This May, fishermen from Sitka and the surrounding villages traveled 150 miles northwest of Sitka to the Fairweather grounds to catch wild lingcod.
Fishermen predominantly use a piece of equipment called a "dinglebar." A dinglebar setup, besides being fun to say, is an effective way for fishermen to target these deep-dwelling fish one at a time using hook-and-line. Fishermen bleed and ice each fish before making the long haul back to Sitka where they deliver to the Seafood Producers Cooperative.
I visited SPC to watch an offload and see how these beautiful leopard-spotted fish get ready to go into the freezer for Sitka Seafood Market customers' boxes.
SPC dock staff work to offload the icy fish into insulated totes. Photo by Emma Bruhl. Plant Manager Rueben Torres has been working at the Cooperative for over thirty years. He says the best part of his job is the people. Photo by Emma Bruhl. Vincent Molina holds out a fillet of lingcod. The skin of lingcod can be challenging to cut so Vincent uses a very sharp knife. Photo by Emma Bruhl. SPC's team quickly works to trim each fillet of lingcod. Photo by Emma Bruhl. A stack of trimmed lingcod is ready to be portioned, vacuum sealed, and placed in the blast freezer . Photo by Emma Bruhl. Jerica carefully places a lingcod fillet on the conveyor to be portioned. Photo by Emma Bruhl. Vincent shows the portioned lingcod fillets that are on ice and ready for the freezer. Photo by Emma Bruhl.