Courtesy Copper River/PWS Marketing Association

Every year there is a short window for savoring Copper River salmon. The runs come in for several weeks in May and this Northwest delicacy from Alaska can be shipped anywhere in the US.

So, what’s all the fuss in the Pacific Northwest about at the opening of Copper River salmon season? Could be that this wild salmon is the finest fish in the world. Yes, copper river salmon is THAT good – literally mouth watering delicious. The season lasts about four weeks and will end this year mid June.

Courtesy Copper River/PWS Marketing Association

The Copper River salmon, from the Copper River in Alaska,  need to fight 300 miles of demanding terrain in pristine, icey water for a total elevation gain of 3600’ to reach their spawning destination. The season is short – about a month, followed by other great salmon from the same river (sockeye and coho), but the Alaska king, with its rich red flesh, succulent taste, high omega-3 oil content and firm texture, is a true gastronomical treat.

The salmon runs in the Copper River are carefully managed for long term sustainability. Each fish is counted at several points in the river. Then each “run” (group of fish) is again counted and arrives in the Pacific Northwest with sequentially numbered tags. The Alaska King can be grilled, poached, steamed, sauteed or roasted. All salmon from Alaska tastes exceptional when compared to farm raised fish year round.

Courtesy Copper River/PWS Marketing Association

The Copper River King is prized for its deep red color, succulent flavor and delicate texture.  This luxury fish literally melts in your mouth. The King Salmon is followed by  the Copper River Sockeye. This rich in flavor, abundant salmon has the firmest texture of all wild Alaska salmon, and is preferred by many salmon lovers.Finally, a little later on in the season, the  Copper River Coho is prized for its  mild, delicate flavor and firm texture for a more affordable, late summer/early fall season Copper River  choice.



If you don’t live in the Pacific Northwest, which celebrates the first arrival of Copper River salmon at virtually every seafood restaurant in the city with great fanfare, you can call family owned  University Seafood in Seattle at 206-632-3900 and talk to Jeanette or Dale. This “hidden secret” source of seafood in Seattle supplies most of the area’s top restaurants and has a small retail storefront that’s been in the same location for 67 years.

You’ll find someone from University Seafood driving to the airport 3 to 4 times a day to meet planes arriving from Alaska for some of the freshest seafood in the country. If you do order, make sure you include some Dungeness crabmeat and perhaps some fresh miniature oysters. You’ll be dining like a king!


– The Gourmet Review



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