It was this king salmon display - complete with a mackerel in its mouth - at my neighborhood Whole Foods Market that made me accept an invitation from Whole Foods to get up at a ridiculously early hour in order to bike down to Pier 45 and meet with their local seafood distributor, Pezzolo Seafood, last week.
It wasn't just the humorous salmon display that drew me to the docks and their lovely dawn-hued views so early in the morning (nor was it the promise of hot coffee when I got there). It was once having attended a salmon festival in Northern California (Klamath, to be exact) at which there were no salmon and no salmon dishes because the runs had gotten so minimal that all fishing was stopped. I wanted to hear from people on the ground - or, rather, on the sea, had to say about wild-caught salmon off Northern California shores.
Rich Fitzpatrick (that's his boat above) and Ron Pezzolo explained why Rich uses hook-and-line to catch salmon (it has almost zero by-catch, or fish other than the targeted species) and what motivates him to stop fishing when he pulls in salmon that are too small. More than simply following the law, "it's a lot of work for the fisherman and it's silly killing little fish and ruining future catches."