Tag Archives: Alaska

Church, Steeple and a Lot of Cruise Ship People


Everyday during the summer the cruise ships become the largest buildings in town. Occasionally, as many as five will be tied up along the waterfront in Ketchikan, Alaska. The skyline changes and sometimes they even block out the sun.

Have you ever been on a cruise?

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Hole in the Wall, Ketchikan Alaska


Alaska style Billboard.


Just a short walk down the ramp.


Ketchikan’s cutest little harbor!

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Calm After the Storm


Calm after the storm. Photo looking north up Tongass Narrows, Ketchikan Alaska.

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7 Reasons To Ask For Alaska Seafood


WILD – Alaska seafood is wild caught! There is no finfish farming allowed in Alaska. The seafood is harvested in the wild, in the pristine waters off Alaska’s rugged 34,000 mile coastline.

NATURAL – Alaska Seafood is seafood at its natural best. Alaska boasts five species of salmon, shrimp, scallops, crab, and whitefish varieties that include pollock, halibut, Pacific cod, black cod, sole, and rockfish. They mature at a natural pace, swimming freely in the icy cold waters and eating a natural diet of marine organisms.

SUSTAINABLE – Alaska’s seafood is eco-friendly. Alaska’s abundant seafood species are part of healthy, intact ecosystems, and the fisheries are managed for sustainability. Ever since statehood in 1959, Alaska’s fisheries have been managed with the long term health of the stocks as top priority. This is mandated by the Constitution of the State of Alaska. Alaska’s healthy marine environment and sustainable fisheries management are a model for the world.

FLAVOR – The superior flavor and texture of Alaska seafood is prized around the world. They get their flavor and flesh color from their natural diet of marine organisms: in the case of salmon this includes krill and tiny crustaceans. Salmon migrate thousands of miles over the course of their lifetime, and all that exercise in cold water gives the fish a firm texture. Each of the five species – pink, keta, sockeye, coho, and king – has its own characteristics of color and flavor.

VERSATILE – Alaska seafood is easy to prepare. You can grill, poach, bake, sauté, and even take portions right from the freezer for cooking, putting a meal on the table in minutes.

HEALTHY – Alaska seafood is healthy and nutritious. It is high in protein, and low in saturated fat, and a natural source of the “good fats” – heart-healthy omega-3s.

U.S. JOBS for a HEALTHY ECONOMY – Over half the seafood harvested by American fishing families is harvested in the waters off Alaska. Although many of the families fish from small vessels, and the seafood is usually processed in small communities, the Alaska seafood industry is a major economic engine: it is Alaska’s largest private sector employer, providing work for 54,000 people, and worth an estimated $5.8 billion to Alaska in direct and induced economic output.

Please visit www.alaskaseafood.org for more interesting and important nutritional information, recipes and to learn more about Alaska seafood.


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Easter in Ketchikan

Photo of the Week- Beautiful Easter Sunday in downtown Ketchikan, Alaska with snow capped Deer Mountain.


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Has This Ever Happened To You?

I had a very nice, friendly, positive, uplifting blog planned for today.  Something came up this weekend that I feel I have to address while it’s fresh on my mind.

Has This Ever Happened To You?

You plan a trip to the big city for some shopping, eating out and entertainment.

You’re not sure what your exited for… Trader Joe’s, Target, Tj Max, Victoria Secret or the romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant with your lover or just plain getting out of town.

You plan this say, two weeks or more in advance.For me this last weekend, it was dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Eugene, The Lucky Noodle.

We were especially excited  because we hadn’t been to this restaurant in nearly three years.  This place has it all… atmosphere, food, service, we have never been disappointed. We knew we wanted to enjoy the evening, so we booked a room at the newly opened Inn at 5th Street to spend the night.   It’s less than a block away, which made it even more enjoyable strolling along 5th Street Market hand in hand. We arrive at the restaurant.  We were seated, the server hands us our menus and I’m pleased to see Fresh Alaskan Salmon listed for two of their entrees.

What first went through my mind is fresh… hummm… it’s March… so it must be frozen.  That’s okay.  Ordinarily I’m very cautious to order salmon in a restaurant unless I’m absolutely sure it’s wild.  Naturally, I ask our server if she was positive the salmon is wild from Alaska?  She said yes, it is wild from Alaska.

