South Coast Salmon Fishing

South Coast Salmon Fishing

 Commercial salmon fishermen landing their catch of Australian Salmon at Parrys Beach on the amazing south coast of Western Australia

In March and April each year, Australian salmon run in large schools off the shores of Western Australia. This time sees the fishing families living in their old beach shacks in salmon camps along the amazing south coast. Since the end of World War II this has been something of a tradition and many of the leases are still held by descendants of the original families who set up camp over 70 years ago. Les Pinniger, pictured above wading through the netted fish, has spent every autumn for the last 50 years or so living at his shack at Parry's Beach, just west of the town of Denmark, as his father did before him. Les's son Ross is now also involved.

There's no question that commercial salmon fishing is hard work, but it's also a time when families and friends come together, a community in their shacks behind the dunes, forming strong, long-standing connections. Also returning annually is Mark Shepherd, now fast approaching his 30th season. Mark is joined by his wife and two school age children, and now also by his older daughter (who herself grew up at the salmon camp), her husband and Mark's grandchildren. As Mark explained to me, as other salmon camps were giving it away, the Parry's Beach crew have kept going, "Partly to honour Les's Dad's legacy, as well as the beach life and the experience our kids are having here."

It's not just the traditional salmon crew, old and young, who get into the mood. Local day visitors and tourists from further afield, many staying at the campground at the top of the beach, are only too happy to lend a hand loading fish into the bins. And the wage for their labour? A decent size salmon to cook back at camp that night.

It's a fish only recently coming into favour (or, rather, flavour). In the past, Australian salmon hasn't been regarded as good eating. Slowly but surely, however, the team at Parry's Salmon Camp are turning that reputation around and chefs around WA, including Denmark's own celebrity chef Anna Gare and Pepper & Salt Restaurant's Silas Masih, are creating recipes that suit this local fish. With Australian salmon now seasonally included on the menu of many restaurants, it's gaining appreciation and new fans at a rapid rate. Scroll down to the end for Anna's delicious recipe for Salmon Patties with herby salsa...it's so good!

Anna Gare's Parrys Beach salmon Patties with herby salsa

   
  
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      PATTIES:    1 Australian salmon filleted - discarding bones, skin and red flesh  Small bunch of dill, roughly chopped  1 cup parsley, roughly chopped  Dash of Tabasco  Finely grated rind of 1 lemon  Juice of ½ a lemon  2 eggs  Salt & pepper  1-1½ cups breadcrumbs    SALSA:    ¼ red onion, finely diced  1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced  1 clove garlic, finely diced (optional)  ½ cup chopped parsley, finely chopped  Small bunch of dill, finely chopped  2 heaped tablespoons baby capers  ¼ cup lemon juice  ¼ cup olive oil  Pinch of sugar  Pinch of salt  To make the patties, roughly chop the salmon and put into the food processor with everything except the breadcrumbs. Pulse on and off until a nice minced consistency. Roll into balls to squash down to make patties. Pour breadcrumbs onto a plate and lightly coat patties as you pop them into the frying pan. Fry for a couple of minutes each side until golden. If cooking in batches, just keep them warm with silver foil.  For the salsa, put all the ingredients into a bowl, stir and taste for balance of flavours. If it’s too sharp add a little more sugar or olive oil to tone it down, if it needs more zing add some lemon juice.  Serve with fresh garden salad. So easy and so delicious.

PATTIES:

1 Australian salmon filleted - discarding bones, skin and red flesh

Small bunch of dill, roughly chopped

1 cup parsley, roughly chopped

Dash of Tabasco

Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 eggs

Salt & pepper

1-1½ cups breadcrumbs

SALSA:

¼ red onion, finely diced

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced

1 clove garlic, finely diced (optional)

½ cup chopped parsley, finely chopped

Small bunch of dill, finely chopped

2 heaped tablespoons baby capers

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of salt

To make the patties, roughly chop the salmon and put into the food processor with everything except the breadcrumbs. Pulse on and off until a nice minced consistency. Roll into balls to squash down to make patties. Pour breadcrumbs onto a plate and lightly coat patties as you pop them into the frying pan. Fry for a couple of minutes each side until golden. If cooking in batches, just keep them warm with silver foil.

For the salsa, put all the ingredients into a bowl, stir and taste for balance of flavours. If it’s too sharp add a little more sugar or olive oil to tone it down, if it needs more zing add some lemon juice.

Serve with fresh garden salad. So easy and so delicious.

Magazine photo shoot

Magazine photo shoot