Baker River Sockeye

A Story Of Conservation

Baker River Sockeye are some of the highest quality sockeye found anywhere in the world. They are the result of the Swinomish, Sauk-Suiattle, and Upper Skagit tribes working together with Puget Sound Energy to create one of the best success stories in our Salish Sea environment.

The Baker Lake dam

Baker River Sockeye on Ice

Baker River Sockeye, waiting to be filleted.

The Baker Lake Dam blocked access to the natural spawning grounds of these magnificent fish, the only wild sockeye run in Puget Sound. Many years of efforts to help the fish get by the dam produced poor results: by 1985 there were just 99 wild spawners. That was when the tribes and PSE got together, without the State of Washington, to experiment in ways to bring back the run.

Adult salmon were carefully trapped below the dam, then trucked over land to the lake. Workers created spawning channels in the lake, and engineered habitat that allowed the sockeye to spawn in good numbers.  Smolt were then trapped in the lake and carefully trucked overland back to the river.

Baker River Sockeye, A Unique Flavor

Because these fish developed in cold, deep Baker Lake, fed by glaciers, these sockeye are very fat and have an elegant sockeye flavor.  We tender these fish directly from tribal fishers in the river to our processor in order to ensure the highest quality.

Riley Starks buying Baker Lake Sockeye from Tribal Fishermen.

Fillets can be purchased here, and larger portions here. Note that the fish is sold in 6 oz portions. You can buy 6, 12, or 24 6 oz portions, or you can buy 10 lbs.

Be sure to check out James Beard Award winner, Chef Blaine Wetzel of The Willows, tasting and commenting on this delightful fish in the video below. He cites the incredible flavor profiles of Lummi Island Wild fish as a key component to the dining experience afforded at his restaurant.

You can learn more about Baker River Salmon from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, here.

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