Now keep in mind this is one of our all time favorite restaurants.  So the thought of them Pan Roasting wild Alaskan salmon and finishing it with beurre blanc, served with house made asparagus risotto was too much to resist! 

Over two Blueberry Cosmos, we waited for our dinner talking about the beautiful day we had, our wonderful room, the coming salmon season in Alaska and soaking up the wonderful atmosphere.

Our entrees arrived it looked so good I even took a picture of it! With excitement I dove in!  Now obviously I know my salmon, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what species it was so Ole tried a piece.  Hesitantly his guess was Coho, then said it was a bit like wet partial board.  I tried another piece and had another one ready to go on the fork, when a server clearing a nearby table nicely asked how is your salmon?  I say great, I think…say, what type of salmon am I eating?  Wild Alaska, he says, I say no, what type? Coho, Sockeye, King?  He said let me go back to the kitchen and check.

Has This Ever Happened To You?

Waiting for the verdict, I chose to only eat the delicious risotto.

The server comes back and happily announces that wild Alaska salmon is not in season and instead of serving frozen salmon we substitute farm-raised salmon.

Now…those of you that know me really really well, what do you think I did?

A.  Drop my fork?

B.  Said it’s FARMED?!?!?!?!?!?!?

C.  Picked up my plate and tossed it to the middle of the table?


 D.  All of the above? 

The answer is D all of the above and that was just the beginning.

Has This Ever Happened To You?

Ole pushed his plate away also and we just stared at each other in disbelief of what we just heard.

I told our server that the restaurant is advertising Fresh Alaskan salmon and you are serving farmed salmon, this is false advertising!  My blood pressure went through the roof trying to explain to her how rotten farmed-raised salmon is for the environment and for people’s health.  I said unknowingly, I just ingested red dye, which is showing up in people’s retinas, antibiotics, chemicals, pesticides and who know’s what else.   

She was very apologetic and said since our evening was virtually ruined she would comp our entire meal. 

Has This Ever Happened To You? 

While still at our table preparing to go, we decided to see a manager to clear this up even further.  A woman who works in the restaurant comes over to our table and says… I hear you are threatening to sue our establishment.  I tell her what I did say and that is you are advertising Fresh Alaskan salmon for $24.00 a plate and serving cheap inexpensive farmed-raised salmon that potentially could make people sick from an allergic reaction.  If I was to turn you into the Attorney General for false advertising I believe it is a hefty fine.

She said, our supplier assures us that farmed-raised salmon is good to eat and there’s nothing wrong with it.  I told her several times that’s not the point.  The point is, The Lucky Noodle is using Alaska’s quality name to promote an inferior product, which is ethically wrong and hurts Alaska’s reputation. 

She made some reference to Farmed Alaska salmon.  OMG!!!  We kept telling her over and over that there are no fish farms of any type in the state of Alaska.

The woman continued arguing with us… and then she said… she would only comp my meal and we would have to pay for all the rest.

What do you think Ole did?

A. Stood up and put his coat on?

B.  Told the woman we are salmon fisherman from Alaska and we know what we are talking about?

C.  You completely ruin our evening and you want us to pay for this experience?

D.  All of the above?

Yep!  D.

She disappeared and so did we.

Has This Ever Happened To You?

The moral to this story:  We will never go back to the Lucky Noodle, because our thoughts are; if they are deceiving us about this, what else are they being deceptive about and cutting corners on?  The most upsetting thing is they are using Alaska’s good name on their menu to hoodwink people into thinking they’re getting top quality, when in fact they’re getting the bottom end of quality.  When did The Lucky Noodle stop serving wild Alaska Salmon even though it is still printed on their menu?  Back in September 2011 when the wild salmon season closed? 

When dining out unless you know the owner, manager or server very well, ask your server to go back to the kitchen and ask what type of salmon it is and where did it come from. Consumers can ask their server what region the salmon is from, what species it is and is it fresh or frozen.

They should be able to answer or find someone to answer, if they can’t, then you may want to take your business elsewhere.

I was fooled…and if I can be fooled…anybody can.


Has This Ever Happened To You?  You ordered something from the menu and you were brought something completely different?  Ever had a server argue with you?


