Steelhead Caviar... here we go again!

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Evan Burck, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. My fiance forwarded this too me out of concern this morning. She received it in one of her "Daily Candy" emails:

    Seatown Snack Bar
    What: Celebrity chef Tom Douglas opens his sixth restaurant, a two-in-one venue with a casual to-go counter and sit-down service, right next to Etta’s in Pike Place Market.
    Why: Porchetta sandwiches, Neah Bay steelhead caviar, crab six ways, and your favorite baked goods from Dahlia Bakery.
    When: Daily, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.
    Where: 2010 Western Ave. (206-436-0390).

    Anyone know anything about this, and what their source is? I'm no scientist, but a market for wild steelhead caviar would not bode well for our fish populations.
     
  2. "Neah Bay steelhead caviar"

    I thought the eggs formed after they left the salt.
     
  3. If you call them "Nea Bay" then you don't to list the river of origin.

    My call to the number got to Dave. I did not discuss the menu but asked for a web site or contact email. He referred me to http://tomdouglas.com/ as it will be a couple to three weeks before Seatown is fully up on the internet. I'll go there and look around. Maybe you'll do the same. Since they are just starting out maybe they'll be receptive to requests to delete a menu item? I'll send mine from home when I get back.
     
  4. No, in all anadromous salmonids the eggs are formed as sexual maturity progresses. Most enter fresh water with fairly well-developed egg skeins (or milt sacs, as the case may be). During the pre-spawn period in fresh water the eggs grow a little and become looser in the skein preparatory to deposition. Exceptions include those fish (spring- or summer-run steelhead or spring chinook) which enter fresh water long before spawning time (upper Columbia River steelhead, for instance, may enter the river as early as May and not spawn until January). My father caught an early summer-run steelhead in the Dungeness (back when it was open almost year-round, in March, if memory serves) whose skeins of BB-sized eggs were only about four inches long and no larger in diameter than a pencil.
     
  5. Perhaps if we mention to Mr. Douglas that "steelhead" anything on a restaurant menu in the PNW is more likely than not going to raise the ire of anglers and conservationists. Just tell him that steelhead are the icon of gamefish in WA state, and that wild steelhead in Puget Sound and the tributaries of the Columbia River are ESA listed and that his restaurant will therefore suffer from guilt by association regardless of the source of his eggs for steelhead caviar. Alternatively, there could be direct picketing of his restaurant . . .
     
  6. Save the pitchforks until you guys figure out what the situation is here. Unless they're wild fish, there's not a reason to get our panties in a bunch right? Tom is a huge supporter of the neighborhoods that he does business in and I really doubt he'd do something harmful on purpose. I'm glad people already have lines out to figure out what's going on. I'll wait to form an opinion until then.
     
  7. i sent out an email asking for more info regarding the origin of said caviar, but "neah bay" steelhead could easily mean hatchery zombies. the makahs have a very successful hatchery operation going on there.
     
  8. uhhh, gillnets kill co-mingled wild fish when targeting hatchery fish.

    do you wonder where the early timed coastal winter runs went?

    hatcheries have all kinds of negative impacts on wild fish, and non-selective harvest is just one. even if the neah bay "caviar" is hatchery origin, does it really matter? it comes from gillnet fisheries and you're trusting the suppliers to tell you whether it's wild or hatchery... what if they lie?
     
  9. If you're so irrationally concerned with the plight of a steelhead, it should make perfect sense for you to sell your rods and stay out of the water for the rest of your life. You're not helping either.
     
  10. JesseCFowl,

    I don't believe Topwater is being irrational. Have you ever been to the Queets or Quinault during the winter and seen the nets stretching 2/3 the way across the river from one side and 2/3 the way across from the other direction. Go out there and see the gillnetting and than come back and report on whether you think wild steelhead can get through those nets and if topwater is being irrational.

    -Ryan
     
  11. AGREED.

    Regardless of the legality of said caviar. We should rally against because it promotes activity that can negatively affect wild populations of steelhead.
     
