With so many folks traveling in from around the country, I thought I’d put together some information on getting your fish home when traveling with the airlines. Remember that we will always clean and fillet your fish. Vacuum packing is available at the Hammond Boat Basin. On our boats we will simply bag your filleted fish.
There are two simple ways to get your fish home with you when you’re flying – carry-on or checked baggage. The easiest way is often to check a cooler that contains your frozen fish. You generally can’t have dry ice or ice in the cooler, but if all of the fish is frozen, this route works well. Throw in some crumpled newspaper to act as insulation, tape the cooler shut and away you fly. It’s probably a good idea to double check with your airline to see what they allow for a checked cooler.
The second option is to take a smaller cooler as a carry-on, either frozen or with dry ice. If you can’t get your fish frozen, be sure to put less fish in each box. Less fish in a box is always better because you are limited by the FAA to 5.5 pounds or less of dry ice. In addition, packages can’t be air tight and must be marked with “dry ice” or “carbon dioxide, solid”. You also need to mark on the box how pounds of dry ice are in the box. This is just general info that I could find. It’s always a good idea to check directly with the airline you’re flying with to see how they handle dry ice on flights.
Getting your fish frozen prior to leaving is not always possible, but know that freezing your fish prior to leaving is best. Many of the hotels have freezers and some of the fish processing locations even have storage. If you’re having a hard time, let us know and we may be able to throw your catch in the freezer in our office until you’re ready to leave town.
Fred Meyer in Warrenton sells everything you need to get your fish home. Options include dry ice boxes or simply purchase a cooler to check as baggage. I would never fill a box to capacity as you are only allowed 5.5 pounds of dry ice. A combination of newspaper (for insulation), fish and dry ice would be best. Dry Ice is located by the self check out aisle, but you can always call to make sure they have everything you need. Fred Meyer is open until 11:00 pm. You can reach them at (503) 861-3000. Below is a Google Map to Fred Meyer and contact information.
I hope this helps you get your fish home in the best condition possible.