Lummi Island Reefnet Salmon

October 26, 2011
Lummi Island Reef Net Salmon

Lummi Island Wild


As a summary, if you are interested in Reefnetting in general I would suggest taking a look at their website.  It’s a great website with lots of useful information available, from pictures to movies to text.  I wish more farms had such websites but if that were so I guess I wouldn’t be writing at this site.  Hm, oh well; onwards and upwards!  Looking on Wikipedia it seems that the Reefnetting practice is primarily a north-west ancient innovation.  I find that curious as it is a relatively simple method, but most likely it is just similar to many of the other low-impact fishing methods used by fishers/farms who care about sustainability.

In terms of fish quality, it’s hard to beat these fish.  First off they are caught in the wild; always an important plus.  They are harvested and bled in seawater and put on ice immediately.  Minimal chances of decay or negative nutritional impacts due to handling.  Handling is important as it has been shown with beef.  Killing a cow in a very stressful slaughterhouse negatively impacts the meat due to hormones that are released in the blood to deal with stress levels.  Anyways, back to the fish.  A definite and very important issue with the Reefnet Salmon is the lack of disruption to the marine environment.  While I’m not concerned primarily about the fish’s habitat for purely altruistic or fishy concerns – I’m concerned with long term availability of wild-caught salmon for my family and personal enjoyment – this is still an important point.  Destruction to marine habitat will raise prices on future fish in the long run and decrease supply.  The better the habitat the better the fish quality and quantity; so it is in my interest to stay concerned with the issue.  Reefnet Salmon seems a great way to go in that regard.


  • Wild Salmon (Smoked, Pink, Caviar)
  • Alaska Scallops
  • Black Cod
  • Halibut


  • Reefnet Catching

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Town and Country Producer Profile: Lummi Island Reefnet Salmon

October 26, 2011


My local Town and Country Market has the occasional Producer Profile available at the store.  I’ve started picking a few of them up to showcase here on the blog.  See below for the text of the profile and click on the picture to view the original profile that I’ve scanned.  Note that the information available on this post is not NW Farm Review’s opinion or original writing and while it may or may not represent our views it is soley taken from Town and Country Market.

Town and Country Markets Producer Profiles

Lummi Island, the most northeasterly island of the San Juan archipelago, is home to reef net salmon fishermen. As millions of sockeye and pink salmon return from the Pacific Ocean to the Fraser River, these fishermen harvest them using the ancient art of reef netting – a method used nowhere else in the world.

Native Americans fished this wayfor centuries, using cedar canoes and nets made of cedar bark rope. Although the boats have gotten a littlebigger, and winches are used to pull the nylon nets, the method isfundamentally the same today.  A net issuspended between two stationary boats as “spotters,” standing on towers, watch for schools of salmon to swim along the reef and over the net. When a school is observed, the net is quickly pulled up and the salmon are spilled intoa netted live well to relax.The fish are then sorted and any unwanted and protected speciesare harmlessly diverted backinto the water.

Reef netting often is referred to as the world’s most sustainable method of salmon fishing. In addition to avoiding unwanted bycatch, no fossil fuel is used to chase the fish, and there is very little disruption of marine mammals, birds or the environment. Reef net salmon are among the highest in omega-3 oils because they still have the energy (beneficial fats) they have stored for their long journey. This high fat content, as well as thoughtful, careful processing of the fish when caught, makes for rich, succulent flavor. To learn more about the ecological and historical practice of reef net fishing around Lummi Island, visit

Lummi Island Salmon Town and Country Markets

Click for Full-Size Producer Profile