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Wild Sockeye Salmon jump up a rushing stream of water

Wild Sockeye Salmon

Wild sockeye salmon migrating upriver to spawn. Near the mouth of the river, their bodies are a sleek silvery bluish-gray. Yakutat, Alaska. Photo by Amy Kumler

Our Wild Sockeye Salmon comes from a community-based fishery in the icy waters of Alaska. Because the fishing takes place near a river mouth as opposed to the open ocean, we can target a specific, robust stock of salmon. Sockeye gets its brilliant orange-red color from its diet of zooplankton (which includes the tiny shrimplike crustaceans called krill). Deeply flavorful, firm, and a nutritious source of protein and omega-3s, this is fish you can enjoy on every level.

A fisherman in yellow hooded jacket holds up a large sockeye salmon

Nutrition: An Ocean Superfood

A prime wild sockeye, responsibly harvested from the mouth of the Situk River near Yakutat, Alaska. Photo by Amy Kumler

Wild salmon is an excellent source of protein, and each serving of our wild sockeye contains 950 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.

Sockeye is one of the few foods that’s naturally high in vitamin D (140% of the daily value per serving), a nutrient that helps reduce inflammation and regulates calcium absorption. We pack our pink salmon with organic extra-virgin olive oil, which contains monounsaturated fats (aka “good fats”) and polyphenols, a class of compounds being studied for possible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Ceramic bowls filled with Patagonia Provisions Wild Salmon and Savory Grains rest on a rocky beach
Add our Lemon Pepper Wild Sockeye Salmon to a bowl of our Organic Savory Grains for a camp dinner in 10 minutes. Photo by Thomas J. Story
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Two brown bears fish for salmon in a river at the base of a small waterfall

Sourcing: The Power of Place

Brown bears plunge into Brook Falls to feast on salmon heading upstream to spawn. Katmai National Park, Alaska. Photo by Amy Kumler

Place-based fisheries are based on the knowledge that every run, or stock, of wild salmon has evolved to return to the river of their birth to spawn. They operate from a place of respect for this ancient cycle and a desire 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 bycatch of endangered salmon stocks.” While most industrial salmon harvest happens indiscriminately on the open ocean, where many different stocks mix and the origin of the fish can’t be determined, place-based fisheries are located in or near rivers of origin. Our wild sockeye comes from the Situk River in Yakutat, Alaska. Through a combination of timing (knowing when to expect specific runs of salmon) and technique (short-soak set nets), our partners can zero in on the sockeye that can sustain harvest, while minimizing or eliminating harm to overfished species like Chinook and coho.

Photo of the shoreline in Alaska, taken from the water
A salmon boat near Yakutat, Alaska. Sockeye runs typically peak here in late June and early July, enabling salmon boats to efficiently target just that species. Photo by Amy Kumler
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A small blue boat rests along the shore near a net extending out into the water

Enviro: Fishing for the Future

A sockeye salmon boat near the mouth of the Situk river, with its short-soak set net stretching out from shore to target sockeye. In a few hours, it will be pulled in and the fish carefully removed and iced. Yakutat, Alaska. Photo by Amy Kumler

Our wild sockeye comes from the Situk River in Yakutat, Alaska, where it’s caught using techniques that minimize bycatch and keep salmon stocks thriving.

Our fishing partners use short-soak set nets, which are anchored on shore at one end and about 120 feet out in the water on the other. As opposed to drift nets, which drift through the middle of the water, set nets allow fishermen to better target specific salmon species. The nets are checked every few hours, and all sockeye that are harvested are immediately put on slush ice, which helps maintain their firm texture and maximizes quality.

Pulling in the catch, one by one. Situk River, Alaska. Photo by Amy Kumler
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Aerial shot of red sockeye salmon spawning

History: The Great Migration

As sockeye near their spawning grounds, the reddish-orange pigments in their flesh begin to migrate out to their skins. The brilliant color might be Nature’s way of marking them as ready to spawn. Bristol Bay, Alaska. Photo by Ben Knight

Late summer on the Pacific Coast has always meant wild salmon returning from the sea to the rivers of their birth, with a vast ripple effect on ecosystems, economies and cultures from Alaska to Southern California.

The salmon’s journey upriver to spawn, sometimes stretching a thousand miles or more, is Nature’s way of transporting rich ocean nutrients into the interior of the West. These nutrients feed everything from bears and wolves to insects, and—eventually--the forests. For at least the past 10,000 years, salmon have nourished humanity, too, shaping the cultures and economies of peoples all along the West Coast. 

Over the past century, though, the immense runs of wild salmon have been decimated by overfishing, pollution and parasites from open-water net-pen salmon farms, and genetic dilution from hatchery salmon releases. Almost miraculously, some wild runs continue to thrive. We believe that targeting only these abundant species and harvesting at a responsible level are the keys to saving salmon for the future. It’s the only way we can enjoy these magnificent fish and still ensure their survival.

A wolf stands in a running river, catching a leaping sockeye salmon
Migrating salmon feed all manner of creatures, including wolves. Great Bear Rainforest, B.C. Photo by Ian McAllister
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Image shows the waterline, with trees and riverbank, and underwater view of young salmon swimming among kelp

Partners: Guided by Science

A new cycle begins: Young sockeye hatched upstream in the Fraser River flit past the Discovery Islands on their migration to the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Tavish Campbell

We’ve put in years of research, tapping the guidance and wisdom of experts, to find sustainable commercial salmon fisheries. The stringent sourcing practices we use today have been developed in partnership with the Wild Fish Conservancy.

All Patagonia 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, and which use techniques, location or timing to minimize bycatch. Preference is given to fisheries that maximize eating quality through careful, individual handling of fish and 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.

Kurt Beardslee stands in profile with the water and shoreline behind him
Kurt Beardslee, Wild Fish Conservancy Executive Director, gave us invaluable expertise as we shaped our salmon sourcing criteria. Puget Sound, WA. Photo by Amy Kumler
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Hands reach out to a beach picnic tray covered with Patagonia Provisions Wild Sockeye Salmon, crackers, fresh grapes and goat cheese

Shop Sockeye Salmon

A birthday celebration on Lummi Island, WA. No one needed cake. Photo by Amy Kumler

We season our Wild Sockeye Salmon two ways: lightly brined and smoked over hardwoods (Original), or brined, seasoned with lemon and cracked black pepper and then smoked over hardwoods (Lemon Pepper).

A tray of open tostadas, filled with Patagonia Provisions Wild Sockeye Salmon, cheese, sauce, and cilantro

Delicious Recipes

These Wild Salmon Street Tacos with Pickled Radishes come from our friend Beau Caillouette, founder of Hook Fish Co. in San Francisco and Mill Valley, CA. Photo by Patagonia Provisions