Wild is Better
Local, Fresh, Sustainable Seafood is much more than a marketing concept for Ilwaco Landing Fishermen, it’s a commitment. Unwillingness to waiver on this commitment limits the products we can offer to what’s being caught today. We pride ourselves on fleet relations and being fully engaged with the fishermen who choose to fish for us. This creates a special relationship that keeps the fishermen fishing and brings the highest quality local, fresh, sustainable seafood to market.
Chinook / King Salmon
Considered by many to be the pinnacle off all six Pacific Wild Salmon Species only the Chinook can be called the King. These Kings are the largest of the Pacific Salmon and averaging around 15–20 pounds although 30 plus pound Chinook are not uncommon.
The Chinook is also the King of the dinner plate. Their large size produces large moist flakes of deep orange to reddish flesh that plate beautifully for white table cloth dining. The rich, full-bodied taste and delicate texture complement its beauty solidifying its status as King.
Coho, also known as Silver Salmon due to their radiant silver color, average 8 to 10 pounds, about half the size of the Chinook. Its firm texture is terrific for steaks and fillets and retains its reddish orange color when cooked. The Coho meat is less robust than that of the Chinook with a slightly milder flavor.
Coho can be distinguished from Chinook by their lack of black spots on the lower lobe of the tale and their whitish to grey gums. Chinook have black gums.
Sockeye Salmon is a brilliant silver fish and unlike like the other Wild Pacific Salmon species such as the Chinook and Coho, the Sockeye is lacking the large black dots along its back. Commercially caught Sockeye range in weight from 2 to 9 pounds and have the reddest meat of all Wild Pacific Salmon. The Sockeyes rich, moist and firm meat has a robust flavor that comes from its high oil content. Due to its long migration, the Sockeye stores a considerable amount of fat making it an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
With the lowest oil content and milder taste than other Wild Pacific Salmons species Chums play an important role in the retail and food service sector. The firm texture and mild flavor make it a great option for dishes such as casseroles. With long freezer life and a less “fishy” taste, Chums are less expensive than other Salmon species.
Hook and Line caught Albacore are caught in the North pacific where warm tropical waters meet the cool Arctic currents. Commercially caught Albacore average around 20 pounds and are found in abundance off the coast of Oregon and Washington.
Albacore is often called white meat tuna due to its pale, pinkish-white flesh. Its firm, light meat has a delicate flavor and offers a wide spectrum of preparation methods. Albacore is commonly enjoyed worldwide as canned white meat tuna. Fresh and frozen at sea, Albacore loins and steaks are gaining popularity with fine restaurants and sushi chiefs around the world. Sashimi grade Albacore tuna loins can be consistently offered year round providing a sustainable, low cost, high quality sashimi option.
Sablefish (Black Cod)
Sablefish or commonly known here on the West Coast as the Black Cod is one of the oiliest and richest white fish available. The Sablefish thrives in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean from California to Alaska and it is there where it gets its sweet and distinctive flavor. When cooked its fairly oily flesh becomes large pearly white flakes making it one of the finer fish to eat.
The Pacific Halibut is the largest of all flat fish, capable of growing over 500 pounds with an average size being typically between 10 and 100 pounds. Halibut are caught in the North Pacific from California to Alaska.
When cooked Halibut’s firm and flaky meat turns snow-white with a sweet yet mild and delicate flavor.
The Lingcod is actually not a ling nor a cod. It is, in fact, a greenling that can be found on the rocky coast of the North Pacific. Their soft greenish flesh changes to white when cooked. Its firm texture and mild flavor make it popular for fish and chips.
Petrale Sole is a right-eyed flatfish found in the North Pacific from Southern California to Northern Alaska and average about 2 pounds. The Petrale is just of one of many Sole varieties and considered the best eating of all West Coast Sole.
Petrale is a lean and flaky whitefish with a very mild flavor much like cod. With very low oil content it should be cooked quickly to retain moisture.
There are about 70 species of Rockfish. Each common name represents a different species that varies in color and shape making the easily identifiable when whole fish. As fillets it can be difficult to identify exact species. Rock fish in general has a mild sweet flavor with a flakey medium to firm texture.
Commonly available Rock fish from Ilwaco landing fishermen
- Red Banded – Sebastes babcockia
- Rough Eye – Sebastes aleutianus
- Shortraker – Sebastes borealis
- Thorny Head “Idiot Fish” – Sebastes alascanus
There are many species of Skate in the both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The wings produce two fillets and are the only edible part of the Skate. It is a moderately firm, lean, and delicately flavored white meat.
Dungeness Crab have been harvested commercially of the Washington Coast since the 1800s. They can be found from Baja California all the way to Southern Alaska with Oregon and Washington producing most of the catch. Although Crab season is the majority of the year as much as 75% of the annual catch typically takes place in the first eight weeks of the season.
Dungeness crab has an elegant and distinct flavor with a moderate texture that produces tender, flaky white meat that is desired around the world. Served both hot and cold in a variety of dishes and classically paired with melted butter and dipping sauces.
Coldwater Pink Shrimp
Pink Shrimp can be found in Northern Waters around the world with water off the Oregon Coast playing a major role in the US Pacific Coast fishery. South of the Canadian border most of the pink shrimp are known as Oregon Shrimp, P.jordani, a sub species to the Pandalus jorjani.
With a very sweet flavor and soft meat the cold water pink shrimp is typically thought to have a more intense flavor than warm water shrimp. Beautifully pink in color, these small and clean looking shrimp can be served as and entree or used to add elegance to other dishes.
Pacific Razor Clams
Found in abundance on Washington’s surf pounded beaches where Razor clams can grow upwards of six inches long. Pacific razor clams are the most sought after shellfish in Washington State and harvested by both recreational and commercial clam diggers. Individually harvest at or near the tide line allowing them to be exposed during minus tides.
Razor clams are enjoyed in many ways from some of which include; battered and fried, clam chowder, sauces, dips and even smoked.
The Pacific oyster is a native of the Pacific coast of Asia and first introduced to Washington State in 1902 by Japan. Oysters are harvested in various sizes but can grow up to twelve inches and much like the Manila clam the oyster flourishes in the firm rocky beaches of Willapa Bay.
Oysters are commonly enjoyed raw as well as a variety of cooking methods and considered by many to be one of the best foods you can eat. Oysters are a great source of protein with very little fat. They are low in cholesterol while being very high in vitamin and minerals, particularly zinc and copper.
Manila Clams are relatively small in size, ranging from one inch up to two and half inches. Unlike like the razor clam who live in sandy beaches, the Manila clam prefers the gravely beaches of Willapa Bay. Sweet and tender, Manila clams are often used as steamer clams as well as luscious pasta dishes and rich savory soups.
Pacific Sardines are found from Southern California to British Columbia however that does not make them all equal. Sardines found off the coast of Southern California are some of the smallest in the pacific with the average size increases as you move north up the Coastline. The Sardines caught of the Oregon and Washington Coast are some of the largest available. The larger the size the higher the oil content making these Sardines extremely desirable for everything from canning, grilling and even sushi.
Once the most popular fish in America, Sardines are now making a comeback as a seafood delicacy as well as the preferred bait by the global Tuna fleet.