Archives for June 2013

Dogs Flip for Wild Alaska Salmon Treats


Yummy Chummy Dog Treats
This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Dogs flip for salmon treats. More after this…

Federal grants are available to help  Made in America  companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at
The At Sea Processors Association donates one million fish meals each year through its Community Catch program. Learn more at  


What started out as an idea to turn pink salmon scraps into dog food is now the well known dog product Yummy Chummies. The Anchorage based business Arctic Paws, owned and operated  by the Gibson Family, has been making these wild Alaska salmon  treats since1997.

“Over the years the formula has changed a little bit here and there, but for the most part the base formulation that we came up with is what it is today. Although we have many different products today that we didn’t in the beginning.”

Since the original Yummy Chummies product they have introduced variations of the treats by  adding grains and berries.

“We use rice, and we brought out a salmon and potato treat. And then in the last four years we have launched a completely  grain-free line which is doing very well.”

Gibson says that marketing is probably the hardest part of his job.

“I get the equipment. I get the machines. I can tell you how to do it. But the marketing component is the most challenging.”

When pitching the idea that dogs liked salmon and that dogs could benefit from it, Gibson said it was a hard sell due to the fact that with animal products  “cats liked fish,  and  dogs didn’t.”

“When I started the notion of feeding salmon to dogs, If you spoke to anybody that wasn’t an Alaskan, it was alien to them. I think that it is safe to say that we were one of the first companies in the US to legitimately present salmon based dog treats to the market place.”

Yummy Chummies  opened the door for many more fish based dog products.

“And now if you look at the market place we are not the only game in town. I actually think that it’ s pretty cool, that in many respects we have done a lot to help create a market for salmon based dog treats or fish for that matter.”  

Arctic Paws also make cod and halibut treats along with the ever popular salmon oil. The omega 3 fatty acids from salmon have proven to be vary beneficial.

“Salmon is an excellent source. It helps with heart, skin, coat, and joint maintenance. Basically the same types of things it does for us as people, I think it does for dogs.”

Pet owners are starting to pass healthy eating habits on to their animals, some eating better then their human.

“There is a growing population that wants to cook for their dogs. So we are toying with presenting a product that will be  frozen and sold to consumers so they can make home cooked meals for their dogs. It will be a small pre- packaged salmon filet.”

Find all the Yummy Chummies products at

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.  Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America.  In Kodiak I’m Stephanie Mangini.  

Atlantic Salmon Invade Alaska Waters…

Invasive species update

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Far fewer Atlantic salmon are showing up in Alaska waters. Some invasive species updates after this —

Federal grants are available to help  Made in America  companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at

The At-sea Processors Association’s Alaska pollock fishing companies fund marine research programs at Alaska’s universities to improve our understanding of the environment, and to promote conservation of our ocean resources.  Learn more about APA’s conservation efforts at

Nearly 500 Atlantic salmon were captured in Alaska waters through the 1990’s, mostly in Southeast, but as far west the Bering Sea. The fish were primarily escapees from west coast fish farms. Alaskans fear the Atlantic invaders could compete with and taint the gene pool of wild salmon stocks. But good news — few of the fish have turned up in Alaska for the past 10 years

The numbers have gone down significantly in the past 10 years. We  have to commend   fish farmers in Washington and off the coast of  British Columbia for their efforts to contain their stocks.
Tammy Davis is Invasive Species Project Leader for the state Sport fish Division. Just seven Atlantic salmon were captured since 2006, three near Petersburg and one along the Alaska Peninsula. Davis says invasive species vary by region –
Southeast is the area of most concern for Atlantic salmon captured in the last 5 years, with Petersburg being one of the hottest spots. But in South-central, Northern Pike, which were illegally introduced, are more of a concern.

Another red flag – green crabs, which are making their way up the west coast. These transplants from Europe have huge appetites for oysters and other crabs.

The furthest north population is off the coast of Vancouver island at this time. Researchers are finding there is a very good chance that crab could move up the coast to Alaska in currents or ballast water.

Ships ballast water is blamed for transferring hundreds of invasive stowaways around the world. Davis asks that anyone seeing something unusual should turn it in to an appropriate office.

People can participate by keeping us tuned in.  You know what lives on your beach and if you find something unusual, we’d love to hear about it.

For Atlantic salmon, look for spots on the gill plates and a slender, pinched tail. Notably, Alaska’s identification number for Atlantic salmon is 666 – the Biblical sign of Satan.

The fact there is a number for Atlantic salmon as 666 is pretty significant.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – serving Alaska’s fishing communities since 1910. On the web at .. In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.