Place the fish bones in water to cover in the large stockpot over high heat and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and drain off the water through a colander. Rinse the bones thoroughly under cold water, place them back in the pot with the remaining ingredients and 4 quarts of fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and continue cooking for 30 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly*, strain, and refrigerate or freeze in 2- or 4-cup containers or ice-cube trays for use in individual dishes. Keeps for 1 month.
Note: A good method of cooling stock quickly to avoid bacterial invasion is to place the hot stockpot in a sink filled with ice-cold water. When the temperatures have equalized, refrigerate the stock.
Yield: 3 quarts