Seafood Guide 2019: Bycatch

Meet Oregon's 12 Tastiest Invasives, Trash Fish, Problem Fish, and Bycatch Finds

Give our hard-working salmon a break, without sacrificing flavor.

By Ramona DeNies July 24, 2019 Published in the August 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

1. Rock Crab
This invasive (and perfectly tasty) species is often Dungeness crab bycatch.

2. Wolf Eel
Sporting the mushed-up mug of a lifetime pugilist, this long, slithery reef fish is often caught in crab and fish traps. Don’t be shallow: it’s only looks that relegate this trout-like white fish to its trashy status.

3. Giant Pacific Octopus
Bycatch for a number of major West Coast fisheries: crab, black cod, true cod.

4. Purple Varnish Clams
Also called “savory,” this invasive has a flavor that’s part briny Manila clam, part sweet, plump mussel, according to Lyf Gildersleeve of Flying Fish.

5. Purple urchin
Absent its natural predator—Oregon sea otters—this fast-reproducing species is devouring vital kelp forests.

6. Butter Clams
“If those were available in San Francisco,” says Erizo’s Jacob Harth, “they’d be on every menu.”

7. Rockfish
The umbrella term for dozens of Oregon’s unique—and underappreciated—native groundfish.

8. Gooseneck Barnacles
Lobstery rock-dwelling crustaceans legally harvestable only on man-made structures like jetties.

9. Rapa Whelks
These invasive and carnivorous Asian sea snails have hitched rides—and wreaked havoc—from the Black Sea to Chesapeake Bay. Now they're here. So let’s go, escargots.

10. Anchovies
A staple in Europe; here, these flavor-packed little fishies are often harvested as tuna bait, or simply ground into fish meal.

11. Sanddab
This delicate, sand-scooting flatfish (both eyes face up, on the left side) eats like sole or flounder but lacks the sexier reputation.

12. Ivory King Salmon
The albino of salmon lacks the species’ iconic pink meat, but it's just as good to eat. 

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