Alaska’s Copper River. A pure pristine environment that, for five months every year, produces three species of premium wild salmon: Copper River king, sockeye and coho.
This massive body of water has 13 major tributaries, is a mile wide and runs at 7 miles per hour. Dropping an average of 12 feet per mile and draining 24,000 square miles, the Copper River is the tenth largest river in the United States and is the birthplace of some of the world’s most renowned wild Alaskan salmon.
Every year from May through September, Copper River king, sockeye and coho return to the river to make the arduous 300-mile journey up the icy glacial fed waters to spawn in their birthplace. This is no easy task and as a result Copper River salmon are inherently rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, a critical component that fuels their journey and simultaneously creates the naturally rich salmon so coveted by chefs, restaurateurs and seafood lovers around the world.
Copper River king, also known as Chinook, is the first of the season salmon from our waters and is renowned for its robust size and superlative flavor thanks to an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. The kings start to zone in on home around mid-May and the season is short and sweet, usually wrapping up in late June. Kings average about 20 pounds each but some can reach a whopping 50 pounds. Because the season is brief, most Copper River kings are sent to market fresh and are quickly featured on restaurant menus and in seafood counters. Savvy cooks rush to purchase it fresh in season and, because it is so inherently rich and flavorful, they prepare it in the simplest fashion--grilled or seared and served with seasonal ingredients such as spring peas, asparagus, baby potatoes, light sauces, and wholesome grains.
Nutritional Profile for a 7 ounce serving of Copper River king:
Sat. Fat: 6g
Omega-3: 3,400 mg
Copper River sockeye are the most abundant salmon harvested from the Copper River and the season lasts from May to August. Averaging about 6 pounds each and boasting a deep red color, full flavor and texture, Copper River sockeye, also known as red salmon, is high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Sent to market fresh while in season and frozen in the off season, Copper River sockeye retains its naturally robust red color even when cooked. Infinitely versatile, our sockeye lends itself to a wide range of simple and more complex preparations. Chefs love to sear it and serve it over seasonal vegetables and salads. They also continually experiment and dress it with sauces or rub it with an array of international seasonings. And, because a six-ounce piece of Copper River sockeye can be cooked in well under ten minutes, home cooks rely on it, fresh or frozen, for quick, healthy, and protein- packed family meals.
Nutritional Profile for a 7 ounce serving of Copper River sockeye:
Sat. Fat: 4g
Also known as silver salmon, Copper River coho are the last of the three species to arrive each summer. Averaging about 12 pounds each, coho arrive in late August and September and feature a firm flesh and delicate flavor. Many salmon lovers think it’s the best species for grilling which is a testament to its firm yet succulent texture. The beauty of Copper River coho is that it takes deliciously to robust marinades, rubs, smoking techniques, and more. It also pairs beautifully with fall delicacies such as wild mushrooms, comforting mashed potatoes and creamy herbaceous risottos. The season is short and can be unpredictable due to rapidly changing weather patterns in the Copper River Delta during the early weeks of fall. Coho are often sent to market fresh or they are flash frozen for the off season.
Nutritional Profile for a 7 ounce serving of Copper River coho:
Sat. Fat: 2g