Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600583
Fill a dish pan or shallow box with dry salt. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt on the bottom of the brining container. Dredge each piece of fish in salt, then place skin-side down in the container. Place large pieces with the backbone next to the container wall. An extra piece may be placed in the middle to level each layer. Overlap pieces as little as possible.
Pack small fish in a ring with tips of heads touching container walls. You may need to put one or two fish across the center to keep the layer level. Stagger successive layers so that each fish rests on two fish in the layer below.
Scatter a thin coat of salt between each layer. Pack the top layer of fish, both large and small pieces, skin- side up. The amount of salt used depends on the season of year, fish size and length of preservation desired. A general rule is to use one part salt to three parts fish.