Cold Country Salmon
|Address:|| 10878 W. Jack Jouett Road
Zion Crossroads, VA 22942
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• Based in Central Virginia, this family-run business catches salmon and other fish in Alaska and ships them back frozen for sale around Washington, DC and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic.
• The business is run by Zac Culbertson. Foodwaze has had a chance to talk with him at length from his home base, but we have yet to visit with him while fishing in Alaska.
• He and his team travel to the Bristol Bay area in season, which is June and July. Using set nets, they fish under the strict guidelines of local regulations, which protect fish stocks in the area.
• The artisanal approach to processing their fish is what sets an operation like Cold Country apart from larger-scale wild-caught fishing operations.
• You can read more about them by clicking on the Details tab.
This family-run sustainable business spans both ends of the North American continent. Cold Country Salmon is a small-scale set net operation fishing the crystal clear blue waters of Bristol Bay, Alaska. When not fishing, owner Zac Culbertson lives just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, where he also runs a small-acreage family livestock farm. Foodwaze has had the chance to speak at length with Culbertson from his home base, but we have not yet had a chance to tag along to Alaska!
Every June the Cold Country team heads to Bristol Bay to fish on the Ugashik River. The entire Bristol Bay fishery is a sustainable, biologist-managed fishery to ensure its future viability. Farmed fish is categorically banned throughout Alaska to prevent the pollution of not only the coastal watershed but the wild salmon genome. The season lasts from mid-June until the end of July, with the peak occurring in Mid-July.
During the peak, Culbertson and his crew will often fish for 2-3 days straight without stopping. While they fish, they are constantly selecting the very best of their catch to bring home to sell to customers throughout Virginia and in Washington, D.C. The fish they select are immediately bled on board their skiff, filleted and packed in ice. On shore they immediately package and freeze the salmon. This very special handling process, as well as their exacting standards, are what sets Cold Country fish apart from other wild caught salmon available on the market.
As a result, they designate their fish "Beyond Sushi Grade.” Culbertson feels this is superior to the wild-caught salmon from large retailers, which is generally passed through large-scale commercial processor facilities who soak their salmon in an ice slurry for up to three days. This process makes the filleting and deboning processes easier, but can reduce the freshness compared to the artisanal process used by Cold Country.
In addition to their superior King, Sockeye, and Coho salmon, Cold Country is able to supply its customers with several line-caught species of fish including: sablefish, halibut, pacific cod, and pacific rockfish. In addition to raw seafood, they offer locally made salmon spread, salmon cakes, salmon animal treats, spices, and glazes.
You can pre-order fish from Cold Country by visiting their website. Or you visit them at a variety of Farmers Markets in the area. Please click on the Places tab to find out where. We will continue to add Places as we are able to.