Best Fishes!  LaDonna Rose


Because I believe everyone should do their own research, below are a few links to get you started.

Salmon served in some Puget Sound restaurants often mislabeled  

Oregon Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

File a Consumer Complaint





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Why is wild caught Alaska salmon so fantastic?

Because Alaska is fish country and salmon is probably the world’s most heart healthy source of protein.  Wild caught salmon swim naturally and grow freely in the pristine icy clear waters off Alaska’s rugged coastline.  They feed on their natural diet of marine organisms, giving them a superior flavor and texture that is prized by the whole world.  Effective state and federal regulations manage fisheries that are productive and sustainable, clean and healthy.  Alaska is the only State in the nation whose Constitution explicitly mandates that all fish, including salmon, shall be utilized, developed and maintained on the sustainable yield principle.  Alaska’s waters are the cleanest in the world and has strict regulations governing development activities.  Clean marine habitats produce pure seafood products.

Wild salmon is rich in long-chain Omega-3 essential fatty acids – the most beneficial kind – which studies show to protect heart health, inhibit inflammation in joints, decrease body fat, stabilizes blood sugar levels, acts as a natural anti-depressent, increases feelings of well being, and…the part I love…keeps the skin young, supple, radiant and wrinkle free.  The Omega-3s provide nourishment to hair follicles helping hair grow healthy and the high protein content of salmon helps to maintain strong, healthy hair and nails.  More on that at a later date.  Salmon is low in calories and is one of the healthiest fish available for consumption.  Some of the health benefits are just now being discovered on the leading edge of science and nutrition.    

Alaska salmon are free of antibiotics, pesticides, growth hormones and artificial coloring agents.  These salmon are among the purest fish you will find anywhere.

I once heard salmon being referred to as  “Steak of the Sea”  because it is one of the heartiest fish you can eat.  Wild caught Alaska salmon taste good and is good for you.

Youv’e heard all about those miraculous Omega-3 fatty acids.  You’ve read studies which detail how eating it on a regular basis can reduce your levels of bad cholesterol and aid in boosting your immune system.  You don’t eat the dreaded farmed raised salmon.  So, the question is, have you started eating more Wild salmon?

What if you are a busy mother with two children, no four children who wishes they did eat more salmon, but simply are just too busy?  Here comes canned salmon to the rescue!

Canned salmon is the perfect treat, allows you to serve wild salmon year round and has all the nutrients as salmon fillets and salmon steaks.  It’s the perfect solution for a busy household.  It’s a no brainer, because it’s easy to prepare, healthy, tasty and good for our environment.  Canned salmon is a healthy food choice your whole family will love.

You won’t have a problem adding salmon to your diet, since there are hundreds of ways to enjoy this healthy super-food. Try it grilled, baked, in your pasta, with a salad, in a soup, or simply open a jar or can with a side of blueberries.

What is your go to Wild caught salmon recipe?

Best Fishes!  LaDonna Rose








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Why Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Farmed Salmon

On a trip to NYC this past Christmas, I was invited to be a guest on Martha Stewart Living Radio to talk about my new cookbook Salmon, Desserts & Friends. It was such a wonderful opportunity and I was over the top happy they wanted little ol’ me!

Eagerly waiting in the lobby of the Serious Satellite Radio Station with Ole and a dear friend of ours Laurel Lindahl, I was excited about sharing with the world the wonderful benefits of wild Alaska salmon. I wasn’t too worried about the interview, after all I have been catching, cooking and eating wild salmon for 24 years. Ole laughed saying “what could possibly go wrong in 30 minutes.”

I’m up! The producer led us down a long hall. On one side was windows from floor to ceiling and on the other side was individual studios. The view from the 39th floor over looked parts of the city and was amazing! I literally heard my heart pumping as the door opened into the studio. It was small and dark with two windows and lots of equipment. My interviewer Chris had his back into the corner of the room and I sat in a tall chair facing him. While on a break, they helped me with my headphones, chatted with me a little bit and made me feel very comfortable.








We went live on the radio!

Thumbing through his copy of my cookbook Salmon, Desserts & Friends, we started talking about different ways to prepare wild salmon and fishing in Alaska. The phone lines lit up rather quickly, I thought. A woman from Florida called in and expressed her love for wild salmon. She was completely aware of farmed Atlantic salmon and said she would never eat it. We had a wonderful visit and I shared with her one of my quick and easy recipes.

