Having grown up on the Pacific coast in the Northwest (just above the Columbia River on the Long Beach peninsula), I really have been spoiled when it comes to eating salmon, steelhead, and shad. Freshwater catfish were plentiful from rivers and lakes. Bass (large-mouth) and crappie were also plentiful and if you went hungry you just weren't paying attention! We also caught fish out of the surf like flounder, pogies, rock bass and small shark, I think they were nurse shark. We didn't eat the shark but used it for bait. We also caught ling cod by trolling on the Columbia, along with salmon and steelhead, and also a type of sea perch, and spanish mackeral. By now you get the idea that good and edible fish were plentiful from ocean, rivers, streams, and lakes in the area.
I tried the farm-raised salmon and cannot stand it; it is like eating an "imitation" of the real thing; besides, I have read articles about how they are raised and what they are fed, and I decided I don't need to eat the inferior farm-raised variety – their farm environment is polluted and the dyes and chemicals can't be good for you.
The same goes for other farm-raised seafood such as catfish, talapia, trout, and even lobsters. I know the fish-farmers are trying to make a living, but as long as I can obtain the wild variety (the real thing), I will shun the farm output.
There are different ways of preparing salmon and steelhead, and surfing the internet will provide many recipes. I enjoy fish baked, poached, grilled, bbq'd, ROASTED, and fried – also tempura style and shish-kabobed. Have I missed any other ways of preparation? Of course, I also enjoy sushi and sashimi.
I would love to have the salmon at Outback's, but they serve the farm-raised variety which I will not eat.
I enjoy just about any kind of seafood, not just fish. Squid, octopus, abalone, sea urchin, oysters, any variety of clam, shrimp. I even tried the sea cucumber in a Chinese restaurant but didn't care for the texture. Flounder is a big favorite, they practically jumped on the hook when surf fishing. Shad and smelt out of the river and streams were great eating, especially the shad roe. I never could bring myself to eating the roe of salmon or steelhead, but I do enjoy black caviar. Some people even ate the sperm of male salmon but not me.
I worked on the old haul-seine fishing grounds on the Columbia when a young lad, for 2 or 3 years, driving a team of horses to pull in the tail end of the net. Plenty of salmon, steelhead and shad. Lots of eel that had died after spawning – could never eat them, although I enjoy sushi made from smoked eel. I also enjoyed more than my share of smoked and kippered fish like salmon, steelhead, smelt, tuna, and sturgeon. Surgeon were plentiful back then; the smaller ones about 3-4' were the best... pan-fried sturgeon steak for any meal was common fare. Now sturgeon are on the endangered list.
I think this post is already too long, so I better stop.