Seaside Stories

A Chinook Fishing Tale

July 27, 2011 | by Becky Jensen

Last weekend I went white water rafting and had a rafting guide that pointed out many historical facts about the area we were rafting. One story he told us was about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It wasn’t one I’d heard before and our guide told us that at one point the expedition had run out of food and they happened upon a tribe who offered them Chinook salmon. The group ate to their hearts content but then they were horribly sick (either they had eaten too much or the salmon was cooked in a way they weren’t used to eating). After that, many on the expedition refused to eat salmon (and at some point ate dog instead!). I’d always heard how they’d eaten Chinook salmon enthusiastically so this was news to me.

I love Chinook salmon and especially in the summer! Grilled salmon on the barbeque with a lemon glaze is amazing! Known as the “king salmon” in Alaska for its large size and flavorful flesh, the Chinook just happens to be the Oregon state fish – designated as such in 1961. Seaside, in fact, is a great place to get Chinook Salmon in the spring, late summer and fall. I’ve been planning another summer fishing trip and I’m so excited to enjoy the beautiful summer weather in Seaside while fishing for one of my favorite fish (I’m drooling thinking of smoked salmon too…yum!).

I also have a recipe I’m going to try if I decide I don’t want barbecue. It’s called Lemon Cream Baked Salmon (I’ll share!).

Lemon Cream Baked Salmon
Arrange 3-4 salmon steaks (2 lbs.) in a buttered baking dish.
Mix 1 cup heavy cream, 5 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon minced onion, dash of salt and pour over steaks.
Bake uncovered 25 minutes at 400° (or until fish flakes easily).
Spoon sauce over each serving and garnish with fresh parsley.

I do have a backup plan too. If I don’t have a successful trip I plan to still get my fill of salmon and other yummy items (including my favorite clam chowder) at Bell Buoy . They’re located at the south end of Seaside, right on Highway 101. The address is 1800 S Roosevelt Drive but you can find them by their Bell Buoy sign! Happy Fishing!

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