Easy Salmon and Cheddar Strata. Page 35

The phone lines were packed so we went on with the next caller. All wanting to know more about the differences between wild and farmed salmon.

Now, those of you that know me, know my passion for the subject and in fact could keep your ear for over an hour. All was going very well, and then Fred from Massachusetts called in… Fred said his fishmonger told him that farmed Atlantic salmon was far superior to wild Alaska salmon because of the fat content.

He asked me if that was true and if it was okay to eat farmed salmon.

Now remember, I’m on Martha Stewart Living Radio…easy to say a hundred thousand listeners? A million? I don’t know… but what I do know, it was one of the most important interviews of my life!

I asked Fred why his fishmonger would say such a thing? He said, “because they eat better.” I asked Fred if he was aware that farmed salmon are raised in crowded net pens and fed from a global supply of fish meal and fish oil manufactured from small open sea fish, which studies show are the source of PCB’s in most farmed salmon? (Which ultimately causes a loss to the worlds food supply because, it takes three times more protein to feed a farmed fish than a wild fish would ever eat). Fred seemed to be focused on wild salmon containing mercury and farmed salmon having more Omega 3’s.

I said Fred, farmed salmon are intentionally fattened and therefore accumulate more PCB’s, because the process of fattening them is similar to fattening cows or hogs in a feed lot. (To fatten up the farmed salmon, some farmers use bright lights at night to confuse the fish into always thinking it’s feeding time).

Farmed salmon are fattier because they are lazy and they don’t get any exercise, they are artificially colored with a dye, otherwise they would be an unappetizing grey. (Recent studies have shown this dye to adversely effect eye sight when consumed in large quantities).

I said Fred, there is so much disease in the farmed pens the farmers use antibiotics and other drugs that ultimately seep into the open waters. This is a serious concern, that drug resistant strains of disease can wipe out entire stocks of wild Pacific salmon.

Farmed salmon are stuffed together by the hundreds of thousands in net pens, these conditions provide the perfect banquet for sea lice.

Sea lice feed on the mucus, blood and skin of salmon. Understand more by watching this short video.

To combat this, the salmon farmers bathe the fish in toxic chemicals. Guess what? Sea lice are adapting to the chemicals used to control them. (These chemicals are being absorbed into the fish). Because the salmon farms are concentrated along wild Pacific salmon migration routes, the lice are transmitted to juvenile stages of wild salmon as they pass in numbers, killing them. That never would have happened naturally.

I said Fred, one thing no one ever thinks about and that is the waste from some large farms are estimated to equal sewage from a city of 10,000 people.

The waste flows straight into the ocean, causing disastrous plankton blooms, destroying shellfish beds and fouling nearby habitat.

Fred had no idea! I said Fred, we all need to do our own research and I encouraged him to do his own. I strongly encourage you to do your own research as well.

At first glance, fish farming may seem like a good idea, a way to ease the stress on the wild stocks and meet the food demands of the world population…but maybe not. It may seem like a bargain at your local grocer, but globally speaking, farmed salmon is anything but a bargain.

The first thing the next caller said was “I will never eat farmed salmon ever again!” She wanted to know how to tell the difference? I told her to get into the habit of asking.

Is the salmon farmed?










Or is the salmon wild?










If the label say’s wild Alaska you can have all the confidence in the world to know it’s wild, because there are no fish farms of any type in the state of Alaska.

I encourage everyone to do their own research and once you know what I know…You won’t let your friends eat farmed Atlantic salmon. While I am on the subject…lets not forget about Frankenfish!

Please for your health and the health of those you love, do your part for our sacred Wild Salmon ask if its farmed or if it’s wild.

Best Fishes!

LaDonna Rose

P.S. Here are a couple of great links for more information.

Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute on Sustainability http://sustainability.alaskaseafood.org/intro

Monterey Bay Aquarium on Seafood Sustainability: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_factsheet.aspx?gid=49

Farmed and Dangerous: http://www.farmedanddangerous.org/salmon-farming-problems/

David Suzuki Foundation: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/oceans/science/sustainable-fisheries-and-aquaculture/salmon-farming—a-grave-concern-a-great-hope/

Alaxandra Morton: http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/









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