Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Text us, We text back (984) 205-2382

The King of the Sea

The King of the SeaThe King of the SeaThe King of the Sea

The latest King Salmon updates can be found on our Updates page.

What's King Salmon?

Living on Monterey Bay has its perks. And oh boy, access to wild, local king salmon is one of them! King salmon is one of six types of salmon in North America. Also called Chinook (“king” in the native Chinookan peoples’ language), this salmon is the biggest and heaviest of all. An individual adult California King Salmon averages 12 pounds, but can sometimes reach over 50 pounds and almost 3 feet in length. That’s the size of a human! 


King salmon exhibit extraordinary, anadromous (lives in both salt and freshwater) life styles. This means that they hatch in freshwater, migrate downriver as juveniles, spend their adulthood in the sea, and then migrate back upriver to spawn in freshwater and produce the next generation. King salmon are found from Southern California all the way up to Alaska, and depending on their life stage can be found in the depths of the Pacific Ocean to the cold rivers of northern Alaska. 

Salmon is one of the most popular fish to eat in North America...and for good reason.

All salmon are wonderful sources of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and are versatile in the kitchen. King salmon in particular have rich fat content that gives a buttery, almost decadent texture. Its fillets break into large flakes that are soft and succulent, and loaded with flavor even on their own. 


If you’ve ever wondered why salmon is orangey-red in color, it’s due to their diets, which largely comprise of crustaceans. Crustaceans, like shrimp and krill, are rich in carotenoids, the same pigment that makes carrots orange. King salmon can easily metabolize carotenoids and this yields their beautiful hue. You can tell the wild King salmon that we source from Monterey Bay are happy and well fed from their deep orangey-red color. 


If you’re wondering how other salmon compare to King salmon, here are some tasting notes for reference: 

  • Sockeye salmon (aka Red salmon) have a rich, deep flavor though its fat content is not as high as King salmon’s. This leaner salmon has brilliant, bright red flesh and is generally smaller than King salmon.
  • Coho salmon (aka Silver salmon) have moderate fat content and a lighter, more subtle flavor than King salmon. These fish also tend to be smaller, which means they can be cooked whole in the oven or on the grill.


It’s important to maintain healthy populations of these fish, not only for our ecosystem, but also for recreational and commercial fishing purposes.

In comparison to the Atlantic salmon, which is endangered and no longer has a commercial fishery, we’re lucky to have an abundance of wild salmon on the West coast and must protect these populations.

Did you know California King Salmon cross under the Golden Gate bridge to go out to the ocean and come back under to go up the steam that they came out?


In California, the King salmon commercial fishery is determined by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, who dictate when and how long a season will run depending on the health of fish stocks. Usually, the season runs from May to October, allowing fish to make their way back to the Sacramento River to spawn in the winter months. So, make sure you grab your fill of local King salmon in the summer and fall seasons!


In addition to fillets, we’ve got salmon bellies and collars at a lower price point in the shop. Try cooking these lesser known, grievously underrated cuts and let us know what you think. You can find our fish at our storefront on Santa Cruz Harbor or at any of our farmers markets stands!

--

Ever wondered where we get our custom stickers from? We use Sticker Mule for all of our sticky needs. They offer a fast turn around and the customer service is always amazing! They even have a new label dispenser​​ that helps us get orders out the door even faster. Check them out!

