The Copper River sockeye salmon season is well under way and as of the fishing period that closed June 17, 550,022 sockeye were harvested. Renowned both domestically and internationally, this rich wild Alaska salmon is coveted for its pristine freshness, deep red color and luscious flavor profile.

Harvested by independent commercial fishermen, Copper River sockeye is available fresh between May and August each year and lends itself to grilling, baking, sautéing and even curing. Savvy seafood lovers know that a six-ounce portion of this wild salmon cooks in well under ten minutes and they ask for this nutritional powerhouse by name.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game carefully regulates the fishery as mandated by Alaska State Constitution and they report that the 2016 run has arrived somewhat smaller than anticipated. At about 5 pounds each, sockeye this season are smaller than the typical 6 pound average.

Regardless of the size of the run and fish, the consumer demand for Copper River sockeye has remained strong throughout the 2016 season and the Copper River fleet has maintained their longstanding commitment to quality, carefully handling each fish as it is caught. Executive Director Christa Hoover says, “Our fleet of 569 family fishermen puts a very high priority on quality. It’s the gold standard in our fishery and all fish are bled and chilled immediately after catch. This ensures that the inherent characteristics of this coveted resource are honored and in essence ‘preserved’ for the consumer, creating the ultimate eating experience at home and in restaurants.”

This attention to details pays off at the seafood counter where Copper River sockeye sits on flaked ice and holds center stage during the summer months. Seattle’s Metropolitan Market has been featuring Copper River salmon every summer for thirty years now and they are proud to be part of the fishery’s legacy.

Larry Heigaard, Fresh Director of Seattle’s Metropolitan Market says, “We were the first grocery store to carry Copper River fresh and to us it signals the start of salmon season. We love both the king and the sockeye, but the sockeye are excellent and definitely easier for some people to handle.” Customers love the high fat content, great flavor and the deep red color and Heigaard says, “It’s a show stopper. Our customers start calling and asking for it in May. They just can’t wait.”

The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association, a fisherman funded regional seafood development association, works on behalf of the 500 plus commercial salmon fisherman of Coastal South Central Alaska. The association works to build brand awareness for wild Copper River king, sockeye and coho as well as Prince William Sound sockeye, keta, and pink salmon.

For additional information contact:
Christa Hoover, Executive Director
Copper River/PWS Marketing Association
Box 199, Cordova, Alaska 99574
t: 907-424-3459:: f: 907-424-3430

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