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Old 11-18-2003, 12:06 PM   #1
crazyinoregon
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

thanks for the great feedback . My buddy asked me to smoke this fish for him and it is currently cooking away. I cant believe that I have never encountered this situation before. I will be sure to pass on this information to him as he is still web challanged. I just told him that the fish spent time near a nuclear plant :grin: haha

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Old 11-18-2003, 12:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

I first heard of the White King salmon when I lived in Petersburg Alaska in 1975. You could order it off the menue in restaurants. It was highly prized and very delicious. Also very rare,something like one in a thousand. Also very expensive.


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Old 11-18-2003, 01:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

TULE. The other white meat. :grin:

Actually there are white kings, I have not caught one but there are prized by some I hear.
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Old 11-18-2003, 02:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

Crazy

I too have seen this in Tillamook and a couple times on the Nestucca. A few years ago I caught a white springer on the Trask. The only real way to tell a white king from a Tule or other fish that has lost its coloring is the fat layers in the meat. The Springer I caught was super fat and oily. I caught a chrome buck a couple years ago on the Nestucca and was shocked to see white filets. Then I noticed all the fat and the client said it was one of the best fish he ever caught. But I also have seen many white meated Chromers (especially on low water years), so look for that fat layers and firm meet.
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Old 11-18-2003, 03:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

the meat was definatly firm and there was a layer of fat as well. I didnt even think to consider the fat thing [img]graemlins/idea.gif[/img] but it makes sense. Thanks for the insight
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Old 11-18-2003, 03:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

Took me a while to find the disk

These were from a river in Northern BC

About half of the fish were white meated and half were red meated



No matter what the outside of the fish looked like. In talking to locals, they didn't think there were "white salmon" tributaries per say. I wonder if they only spawn with their own kind, or genetics. There seemed to be no difference in the stomach contents (not much in the river)

I will say we ate both. Tasted similar but me and my family prefered the reds. We cooked some side by side and did a taste test.

20 years ago, the commercial guys in the area could only get 1/2 of the price per pound, now since restarants advertise "Ivory Salmon" they get half again more.

I prefer the reds. It's all marketing.

As far as Tillamook this time of year. If it was "pale" (aka Wilson River pale)meaning the color gets lighter between front of fillet and rear, it's just a bright fish with pale meat and not great to eat IMO. Notice in these pics the "White Salmon" doesn't change shade front to back of the fillet. They are true White Salmon.

Many of the "chromers" we caught in the past few weeks cut awfully pale.
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

This may be a November fish phenomenon. Last year was one of the first I did any real fishing in November, due the late rains like this year. My neighbor and I caught several fish, and tagged four chromers, even with sea-lice. When we filleted them, we got quite a surprise. Even though the fish looked great, the meat was turning. As mentioned before, the shade changed from head to tail. They smoked up well, but not the type of thing you brag about. The sea lice just indicate the fish has not been in fresh water long. Even though the fish have been hanging around in tidewater/ocean, they are still aging, hence the pale meat.
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

I caught one of these outside Juneau in Icy Straits two years ago. The guide told me that it was a genetic trait for some of the Chinook.
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Old 11-18-2003, 05:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

I saw many "White Springs" (as they are commonly called in Canada) a few weeks ago when I was in BC. The Fraser River white springs are originally stock from the Harrison River (a tributary), which were planted in many Fraser Tributaries. I talked to a few people and also hatchery biologists up in BC when I was there. The white color is from a different genetic makeup, thats all. The gene for red meat is in the 'normal' strain of salmon, but these white springs are different. That is the only difference and many people up in BC said they actually liked the white springs better for smoking. I would imagine these white springs were planted in other rivers as well (maybe some WA rivers??) and thats why the odd one shows up every once in a while.
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Old 11-18-2003, 05:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

A good freind of mine caught one on the Siletz a couple of days ago. 19 pounder and chrome as a bumper. He said is was very mild and good eating.
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

I spent alot of time in Alaska catching kings in the saltwater. We catch alot of white kings and they taste great. The meat seems a little more oily. They bite, fight, and flash the same.

Here's to big fish white or red.
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:45 PM   #12
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

As far as the Tillamook area goes, the later in the season chinook return, the lower in the river they seem to spawn ( I am sure a biologist may disagree with me on this ).

As for any salmon, the farther they have to travel, the less fat they have stored. The Tillamook area fall fish don't have a long way to go in the first place. The Springer's in the Tillamook area don't have to travel any farther, but wait until the fall to spawn, thus the richer flavor and the larger fat reserve.

