Just the other day, I received a survey in the mail from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. They wanted to know about my fishing successes from 2013. Sadly, I didn't have much to report.
It appears I'd be better off stopping at one of the local seafood shops.
Dannon Southall from 10th & M Seafoods in Anchorage says things are picking up a bit.
"The seafood world is plugging away every day with fresh still coming across the docks," Southall says. "With the weather lying down and the tides back in our favor, fisherman in Southeast are able to get back on the water and target the lovely winter troll king salmon.
"Fish have been coming in ranging 10 to 15 pounds and are available head-on or fillets. There have been a few white kings mixed in but it is always best to call ahead on the whites."
Southall says fresh cod has been "coming in almost daily from the waters of the Gulf of Alaska. ... These wonderful white fish fillets are very healthy and will fit into anyone New Year's resolution as well as any white fish recipe."
The cod is $6.96 per pound. And there are some nice rockfish and sole fillets from the Pacific Northwest available this week, he says. Live oysters from both the Cordova and Southeast Alaska area are $12.95 per pound, while live mussels and clams will be going for $5.95 per pound and $6.95 per pound respectively.
Tropical options include fresh sushi-grade big eye tuna from the warm waters surrounding Hawaii will be available, along with mahimahi and spearfish fillets. To round out the seafood world, live shellfish are also in house all week.
The Center Market (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays) is down a couple vendors this week. Alaska Vegan & Gluten Free will be back at the market Jan. 29. Drool Central will be at Wednesday's market but will miss Saturday's market when it visits the Alaska Kennel Club Show (Jan. 25-26 at the Egan Center).
Country Health Foods will be at the market with grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and Alaska seafood including spot shrimp, scallops, halibut and king salmon. Duane Clark will also have products from Alaska Sprouts, local raw honey and local jams.
Alex Davis of A.D. Farm will have a large selection of pork products (chops, steaks, fresh side, ground pork, breakfast sausage patties, spicy sausage, Italian sausage, sliced liver, hocks and fat), along with carrots in three colors, three varieties of beets, French fingerling potatoes, peanut potatoes, all blue potatoes and German butterball potatoes. He will also have fresh eggs, along with barley cereal, barley flour and whole barley.
Mat-Su Farm Market
Looking ahead to next week, the Mat-Su Farm Market is on Mondays at the Palmer Depot in downtown Palmer. The market is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and organizers are planning for a year-round market.
Here are some of the planned vendors next week: The Alaskan Sourdough Bread Company with a variety of products including artichoke, roasted garlic and cranberry walnut sourdough breads, specialty breads, sweets and fudge; Alaska Sprouts with sprouts, shoots and hydroponic lettuces; Alaska Yard and Goat Company with a full line of Alaska goat milk soaps; Bistro Red Beet with French press coffee and gluten free baked goods; Brooke Family Farm with chicken, duck and quail eggs, along with pre-orders for free-range chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and hogs; Bushes Bunches with potatoes, pumpkins, turnips, beets and carrots; Country Health Foods with fresh California oranges, vegetables, meats, whole grain barley, barley flour, honey, baked goods and fudge; Montecelli Organic Jams with flavors including blackberry, pear and pineapple jam, and blackberry freezer jam; a variety of others.
Rob Wells of The Persistent Farmer is taking orders of Alaska grown dahlia tubers for spring delivery. Visit www.thepersistentfarmer.com for a look at what's available. He will also send a catalog; request it at email@example.com or call 907-745-2789 or 907-982-7182.
As a reminder, Wells says: "By Friday this week we will have over 7 hours of daylight, up from 51/2 on our shortest days ... it happens fast."
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.