Underwater shot of a large school of wild pink salmon

Wild Pink Salmon

Eiko Jones

Our pink salmon, the most abundant of all salmon species in the Fraser River system, comes from wild, self-sustaining runs off Lummi Island, Washington—no farms or hatchery stocks. To minimize bycatch, the wild pinks are caught using reef nets, an ancient selective-harvest technique. A nutritional powerhouse with a delicate flavor and fine, flaky texture, pink salmon is fish you can enjoy on every level.

Two bowls of Patagonia Provisions Wild Pink Salmon and Savory Grains rest on a rocky beach

Nutrition: A Gift from the Sea

Provisions Wild Pink Salmon on Provisions Organic Savory Grains: A camp dinner in 10 minutes. Photo by Thomas J. Story

Wild salmon is an excellent source of protein, leaner than untrimmed red meat. Each serving of our pink salmon contains 870 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, molecules that may benefit heart health.

Pink salmon, also known as humpback salmon, is naturally high in vitamin D (80% of the daily value per serving), a nutrient that boosts the immune system and regulates calcium absorption. We pack our pink salmon in organic extra-virgin olive oil, which contains monounsaturated fats and polyphenols, a class of plant compounds being studied for possible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A fillet of Patagonia Provisions Wild Pink Salmon with lemon slice, garlic cloves, and peppercorns, on a white background
Provisions Wild Pink Salmon is seasoned with black pepper, garlic and lemon, then lightly smoked. Photo by Annabelle Breakey
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Fishing boats and reef nets in the water along the Lummi Island coast

Sourcing: The Power of Place

Our fishing partners at Lummi Island Wild bring in the pink salmon harvest using a modern version of an ancient, environmentally responsible way to catch salmon: with reef nets. Lummi Island coast, WA. Photo by Amy Kumler

Place-based fisheries operate on the knowledge that every run, or stock, of wild salmon has evolved to return to the river of their birth to spawn. These fisheries respect this ancient cycle and work to preserve it.

“If we want to save salmon, we have to change the salmon industry,” says Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. “And that means harvesting from specific places or with techniques that allow us to reduce by-catch of endangered salmon stocks.” 

While most industrial salmon is harvested indiscriminately on the open ocean, where many different stocks mix and the origin of the fish can’t be determined, place-based fisheries are conducted in or near rivers of origin. Our pink salmon comes from the Fraser River migration corridor off Lummi Island, Washington. Through a combination of timing(knowing when to expect the salmon) and technique (reef netting), our partners can zero in on specific runs of pinks that can sustain harvest, while minimizing or eliminating harm to overfished species like Chinook and coho.

Workers on a dock pull in a reef net full of wild pink salmon
Pulling in a reef net full of responsibly harvested pinks. Lummi Island coast, WA. Photo by Amy Kumler
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An aerial photograph of a school of Wild Pink Salmon dark against green water

Enviro: The Wisdom of the Past

An aerial photograph of a school of pink salmon migrating to their spawning grounds. Great Bear Rainforest, coastal British Columbia. Photo by Jeremy Koreski

Our fishing partners employ a harvesting technique called reef netting. Developed centuries ago by tribes of the Salish Sea, including the Lummi, Saanich and Samish, reef netting makes it possible to target abundant runs of salmon and spare less vigorous stocks.

Here’s how it works: A large net is suspended between two anchored platforms, with lead lines extending outward (a).Migrating salmon are fooled by the lead lines into thinking they are approaching a reef and must ascend to the surface (b).Spotters in 20-foot towers (c) keep an eye out. If the fish are not the targeted species—like, say, the less abundant Chinook salmon—the net is not lifted and the fish swim on through. For the targeted species, like pink salmon, the fishers engage the net, using solar-powered winches (d) to lift the edges and trap the fish inside. The captured pinks are individually handled and iced immediately for top quality, and any accidental bycatch are released, alive, back into the water.

A blue and white illustration of the leaf netting process
Illustration by Anna Baldwin
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A 1906 black and white photograph of large salmon and men in suits in a Puget Sound salmon cannery

History: Respect for the Pinks

Inside a salmon cannery, Puget Sound, WA, ca 1906. Contributor: Zuri Swimmer / Alamy Stock Photo

For millions of years, salmon has played a vital role in the ecosystem, culture and economy of the Pacific—a role that’s now drastically  diminished. 

Over the past century, the runs of wild salmon that once stretched from Alaska to Southern California have been decimated by overfishing and industry, including open-water net-pen salmon farms that pollute the ocean. 

The good news: While other species of wild salmon have struggled, pink salmon has thrived in the Pacific Northwest. But they’re often underrated and handled improperly by commercial fisheries, so quality and flavor suffer. “They have a more subtle flavor profile [than other salmon], so they’re not treated well, and when they’re not treated well … it’s a downhill spiral,“ says Riley Starks, co-founder of our fishing partners, Lummi Island Wild. By harvesting and packing pink salmon with care, we can honor this delicious mild fish and enjoy it to the fullest.

An aerial photograph of a salmon farm pen off the west coast of Scotland
This single Atlantic salmon farm pen on the west coast of Scotland can hold more fish than the entire population of wild salmon in the same area. Photo by Corin Smith
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A person stands on the bow of a boat, observing the failure of an Atlantic net-pen

Partners: Guided by Science

The net-pen failure at Cooke Aquaculture’s Atlantic salmon farm off Cypress Island, 70 miles north of Seattle, resulted in more than 260,000 non-native, domesticated Atlantic salmon escaping into Puget Sound. Neither the government nor Cooke Aquaculture had an adequate emergency response or recovery plan in place. Every escaped fish tested had piscine reovirus (PRV), a highly contagious, exotic virus that can infect and harm native wild salmon and steelhead. Photo courtesy of Wild Fish Conservancy

We’ve put in years of research and tapped the guidance and wisdom of experts to find sustainable commercial salmon fisheries. Our stringent sourcing practices were developed in partnership with the Wild Fish Conservancy.

All Provisions salmon must be harvested from wild, self-sustaining populations rather than hatchery stocks or net-pen fish farms. We only work with place-based fisheries where sound science can assess fish population status and needs. These fisheries also use techniques, location or timing to minimize bycatch. Preference is given to fisheries that maximize eating quality through careful, individual handling of fish, and that support the health of the environment and human communities. Finally, all Provisions salmon are marketed with full transparency, including packaging that names the species, harvest location and type of gear used.

Two fishermen stand on a tall platform, spotting Wild Pink Salmon off the coast of Lummi Island, WA
Riley Stark, founding partner of Lummi Island Wild, spotting pink salmon with Kurt Beardslee, executive director of Wild Fish Conservancy. Lummi Island coast, WA. Photo by Amy Kumler
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Juanita Ah Quin holds out a cracker topped with goat cheese and pink salmon

Shop Pink Salmon

Juanita Ah Quin, 2 seconds before the bite. She balanced her Provisions Wild Pink Salmon with some mild goat cheese. Photo by Andrew Burr

Our Wild Pink Salmon is seasoned with black pepper and lemon, then lightly smoked over hardwoods.

A small bowl of Wild Salmon Spread made with Patagonia Provisions' Wild Pink Salmon rests on a white plate next to Breadfruit crackers topped with dip

Delicious Recipes

Wild Salmon Spread with Honey Sesame Breadfruit Crackers. Photo by Amy Kumler