As far as your white meated Tillamook fish, it's probably a N.F. of the Wilson fish. They hit fresh water and spawn quickly. There's nothing wrong with it. I have caught fish on the Wilson in late November and December that were crome, ( the Trask and Kilchis also ) but had already spawned. Only the fish on the Wilson were allready spawned. But the Trask and Kilchis fish had the pale white meat you are refering to.

[ 11-18-2003, 07:47 PM: Message edited by: rebell ]
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Old 11-18-2003, 07:39 PM   #13
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There was an article a while back in the New York Times. It referred to the white meated kings as Ivory Kings and that they had a light nutty flavor, remenicent of chilean sea bass. Now with all that said, they can and do charge a lot more for it. A friend of mine ordered some white king salmon at the Metropolitan Grill in Seattle :shocked: . I asked her if it had a flavor yada yada yada of chilean sea bass. She rolled it around a while and said, "Yes, it does." :grin: Can't prove it by me though. I've never eaten any chilean sea bass........
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Old 11-18-2003, 07:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

I think they didn't get enough Carrot Milk when they were in the Fry Stage

On a serious note I have heard about these fish in BC but don't know about their value at the table...

Has anyone ate one???
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:05 PM   #15
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Default white meat salmon?

I know...you are probably thinking what I was thinking when I first heard about it . Here is a little background on the question. A buddy of mine caught a 25 pound chrome buck out of the ghost hole about a week ago. When he cut into the fish he found that the meat was white or pale looking . It was firm and the fish even had sea lice. Since then I have been talking to a few people and I keep hearing these stories about a white meat salmon. The theories on this phenom seem to vary but the theme of hatchery and native mix keeps popping up. Does anyone out there have any additional information on this?

Call me curious!
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

I think its just because they dont eat enough keratin which they get by eating shrimp. White kings are good but not to common.
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:27 PM   #17
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There's a run of Frasier River Chinook that all have white meat.
Maybe they are vegetarians and won't eat shrimp! :grin:
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:29 PM   #18
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Lost Tule.

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Old 11-18-2003, 11:34 PM   #19
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we get a mix of white and red meat kings and the white kings are a great fish to smoke. the vedder(fraiser) river fish are always white...DJ
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

My brother is a wildlife biologist and he catches these fish often on the north end of Vancouver Is.. He did some research ,, what I was told was that these fish were the prized fish for its white meat before canned tuna became the big thing. He also claims that they are bait fish eaters and that is why the lack of red or color in the meat. The white Salmon river is named after this run of fish ,,, and that river was famous for the white salmon before the dam went in.The dam killed that run . This all I know.
Oh ,, and he says that they smoke up fantastic. More like kippered herring flavor. id. painter
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:56 PM   #21
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

There was an article in sts about them,I'll see if I can find it.
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:00 AM   #22
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

Picked one up last July fishing out of Westport, WA. Hooked it 140ft. down over 230ft. to bottom. The salmon had squid in the stomach. Barbequed it, and it was great!
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:15 AM   #23
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

Russ is right about the BC white kings. They don't have the genes to store carotenoid pigments in their flesh, though their diets may be the same as a red fleshed salmon. Now if it's caught here and is of varied color. Brighter in the front, paler in the tail. It is simply a fish past it's prime.
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:23 AM   #24
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I dont buy the diet thing, I grew up in the upper pennisula of michigan, we catch kings (related to washington kings thru egg exchange) these fish have no access to krill but the meat from these fish is pink
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:12 PM   #25
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Personally - I think all sides of this are correct. They can be white from Genetic makeup (regardless of diet) as the Frazier run. They can be white from diet. They can also be white (although I've never seen a really white one- but have seen very pale orange) from being a little to ripe into spawning season.

Everybody wins- Send Jennie your address and she'll send us all a nice gift! I'll take some of those pliers Jennie! :grin:
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:48 PM   #26
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

The reason the farmed fish used to have white flesh was the fact that there were no carotenoids in the pellets they were fed. Pellets now have carotenoids and farmed fish now have red meat. I don't think there are many wild fish that have a complete absence of carotenoids in their diet. Some just don't have the ability to store them in their flesh.

PS. there are plenty of carotenoid bearing invertebrates in fresh water

[ 11-19-2003, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: Ramstrong ]
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Old 11-19-2003, 03:12 PM   #27
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FYI the fish turned out excellent after smoking it. everyone that has tried it has said that there was no difference between the red and white meat salmon after it has been smoked....go figure!
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Old 11-19-2003, 11:06 PM   #28
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

DJFISHS2X2,

I'm not a fish bio...but.

