Craft in America


Cutting alder to smoke salmon

Artist Nicholas Galanin and his step-son Owen cut down white alder to smoke their sockeye salmon. Bonus video from the STORYTELLERS episode.

AIRED: December 11, 2020 | 0:02:23

We are good to go. What do you think this one

or that one?

we went and got some White Alder to smoke Sockeye.

We get White Alder because that's less bitter than Red Alder.

But you could bring them over by the smoke house so we'll cut them up there.

We cut it up small pieces like this, little rounds and then you cut the side of the bark off on one

side and then you can wedge the hatchet in between the bark and the wood and kind of peel it off.

And then after that you just chop it up small so it can fit in the smoke house

and it's wet so we got to leave that torch in there a while to get it going.

But the wet wood is good because that's how you get all the smoke. There's two way you

can catch sockeye you can snag them which is with a weighted hook off a boat usually cast

into the water and you try and pull it through a school so not biting it you're trying to catch it

on its side and then pull it in and so usually when you're doing that you have a second person

with a small net and they scoop it up if you're dip netting though that's when you get up to the

falls at the mouth of the river and then you reach the net in and you pull up fish and then somebody

else will club them and carry them down the rocks to a cooler and then you gotta bring the raft back

and forth the bigger boat because bears will be around and they'll come and steal people's fish.

I've seen a couple bears over there pretty close I've been within like 25 feet maybe.

All right.

Look at that.



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