City Bites

NEWS FLASH: Last chance to stock up on B.C.’s staggering abundance of wild Sockeye salmon

It has been fascinating to watch the news unfold about the mysterious rebound of B.C.’s Sockeye salmon stocks. Last year, the season was cut short when the stocks seemed to disappear, sparking a public inquiry into what many feared might signal the collapse of the species.

As if waving a middle fin(ger) in the face of the inquiry, the fish stormed back this year in numbers not seen in 100 years. An estimated 25 to 30 million fish are filling the Fraser River this season, delighting epicures and fisherman while confounding scientists and environmentalists.

I called Marc Roy, owner of Pelican Fishery (1500 Bank St., 613-526-5229) to find out if any of the striking red-fleshed fish made it as far as Ottawa. Indeed, he has been carrying it for about a month and the season — a short one — is expected to last only another week or two. “We’ve got a good supply now,” he says. “We’re selling about 200 pounds a day.”

Roy says this Sockeye is the best salmon from the West coast. It does not have much fat, which makes it dryer and thus an excellent choice for the grill. It’s great served hot or cold. Some people are taking advantage of the falling prices to stock up. At Pelican, fillets that used to sell for $10.99/lb, are currently selling for $7.99/lb. “We are seeing a lot of customers buying two or three whole fish at a time, having us fillet it and then freezing it at home.”