Know Your Fisherman
Alaska’s Copper River region is home to generations of fishing families who will tell you that the local harvest is not just a source of income. It’s a way of life.
Local harvesters are the first link in Copper River salmon’s journey from ocean to plate. The Copper River fleet consists of 540 drift gillnet fishermen, each of whom is an independent small business owner committed to the long term sustainability of the fishery.
Each captain holds a permit issued by the State of Alaska that allows them to fish in the Copper River District and in Prince William Sound. Working on small family fishing boats, one to two people crews tend their nets and each salmon brought on board is individually handled, bled and chilled. This skillful artisan approach is indeed time consuming but it ensures an intimate understanding of the Copper River fishery and a consistently high-quality product for consumers.
If you’d like to meet a few of the fishermen of the Copper River, check out these profiles below. You’ll discover tidbits such as how and why these fishermen decided to commit for the long haul, what inspired them to do so, what their favorite species is and how they like to prepare and serve their treasured catch of the day!