  12. Btw who needs to buy steelhead caviar anyway. I mean wtf. I think this is a delicacy we can go without and still live happy lives.
     
  13. Cant wait to eat some of them raw Steelhead eggs. I would be willing to bet these eggs are a small percentage of hatchery fish after full escapement numbers. Like Sean explained "ZOMBIES".
     
  14. sorry to say, YOU are the one not being realistic regarding steelhead. perhaps you should take the drive over to the west end and witness the bank to bank gill nets. now maybe you think that they discriminate and only catch hatchery fish, dream on.

    anyone selling steelhead or parts of steelhead need to have some information shared regarding just what they are supporting, the demise of the last wild steelhead in the lower 48. none of the west end rivers have met their wild escapement goals for over a decade.
     
  15. Btw, who needs to catch steelhead on a fly anyhow? I mean wtf. I think this is a luxury we can go without and still live happy lives.

    These debates always crack me up. Pot calling the kettle black.

    I'm all for getting the PETA clothes on if an establishment is selling wild steelhead, but until that's determined, there's no reason to get all nuts over a bunch of (more than likely) hatchery drones.

    Gilnetting is the real problem you guys should use all this energy attacking. Getting all riled up about one establishment isn't even a drop in the bucket. You might get one restaurant owner to cave, but that's not going to change a damn thing overall. It would be a full time job to track down every restaurant with steelhead on the menu. Are you reeeeeally serious about this or just posturing on the internet forum? If you're really serious about solving the problem this way then start doing your research on suppliers and find every single place in WA that's selling steelhead. Oh yeah, you'll also have to figure out where in the country and world they're exporting to as well. Can you see the futility in this method?

    I'm working with a friend in BC who has shot some footage of the salmon farms that have ravaged the native populations up there. He's interested in shooting some documentary footage of the Hoh gilnetting. This idea was originally raised by Jim Kerr last year, but I couldn't pull my friend down here in time. Hopefully it'll happen this year and perhaps we can have something to look at that might be better than harassing one restaurant owner.

    I understand the frustration around this - but it's important to be rational and not go ape shit on 1 chef like a bunch of fly fishing thugs.
     
  16. one battle at a time is the way wars are won or lost. informing a restaurant owner, particularly a guy trying to start a business in these economic times, that he is participating in the extinction of a species is a worthy thing to do.

    if you are ready to organize and get 300,000 signatures to get an iniatitive on the ballot to shut this fishery down, i have the language all set to go. just let me know and we can move forward with the bigger question you raise.
     
  17. Well here's some to get you all started;

    Another local one ---
    http://www.pikestreetfishfry.com/2010/01/fresh-nisqually-salmon-washington.html

    Couple in NY ---
    Aquavit65 E 55th St | Btwn Park & Madison Ave $$$$$ 55
    2Lucille's Grill237 W 42nd St | Btwn 7th & 8th Ave $$$$$ 12
    3Mary's Fish Camp64 Charles St | At W 4th St $$$ 56
    4Savoy70 Prince St | At Crosby St $$$$$ 24
    5SD2619 E 26th St | Btwn Madison & 5th Ave $$$$ 17

    over 53 hits in Washington alone;
    http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=steelhead&ns=1&find_loc=seattle, wa

    another 50 for San Fran
    http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=steelhead&ns=1&find_loc=seattle, wa#find_loc=san francisco, ca

    27 for LA
    http://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=steelhead&ns=1&find_loc=seattle, wa#find_loc=los angeles

    See what I'm getting at? Calling all of these places isn't the solution. You have to go upstream.
     
  18. I'm all for that GT.

    I think public awareness needs to be raised first. Otherwise, all the tribe has to do is hire a PR person to state "this is about a bunch of rich white fly fisherman wanting to keep the Indian tribe down" and you're tanked.

    Once people have some video to actually SEE what's going, the environmentalist attack dog will trigger within.
     

  19. Happyness without fly fishing for Steelhead? you must be kidding! :rofl:
     

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