A few articles ago I wrote about the storms which had affected Southern Tasmania. One of the unexpected occurrences which has resulted from that storm was a huge increase in free Atlantic Salmon. It was reported that the Salmon fish farms which litter the coasts of Tasmania had been adversely affected, with hundreds of thousands of Atlantic Salmon escaping. Atlantic Salmon are not native to Tasmania, so they were not able to cope with being free. They have become accustomed to being fed a diet of pellets, so they have no ability to hunt for food. This has resulted in a great benefit to local Tasmanians who were able to hit the water and fish up a nice collection of Salmon.
If I was a little better prepared, with some free time and the equipment needed, I would have been able to take advantage of this situation and fish up big… stocking my freezer with the valuable resource. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have access to a boat to allow me to fish from off the shore.
After trying to live offshore around Tassie, starving and some being captured in nets, etc., the Salmon started to make their way inland. I suspect it may be related to the spawning instinct, yet that is only a guess. This was where local Tasmanian fishermen (and fisher women) started to take their catches.
Despite my lack of initiative, I managed to find myself with some fresh Salmon. A friend of mine’s partner has taken advantage of this situation. He spent his weekends catching salmon on the inland rivers of southern Tasmania, landing so many that he can’t store them. He has filled his freezer (and apparently his parents freezer too) with the fish, so he has given out kilos of filleted salmon. I was lucky enough to be given a couple of choice fillets, which turned out to be around a kilo of salmon.
With so many options on how to prepare the meat, I decided on a simple method… frying the fillets in olive oil, along with some salt and pepper. I served this with some baked potato wedges and some slices of lemon from our lemon trees. The whole meal was a major hit with my family, with everyone getting enough salmon, feeling full and happy.
I would have taken a photo of the end product, yet it was so quickly consumed that I didn’t have time.
This bountiful harvest is another reason why living in Tasmania is so great. There is such an abundance of resources that these introduced fish can be caught in great numbers.