Much like we get excited about the beginning of crawfish season, it is another highly-anticipated time of year when the Copper River Salmon begin their annual migration from the ocean to the native waters of their birth. These fish, known for their rich nutty flavor, firm texture and beautiful color have spent one to five years in the Pacific Ocean before returning to spawn in the fresh waters of the Copper River.

The King and Sockeye salmon begin arriving to the Gulf of Alaska, where the Copper River terminates, around the first of May. They are the first salmon of the season to begin the migration to the rivers and streams of Alaska. This is an exciting event for a couple of reasons. First, it is a sign to Alaskans that spring has arrived. Secondly, for those of us who love the rich flavor and healthy omega-3s, we know this is the peak time of year for the tastiest of all salmon.

At Fish City Grill and Half Shells, we will bring in both species, the Sockeye and the Kings. However, we prefer the Sockeyes, believing that they have a richer color and a more buttery flavor.

The Alaskan salmon is the state’s most valuable renewable resource, and it is possibly the most well-regulated fishery in the world. Strict quotas, rules and enforcement ensure that future fish and fishermen have been provided for.

You should be seeing these great fish being offered on our chalkboards around the middle of May. The season usually lasts from four to six weeks depending on the amount of fish that are entering the bay. As with most everything that we offer, we will offer our Copper River Salmon expertly prepared in amazing recipes, at a tremendous value!

Bill Bayne

PS – Thanks to the Copper River Salmon Producers Association for their useful website!

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