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Butchering fish can be quite complicated as different fish require slightly different butchering techniques, and different cooking and storage preparation methods will demand different cuts of fish. These processes require the utmost skill and efficiency to complete the volume of processing that is required during the salmon spawn.

Butchering salmon for wind drying is an excellent example of how special processing techniques require very specific cuts of fish. To begin, the head of the fish and the fins are usually cut off, using a coarse fishing knife. The blood is allowed to drain from the fish, taking up to 15 minutes. Cutting along the left side of the backbone, the fish is opened up to be cleaned of any remaining blood and liquids. With the fish open, hinged in the belly (ventral) skin, the flesh is cut cross-length about one centimetre apart without cutting the skin, using an extremely sharp fish knife. Wood skewers (generally made of vine maple) are then pushed length-wise through the fresh cuts from end to end, to maintain the shape of the fillets during the drying process.

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