Back to blog posts

Follow Us on Instagram

Opah—aka Moonfish—is always such a treat to get in! 👁👄👁 This warm-blooded pelagic fish generally spends most of its time in at depth between surface level to 600 feet. Opah is also an interesting fish because it has six different cuts. 🔪 There's the Top, Mid, and Center Cut Loin, Belly, Back Tail, and the Abductor. Each with cut has a slightly different texture and taste that makes for great eating regardless if you're looking at just one cut or all six. The photo above is of the belly. 🤤 It tastes somewhere between a tuna and a salmon with a rich and firm, fatty texture. We hope you give it a try and love it! Find it at our main shop in the Santa Cruz Harbor. ⚓️
NEW MEET THE CREW! ✨ Meet Evan, 👋🏽 he has been with us for a year and a half now and is killing it.🤘🏽 Evan perfers to spend his time outside 🌞 when he is at the shop. He is often on the forklift loading markets or offloading boats, as he is one of our weighmasters.🪝In addition to that, Evan works the Campbell farmers' market, helps process fish, and deliverers to our CSF Club members. 🚐📦🐟 When Evan is not working, he enjoys playing music! 🎶 He recently played with Jim's (another one of our employees) band. When we asked him what his favorite part of working here is this is what he said: "I grew up close to the harbor and I’ve always wanted to have some kind of job here. I love the ocean and fish in general, so it’s been very rewarding to have so much hands-on experience with the fresh fishes! I love being on the dock and helping offload fisher folks and to hear their stories about the day..." His parents are long-time CSF Club members too. We feel so blessed to have him as an important part of our Fish Fam. 🙏🏽🥰 Be sure to give him a wave next time you see him! 👋🏽🧡
You may have noticed that our Tuna isn't always bright red like how you see it in grocery stores. Do you know why? Here we go... The Tuna you find at most grocery stores has been gassed with Carbon Monoxide. 🌫 Don't worry, the FDA has deemed this process as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe.) Although the process is actually banned in Japan, Canada, and the EU. Gassed Tuna can be a lot harder to tell whether or not it's fresh. It can be left out for days and it won't turn brown and even more crazy—it won't smell. 🤯 So, how can you tell when Tuna is fresh and not gassed? Your Tuna should NOT be bright red, watermelon, or look perfectly pink. It SHOULD be dark red or maroon. The more you know! 🌈⭐️
Introductingggggggg… 🗣🎙🖼 ~the H&H Gallery Wall~ We designed a whole wall in our new shop, dedicated to supporting local artists! 🙌🏽 Since we know you’re all here out of appreciation for the ocean and supporting the local fishing community, we thought 🤔💭who better than to launch our first Gallery Wall sale than with one of our very own fishermen–Christian Zajac! 👏🏽 Christian is a painter 🎨 whose work reflects his fascination with the ocean and its many mysteries. He was born in Rome, Italy, but raised in Santa Cruz surrounded by artists–his father Jack Zajac is a very talented, famous sculptor. Chris has been fishing since he was five years old, 👶🎣 he catches much of the Salmon and Black Cod we sell. 🌊 He loves to boogie board in his free time. Painting and fishing are two passions that fuel his creative spirit. For Chris, painting is a way to connect with nature and honor all that the ocean has to offer. You can find a collection of his paintings at our main shop in the Santa Cruz Harbor. ⚓️ All Gallery Wall pieces will be FOR SALE, with 100% of the proceeds going to the artist. 💸Christian priced his 2 larger pieces at $100 and the smaller at $50. We hope you love them and enjoy checking out local nautical art when you visit our shop. We’ve got some talented artists in our community, so stay tuned for more to come! 🐚📸
Sometimes, the simplest things are the best 🙌. This is definitely true when cooking Halibut. We love fresh local Halibut with just a few simple ingredients— Butter, Salt, Pepper, and Lemon. The delicate flavor of the Halibut is allowed to shine when prepared this way—it's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, even for picky eaters.👶🏼 If you have a favorite way that you enjoy cooking Halibut, we'd love to hear it! Different recipes and methods can really help to make your fish stand out, so don't be afraid to experiment and share your findings with us. We're always happy to have a new take on an old favorite. 🧡⚓️
Can you name all five of these fish in this photo just by their tails? Comment your best guess below! 👇🏽🧐 Here's a hint 😉: B _ _ _ _ _ _ R _ _ _ _ _ _ _ H _ _ _ _ _ _ B _ _ _ _ _ _ _ S _ _ _ _ _