How would you explain why farmed salmon grow with meat the color of hatchery trout? Almost white. Some fresh water fish get pink/red meat from fresh water shrimp
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Old 11-19-2003, 11:43 PM   #29
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I fish out of Ucluelet every year the end of August. We run out to what is called the south west corner and fish for the white Springs as they are called. What works the best are Large whole Herring or Silver Horde plugs because these fish feed mainly on Herring. This year the largest I saw was 62lbs, to many 50 plus to count my wife and I got a 40 and a 41 about 20 minutes apart. Than the next day Aug 29th (My Birthday) so I get to have all the fish I got a 39 and 38. Next year should be better......
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Old 11-19-2003, 11:55 PM   #30
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GRB.....good point, I never seen a fresh water shrimp in the great lakes as a kid, but of corse my snorkle and fins would never get me down deep enought to see one :grin: ...Im not sure why they would be red and salmen pens be white, could the salmon pens have alantic salmon? im not sure of what color flesh they have?
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Old 11-27-2003, 07:39 PM   #31
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

My only experience with these White Kings were the two we caught out of Ilwaco this year. A 20lber caught about 3 miles out. Barbequed with a Salmon rub, dripping with fat & very tasty. Meat was completely devoid of orange color. The 2nd was the 31lber my daughter caught the very next day. Both of these fish were very plump, fat & very good to eat. They did taste a little different and I actually prefer them now.

I definitely won't throw one back!
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Old 11-27-2003, 08:06 PM   #32
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I went out on the troller opener July 1 about 4 years ago with a relative in Sitka, AK. I think we caught 67 chinook and lots of others he didn't keep(humpies, silvers,etc). Of those 67 I think 2 or 3 were white meat.
I brought some home because the coop he was selling to discounted them, like others have said. Sounds like it has turned around and they are a premium now. I don't recall the taste being different but it sure felt funny cooking what you would throw away here.

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Old 11-27-2003, 08:25 PM   #33
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

I once caught a salmon that had white meat in it...It was chrome black...Real pretty one
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Old 11-27-2003, 08:34 PM   #34
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Farmed fish now have whatever color the farmer wants them to have. The feed is prepared with compounds that give the exact color grade that is desired. I saw a picture recently where the fish food manufacturer essentially had color samples, just like paint samples, to show hat you would end up with.

Color is color, taste is taste. My mouth can't see the fish. I have caught a few white fleshed chinook in the Sound, in salt water, and I couldn't tell the difference from a normal king. "a nutty taste..." BS!
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Old 11-28-2003, 08:34 AM   #35
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Interesting post this one. I have never caught one so not experience. BUT, what I can tell you is that if your fish is orangeish or reddish up by the head and then pales out as you go back towards the tail, irregardless of how shinny or how many sealice, it is most likely not a true white meat salmon. The problem is that taste is personal...... I once had someone make the following comment to me ... I like to catch my fish up higher in the river after they loose all their ocean fat. I just bit my tongue on that one. Guess I'll just have to spend a few more days fishing and catch one of these rare true white meated beauties for myself, ya thats it, more days fishing.... Ok i'm off to do some research..............
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Old 11-28-2003, 09:27 PM   #36
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Taste is in the palette of the beholder. I personally noticed little difference.
I worked in many different food processing plants working my way through college including a salmon cannery. As some have mentioned, its all marketing. One example is the cans are not labeled until bought by a vendor. Knowing this and how to read the can codes, I've found the same salmon canned on the same day from the same cannery with different labels and different prices.
Another is, they had an automated filleting machine to make skinless boneless canned salmon, which of course sells at a premium for the value they add. The problem was the machine left quite a bit of meat on the bone. They would normally throw it all away until an ingenious machinist fabricated a cheese grater looking thing to "rub" the rest of the meat off the carks. They canned this salmon hamburger and sold it as "salmon pate" for triple the skinless boneless product :shocked:
Marketing is a funny thing...
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Old 11-29-2003, 03:13 PM   #37
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Default Re: white meat salmon?

A few years back I caught a winter steelie in december that had bone white meat and sea lice on it I know it had not been in the river long but something deep insde told me to donate the fish to the neighbors.

I have also caught a elk river chinook with bone white meat in it and it was also chrome bright with long tailed sea lice.

the fish market here says they get in a few white meated springers from the columbia every year and have a waiting line to get them.

early in the season for springers if I got a fish that had pale meat I would probably throw it in the smoker but any other season I would look at the maturity of the row or sperm sacks if its pale and the eggs arent real tight or the sperm sacks are getting a little soft I aint gonna eat it

I dont know something tells me if the meat is white dont stick it in my mouth. bye the way I donated he steelie and the fall chinook with white meat to people that wanted to eat them
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