The California king salmon seasons have been grim for the past few years, but you know things are serious when Obama is asked to step in. In April, Bay Area chefs and food industry leaders urged the president to consider the plight of California’s wild king salmon by helping restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin basin and the runs where the salmon spawn.
In the meantime, what’s a salmon lover to do? Conjure your inner environmental activist and seek out another local fish—like trout—for summer grilling. Since 2009, Kenny Belov, the founder of TwoXSea (a sustainable-fish purveyor in Sausalito), in partnership with American Trout, has been selling sustainably farmed trout raised in Lassen County, about five hours northeast of SF, in the cold, pure waters of McFarland Springs. The rainbow trout are fed a bycatch-free, vegetarian diet rich in red algae, in place of fish oil (which uses more fish). Like wild salmon, the trout is high in essential fatty acids. “Preliminary results have shown the residual [fatty acid] DHA to be higher than that of wild salmon—in this case 871 milligrams per 100 grams of fish,” says Belov. The taste doesn’t compare directly to salmon, but it’s sweet and firm. Chefs have taken notice. From Michael Mina to Bix, McFarland Springs trout is the new darling on menus.
At Bi-Rite Market, 3639 18th St., 415-241-9760, biritemarket.com