A fishing family in the Gulf of Alaska
Facts & Figures
‘Preparing fresh salmon on an open flame is the best there is’
For his whole life, fisherman Brian lives in Kasilof during salmon season, nowadays with his wife and two kids. Off-season he lives in Seattle and works for the American coast watch. He loves cooking for his family, preferably on an open flame. ‘Make sure that the salmon is cooked, but still juicy, and serve it with lemon juice, chopped garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt. Pure and natural - naturally delicious!’
The Chase Family fishes with floating gillnets that they lay out in the morning with open fishing boats and they use the floaters to create a wall. When the salmon swims against those little walls, they retract the nets.
Along a branch of the Gulf of Alaska you’ll find the small village of Kasilof, surrounded by rough nature with tall pine trees and lakes with surfaces smooth as glass. Ever since the ‘90s, the Chase Family spend the summer on the coast of the Cook Inlet. They are one of many fishermen who fish for sockeye salmon from open fishing boats.
Kasilof is on the Kenai-peninsula, an area in the south of Alaska that’s known for its rough and rich nature. Not many people live here: the population of the village is about 500-600 people. The peninsula is surrounded by Cook Inlet on one side and the Gulf of Alaska on the other side.
Wild sockeye salmon
The sockeye salmon from Cook Inlet is an anadromous fish. This means that in summertime, it swims from the sea up the stream in the Kasilof-river to lay eggs. That’s hard work, so beforehand the fish fills its belly with plankton and little shrimps (hence the gorgeous deep red colour). When the Chase Family catch the fish, it’s at its fattiest - and packed with flavour!