In 2007 Lummi Island Wild launched their pilot solar powered reefnet boat, making Lummi Island Wild the first solar powered wild salmon fishery in the world! Now their Reefnet fleet is fully retro-fitted and every salmon they bring to market was caught using power exclusively from the sun. Wild Pacific Salmon reefnet fishing is a historical Pacific Northwest salmon fishing method. It has been practiced for centuries by Native American tribes using cedar canoes and cedar nets to catch wild sockeye and other wild Pacific salmon.
Though the boats have gotten a little bigger and winches are use to pull in the nylon net, this wild Pacific salmon fishing method has remained fundamentally unchanged. Fishermen still stand on towers, waiting to see a school of salmon swim along the reef and over the small net, suspended between two boats. When a school is observed, the net is quickly pulled up and the wild caught salmon are gently spilled into a netted live well to relax after the brief struggle, allowing the dissipation of bitter lactic acid that has built up in their flesh, resulting in a sweeter flavor. The fish are then sorted and any unwanted species that may have been caught are harmlessly diverted back into the water. The remaining salmon are bled by cutting a gill and are then placed into another live well to swim until dead. An insulated tote of slush ice is waiting for the bled fish, where they will stay until the end of the day, when they are processed. Reefnetting produces the highest quality wild Pacific salmon available. If salmon are to be caught and eaten, they should be treated with the utmost reverence and respect. Reefnetting allows this special type of handling.