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About Us

The Copper River Salmon Story

Alaska’s premier wild salmon, Copper River king, sockeye and coho salmon, sought after by discerning salmon lovers.  

 

Rich in heart-healthy fats (Omega 3’s), Copper River salmon are good for you and great tasting. Copper River king salmon are known for their high oil content, a rich umami flavor, and deep orange flesh.  Copper River sockeye salmon boast high oil content, a bold salmon flavor and vibrant red flesh.  Copper River King and sockeye salmon flavors shine when simply prepared and unadorned. Copper River coho salmon, the more mild of the three wild Copper River salmon, lends itself to simple preparation while holding up well to flavorful accompaniments.

 

Copper River salmon are sustainably harvested from pristine waters where the Gulf of Alaska and the Copper River meet in south central Alaska.  The nearest town is Cordova, Alaska, which is homeport to more than half the fleet of 540 commercial fishermen that bring Copper River and Prince William Sound salmon to market. The Copper River Delta is one of the last remaining intact watersheds in the world and resides within the northern most temperate rainforest in North America. 

 

There is recent archaeological evidence that salmon have been a food source for mankind in North America for more than 11,000 years. Copper River salmon has been and continues to be a subsistence food for Alaska Natives and non-natives alike. Copper River salmon have been caught commercially as a commodity since the late 1800’s supporting the economy of the region in one way or another for more than 130 years.

 

The small fishing community of Cordova, Alaska is host to the Copper River salmon fleet.  The rhythms of the salmon season set the pace of life.  During the winter months’ nets are mended and hung for the coming season.  Salmon processors use the down time to upgrade their facilities to improve capacity and quality, and hire processing crew for the approaching season. Area businesses take stock of the past season and gear up for the next. Fishermen and crews work on boat projects, installing chilling systems or new electronics.

 

The commercial, sport and subsistence harvest of all Alaska salmon comes secondary to salmon escapement. Alaska Department of Fish and Game manage the most robust wild salmon fisheries in the world for sustainability. Salmon sustainability is written into our state constitution. Building stocks of salmon are monitored in the Copper River system as they travel to their natal streams to spawn. Those stocks of salmon up river are called escapement. Commercial fishing openers are managed by state biologists with announced opening and closing times often only a couple of days a week. These short openers allow salmon time to get into the river system and still make time for fishermen to harvest seafood for families across the country.

 

Anticipation builds as May approaches. Slowly the population of this coastal fishing town swells and the energy is electric. From May to September wild salmon set the pace of life in Cordova. Highly anticipated, Copper River king salmon, also called Chinook, open the season from early May to late June. Equally anticipated, Copper River sockeye salmon, also called reds, run early May all the way to mid August. Coho or silvers wrap up the season during August and September. Five months of flavor from the Copper River.

 

Copper River salmon, the first wild Alaska salmon of the spring, five months of flavor from our nets to your tables.