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Archive for the ‘Beaches’ Category

I have yet to find a beach on which I can forage for oysters.  I still haven’t figured that one out.  But Tyla and I are blessed, living here in Coupeville in that our local grocer carries oysters live in the shell.  At least once a week this fall our lunch has consisted of a dozen of the bivalves.  We like them simply topped with our compound butter du jour and broiled just long enough for them to plump and release their love.   (I have included a couple of our favorite recipes at the end of this post.)

Oysters are equally delicious and nutritious, but you may be unaware just how important they are to marine ecology.  They provide both a literal and a metaphorical foundation for aquatic ecosystems. (more…)

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Total Take

Monday September 7th, as the sun was setting and darkness descending on the Sound, I pulled up my last crab pot of the summer season.  At 8:09 p.m. the season ended in most of Puget Sound, and I have to say that I am pretty sad about it.  It was a good season for my family, with plentiful amounts of crab on the table every weekend and some extra to share with friends, too.  This piece is a retrospective on the season, detailing what I have learned and revealing some of my secrets.  It is also intended to give you a basic overview of how to crab in Puget Sound and allow you to learn from my mistakes. (more…)

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The Score is even: 3 to 3... But who is keeping track?

The Score is even: 3 to 3... But who is keeping track?

My best friend Dave worked at Pike Place Fish and Pure Food at Pike Place Market for many years.  Of course that was years after we both worked together at the Captain Whidbey, when we were kids.  We both have a lot of fish in our past, Dave even more than me.

I was talking to Dave the other day and I told him that we had started catching salmon right on the beach here on Whidbey.  What were we catching, he wanted to know.  When I told him we were getting Pinks, he said with disdain, “Yeah, I don’t eat Pinks.  They aren’t very good.” (more…)

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SkinAt its most basic, fishing is the belief that the next cast is going to be entirely different from all previous casts. Casting off a beach on the western side of Whidbey Island in the effort to bring home dinner requires this kind of consistent, almost delusional optimism.  It also requires a back up plan concerning dinner.  The first three times we went beach fishing, we spent an average of 3.5 hours casting and reeling.  In that time we caught a lot of “salad” and one, very small ling cod.  We only saw two salmon landed by anyone fishing around us.  But then the Humpies came, and all hell broke loose.  The bite was on. (more…)

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Beachcomb header

One of my most vivid childhood memories is of a field trip our class took when I was in the fourth grade.  We went to the beach near Fort Casey on the west side of Whidbey Island during a very low tide to explore the tide pools the low water revealed.  I have the images from those pools deeply and indelibly etched in my mind: the octopus that one of the teachers discovered, the sea cucumbers, the crabs.  It is as clear to me today as it was 30 years ago. (more…)

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