The month of May brings with it many annually anticipated delights. The return of strawberries, ramps, fiddlehead ferns, asparagus, mushrooms and salmon. The 2017 Copper River salmon season opened recently, to the delight of fans like me. Any seafood lover who has experienced the luxurious, Omega-3 fatty acid rich Copper River salmon knows that the catch is worth the wait.
From the first bite, you can taste the difference in the wild salmon harvested from Alaska’s renowned waterways. Beginning each May, and continuing through September, king, sockeye and coho salmon return to the Copper River. An arduous 300-mile journey up turbulent, glacial fed waters to spawn in their birthplace. Sustainability practices ensure enough salmon can complete their journey so that Copper River salmon can be enjoyed for generations.
The opening of the Copper River salmon season is highly anticipated by restaurateurs and chefs. “The arrival of Copper River salmon is a sign that spring is upon us,” says Seattle Chef John Howie, of John Howie Restaurants. “Copper River salmon is so valuable because it is always handled well during harvesting.” Seattle chef Ethan Stowell of Ethan Stowell Restaurants says, “Copper River salmon is the best salmon you can get. There is nothing like it – it’s rich, healthy, fatty. I only use it fresh in-season and grill it, sear it or serve it raw. I keep the dish simple and include other seasonal ingredients like wild morel mushrooms. There is no need to spice it up or overdo it. The quality of the salmon is amazing on its own.”
Wild, sustainable Copper River salmon are caught by independent Alaska fishermen at the mouth of the Copper River when their fat content and nutritional value is highest. The Copper River Alaska fisheries and artisan fishermen bring early-run wild, king, sockeye and coho salmon to retailers and restaurants throughout the country. Caught on one and two-person boats, the fish are hand-picked from the net one by one. Individually handled, inspected for quality, stored on ice in refrigerated holds and urgently shipped by plane daily for maximum freshness. “This handling means consumers can see and taste the difference with a silken texture, deep color and incredible flavor,” said Christa Hoover, executive director, Copper River Prince William Sounds Association.
Copper River Wild Alaska salmon is Responsible Fisheries Management and Marine Stewardship Council certified. When customers see the Copper River name, they trust their salmon is wild, sustainable, and of exceptional quality. For recipes and cooking tips you can visit Copper River Salmon recipes.