salmon from the Northwest would be shipped in barrels filled with salt brine. The deli would soak the salmon in water to remove some of the salt and slice it for sale. Today lox is brine cured and lightly cold smoked.

6. DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid found in salmon, has been shown in studies to improve the mental and visual development of infants.

7. When buying salmon (or any fish)ahead of time, keep it fresh by removing it from its package and burying it in a large plastic container filled with ice. Refrigerate, changing the ice as needed. Stored this way, salmon (and any fish)will keep up to two full days.

8. According to 1990 figures, the U.S. is the world’s leading salmon-fishing country-335,600 metric tons of salmon annually caught. Japan is second, with 263,600 metric tons.

9. Salmon stop eating after reaching fresh water to spawn; they live off fat stored in their body. As the fish travel upstream, their shape and color change. For example, all male salmon develop a hooked snout, male pink salmon grow a hump on their back, chum salmon of both sexes develop purple streaks on their sides and sockeye salmon turn bright red.

10. There are seven salmon species: 1. Atlantic 2. Cherry 3. Chinook 4. Chum 5. Coho 6. Pink 7. Sockeye-also known as red salmon, this is the most valuable food salmon. All, except the Atlantic salmon, live in the Pacific ocean.

11. After salmon enter fresh waters, their flesh loses flavor and color. Therefore, it’s very important and imperative for fishing crews to catch salmon as the fish leave the ocean to journey upstream.

12.The salmon was designated as the state fish of Alaska in 1962.

13. The largest salmon canning industry in the U.S. began in Alaska in 1878.

14. The bones in canned salmon are edible and can add calcium to your diet. If you don’t like the texture or the “bone sensation”, mash the drained salmon in a bowl with the back of a spoon. The bones will become undetectable in seconds.

15. If broiling salmon, position the fish 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. (Broiling food retains most of their nutrients and enchances their flavor.)

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