A Lesson in Salish Sea Salmon Restoration

Sustainability and the health of our Salish Sea and waterways has long been an area of focus for the ownership and staff at Ray’s Boathouse. We’ve always worked to educate our team about what they are serving, where it came from and how it was caught or harvested. We visit our fishermen and women and other purveyors to see where our product comes from and how they run their businesses.

In the last year we partnered with non-profit Long Live the Kings (LLTK) to take an even larger role in the welfare of our local salmon runs so that generations to come can enjoy fresh wild salmon as we have. We are shifting our focus from one of sustainability to one that ensures our salmon populations increase as our city and infrastructure continues to grow and change.

Everything LLTK does is on behalf of improving the health and habitats of local salmon including three main areas: advancing science, improving management and implementing solutions.

Recently our team had the opportunity to sit down with the Executive Director of LLTK, Jacques White, for a lesson in salmon sustainability and the current state of our local runs, as well as updates regarding the Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force which is helping to ensure they have enough wild salmon to survive.

In the early 1980s there were nearly 1,000,000 Chinook salmon harvested here compared to about 200,000 in 2010. The biggest factors affecting Salish Sea salmon populations are:

  • Food sources (zooplankton and other salmon friendly nutrients)
  • Pollution
  • Noise
  • Predators
  • Infrastructure

Each of these plays a role in the reduction of salmon for various reasons and when compounded it’s easy to see why our local salmon are suffering.

There is no quick solution to this issue, but they have seen positive results in recent years including the ongoing restoration of Hood Canal summer chum. These fish were nearly extinct by the early 1990s but with the help of LLTK operating a conservation hatchery program to increase the abundance of naturally spawning summer chum, the number of adults returning to these rivers annually has increased from the 100s to well over 2,000.

LLTK is also actively involved in the Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery Task Force developed recently to address population concerns for these whales. The task force made recommendations to Governor Inslee to protect orcas and aid in their recovery with 11 of the 36 recommendations influenced by LLTK’s Salish Sea Marine Survival Project!

Ray’s is dedicated to this cause and doing what we can to increase the populations of our local salmon. For us it starts at the team level getting everyone at Ray’s to understand the issues at hand and to be able to educate our guests.

We invite you to learn more and get involved in this journey with us at LLTK.org.

Images courtesy of Long Live the Kings. 

Fresh Copper River Salmon Has Arrived!

Copper River salmon season has begun and Ray’s has just received this incredible, fresh fish directly from Alaska!

We source our Copper River salmon from hard-working fishermen and women who take great care in fishing sustainably and providing the best fish available. These gorgeous fish build muscle and fat just to be able to run up the mighty Copper River– and the result is a rich, fatty fish with incredible flavor and texture.

It’s also the time of year for our favorite pairing: Copper River salmon and Oregon Pinot Noir! We have some excellent Pinot Noir selections available by the glass or bottle in the Boathouse including:

  • Brittan Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir, McMinnville, OR 
      • Brittan’s ‘Basalt Block’ bottling shows a fullness and depth of richness that still manages to retain the laser focus on the basalt driven minerality of the estate terroir. Raspberries galore, with pinpoint definition.
  • Smockshop Band 2018 Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge, OR
      • Master Sommelier, Nate Ready’s focus for Smockshop Band is a biodynamic farming exploration of the Columbia Gorge terroir. This ‘Spring Ephemeral’ bottling of Pinot Noir represents the fleeting transitory nature of spring and displays a silky, elegant balance of wild, tart red and dark berry fruit and rustic earth. Just stunning!
  • Sokol Blosser Estate Rosé 2018, Dundee Hills, OR – from Pinot Noir grapes!
      • Made from 100% estate grown pinot noir grapes, this stunning Rosé features fresh strawberry, pink grapefruit and blood orange with a hint of pepper spicing up the finish.

Make your reservations for the Café or Boathouse to enjoy fresh Copper River King and Sockeye salmon at Seattle’s best waterfront restaurant! And follow our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for new Copper River salmon specials over the next few weeks.

Ray’s & Long Live the Kings Work to Restore Wild Salmon

Dear guests,

Since our start in 1973 Rays has supported causes that benefit our local waterways, salmon and sustainable fishing. The water is our lifeblood, not just because we sit atop it but because we love to serve fresh fish at Ray’s and support our local fisherman, who depend on it.

The future of fish is the future of Ray’s. We’ve prided ourselves on doing the right thing from a sustainable fishing standpoint for 45 years and being a culinary leader in the community that helped usher in what is now called Pacific Northwest cuisine. We have a responsibility to protect this and we will not back down.

Earlier this month we announced our partnership with local non-profit Long Live the Kings (LLTK) and we would like to take this opportunity to expand on what that entails, how we’ll be working with them in the fight, and how you can get involved.

LLTK was founded in 1986 with the mission to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. They combine innovative field work, pioneering science, broad partnerships, and sophisticated new management tools to help decision-makers advance salmon recovery while balancing the needs of fish and people.

Our involvement with LLTK began with an internal education for our entire team where they were fortunate to receive a training session from Executive Director Jacques White about how LLTK is working to restore our local salmon runs. It’s something staff can share with our guests and also take pride in their knowledge of what it takes to keep wild salmon thriving in the Pacific Northwest.

We have staff field trips in the works and our goal is to get as many of our team as possible out there with LLTK to experience a hands-on working trip and understand their work even further.

We are currently running our Salmon Safe Wine promotion in the Café and Boathouse with $1 from each glass or bottle sold going to LLTK now until November 7. This is a first step to invite our guests to get familiar with LLTK and do something simple to help make a difference.

You can look forward to many more ways to support LLTK at Ray’s through the end of this year and into 2019! We also encourage you to visit lltk.org to sign up for their newsletter and get informed on the many exciting projects and events they have in the works.

Please join us in this important cause and contact us if you would like to get involved in a bigger way. rays@rays.com

Warmly,
Douglas Zellers, GM and Co-owner