Fishing in Tillamook, Oregon: Getting Your Fish Home When Flying

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 Debbie D’s. On our boats we will simply bag your filleted fish.

First off, 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 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”. It’s also a good idea to mark on the box how pounds of dry ice are in the box.

Debbie D’s in Tillamook can help you with everything you need to get your fish packed up and ready. She can vacuum seal your fish and has cold packs, and boxes. You can reach her at (503) 842-2622.  Debbie is a great lady to chat with and is more than happy to help get your fish home with you.

If you prefer dry ice, Fred Meyer in Tillamook sells everything you need to get your fish home. Dry Ice boxes are $12.99. These Cold Fold Airline Ship Boxes handle 55 qts, which is about the equivalent of 50 pounds of fish and dry ice. 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 $1.59 per pound. Everything is located by the self check out aisle, but I’d always call to make sure they have everything you need. Fred Meyer is open until 11:00 pm. You can reach them at (503) 815-1400.

Freeze your fish the night before you take off, add some dry ice and your fish will be solid as a rock flying into any location on the continent. If you’re staying on the West Coast, you can simply freeze your fish the night before and it will show up frozen.

I hope this helps.

Lance Fisher