The Place

Rising out of the Copper Glacier and untouched wilderness of southcentral Alaska, the Copper River is one of the last untouched watersheds in the world. The river is 300 miles of turbid glacial water which flows from its headwaters through the Chugach and Wrangell mountains to the central coast where it empties into the Gulf of Alaska. There are no municipalities, dams or mines on the Copper River and thanks to the work of conservation groups is under no threat. The Copper River remains a salmon stronghold.

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THE HARVEST

Wild Copper River salmon are harvested by a small fleet of independent fishermen on one and two-man boats called bowpickers. This artisan craft has been handed down for generations. All Copper River salmon are caught by drift gillnets which extend 150 fathoms from the bow of the boat and hang vertically in the water.

This commercial fishery occurs in the ocean where
the Copper River meets the Gulf of Alaska. Fishing is limited via time and area and is managed scientifically by Alaska Department of Fish and Game to ensure abundant future salmon stocks.

Quality Handling from Net to Plate

Copper River salmon are handled with extreme care on their journey from net to plate. From the moment they are individually hand-harvested out of the net by fishermen they are bled. Bleeding the fish helps maintain the pure taste wild Alaskan salmon is known for. Immediately after the fish are bled they are chilled in fish holds. The most popular method of chilling is known as "slush icing" which is a mixture of flaked ice and sea water that allows the fish to float so as to reduce bruising. These fleet-wide standards ensure consistent quality throughout the season. Copper River salmon are delivered in small batches to be processed and shipped within a matter of hours to stores and restaurants.
Quality extends beyond harvest and shipment. Knowledgeable fishmongers and dedicated chefs are the final link connecting consumers to the world's finest salmon.

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