Wild salmon is found primarily in Northwest Pacific coast or Alaskan waters. The most sustainably caught sockeye salmon is brought to market through the reefnet method, which directs salmon into nets by stringing fishing gear between two boats. This method allows for the unharmed return of bycatch.
Due to the natural cycle of the salmon spawning season, salmon caught in early summer is considered more sustainable than fish caught later in the season. While Alaskan salmon populations are healthy, salmon populations in California, Oregon, and Washington (such as Chinook, aka King) have historically been overfished, with varying levels of recovery. Recent checks indicate that all populations are healthy enough to be rated a ?good alternative? by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Drift gillnet, purse seine, and troll gear are acceptable fishing methods in these areas. Ask your fishmonger for as much information as possible about the method of catch and point of origin.
Salmon has oily flesh and a strong, distinctive taste. Its flesh is firm and holds up to canning, where it may be used in place of canned tuna in sandwiches or casseroles. Fresh salmon steaks are hearty and ideal for grilling with citrus, the acidity of which helps break down the meat.