Fish on the Bay has launched a pop-up fish shop on 51 Street in Yellowknife. The fish and chip truck was previously based in the Canadian Tire parking lot.
General manager Jared Bihun described the new location as being halfway between Franklin Avenue and Somba K’e Park, right across from the Scotia Centre. The company will be selling fish from 12pm to 6pm, Wednesday through Saturday, until cooler fall weather dictates otherwise.
“This is the new home. We’ve expanded it past just the fish and chips,” said Bihun, pointing out the three long picnic tables, raised garden beds, and deep freezers filled with Fishy People products like fish sausages and whole stuffed fish.
“We’re also selling the Fish on the Bay fresh fish as it comes off being flayed on the docks down in Old Town. Here is going to be a standard spot where you can always get it, assuming we have any left over.”
Bihun, chef Niki Mckenzie, and owner-harvester Stephanie Vaillancourt wanted to move the fish truck closer to their other bases of operation – a downtown kitchen and Great Slave Lake.
The Fish on the Bay team say they specialize in using every part of every fish caught.
“The whole ethos of our operation started because Stephanie Vaillancourt is a commercial fisher and she noticed that there was a lot of bycatch. There’s a lot of things that people in this town won’t eat,” said Mckenzie.
“Everyone wants a fillet of whitefish: boneless, skinless, neutral-flavoured whitefish. And so all the other fish species that were getting caught were getting thrown back or sold for dog food.”
McKenzie said 10 years ago, there was no market for cod – and now it’s one of the best-selling fish at Bullocks Bistro.
“We want to do that with every fish on the lake. There shouldn’t be such a thing as bycatch, and there also shouldn’t be such a thing as waste … we’re trying to find a home and a market for everything.”
Current products include kimchi inconnu sausages, trout skin chicharrons, whitefish and trout caviar, and dehydrated fish-head dog treats.
“I’m currently working on a fish eyeball chip. I will let you know how it goes. It’s going be nicer than it sounds and I’m working on a better name,” said Mckenzie.
A photo of the Fish on the Bay menu on July 4, 2020. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio