Copper River Media Tour Immerses Writers In Sustainable Fishery

From bow picking to dock touring, visitors see copper river in action.

Cordova, alaska--copper river salmon is renowned nationwide for its rich luscious flavor and its brilliant luminescent appearance. Many seafood lovers look forward to the arrival of copper river salmon each spring yet very few ever have the opportunity to see this wild all-american salmon being harvested and processed at the source. From july 23-28, six food professionals were lucky enough to travel to cordova in order to see copper river salmon in all its seasonal glory.

The copper river/prince william sound marketing association hosted its annual media trip, which coincided with the height of the commercial salmon season and took place during the annual copperriverwild! Festival. Ron ruggless of nation's restaurant news, rebecca and fred gerendasy of cooking up a story, tara desmond of crumbs on my keyboard, nick davidson of outside magazine and chef nathan lyon arrived in cordova, settled in to the orca adventure lodge, and soon became immersed in the region and the fishery. The media trip was designed to give guests a holistic picture of how the sustainable fishery is deeply intertwined with the region, the geography, the fishermen, the residents and the culture of this remote corner of alaska. The guests attended a lecture at the alaska department of fish and game where they learned the ins and outs of managing a sustainable fishery according to state constitutional mandate. They also visited the copper river delta and became keenly aware of the symbiotic relationship between an intact watershed and salmon. They boarded a bow picker, which is a commercial fishing vessel, and instantly became part of the renowned copper river fleet. At the taste of cordova they met local cooks and judged the annual salmon competition.

Upon departure they shared their insights. Chef nathan lyon, who caught his first copper river coho, consistently posted photo and commentary on his facebook page while in cordova and said that sustainable seafood never tasted so delicious. Ron ruggless, the southwest bureau chief of nation’s restaurant news, is based in texas and summed it up when he said, “after eagerly looking forward to the arrival in texas-region restaurants of copper river salmon for more than a dozen years, i greatly anticipated meeting the people and seeing the places that brought the fish to my plate each summer -- and both matched my high expectations. There’s no more fulfilling venture than to discover where your food comes from and how it gets to you. There’s palpable pride in the copper river products, and rightfully so.”

According to kim ryals, the association’s executive director, “it is incredibly exciting to live at the source of this amazing salmon and to be able to share it with chefs, writers, and restaurateurs who are so committed to keeping copper river at the forefront of nation’s sustainable seafood messaging!”

For additional information, contact kim ryals, executive director
Copper river/pws marketing association
Box 199, cordova, ak 99574 :: t: 907.424.3459 :: f: 907.424.3430