Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Copper River Salmon Catch Tops 180,000 Fish

The Copper River salmon fishery in Alaska is so far coming in as forecasted, with upwards of 180,000 Chinook, sockeye and chum salmon delivered to processors in Cordova since the first opener. Retail prices are holding fairly firm.

Preliminary catch figures for the fourth opener on May 25 were still being compiled by Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) officials, but as of early today that count stood at 180,088 fish, accounting for 168,336 red, 7,041 Chinook, 4,710 chum and a single humpy.

The first opener on May 16 brought in a total of 22,966 fish, the second accounted for 56,803 salmon and the third 66,919. As of late Tuesday, May 28, fish tickets added up to 33,400 fish, but ADF&G gillnet fishery manager Jeremy Botz said that was just a partial count.

Harvesters made 473 deliveries to processors in the first period, 483 in the second and 569 in the third.

Copper River kings and sockeyes were starting to show up as seafood entrees in more fine dining restaurants, like Jens, in Anchorage, Alaska, where a fresh Copper River king salmon grilled and served with Romesco sauce and roasted corn salsa was offered for $50.

For those preferring to prepare their own seafood at home, the best deal in Anchorage this week was fresh Copper River sockeye fillets for $13.99 a pound at Costco stores, and shoppers were snapping them up quickly.

10th & M Seafoods had Copper River sockeye fillets for $21.95 a pound and king fillets for $59.95 a pound. New Sagaya, the other top seafood shop in that city, was offering five pounds of Copper River red fillets for $209.95, or $41.99 a pound. Online Anchorage retailer FishEx had sockeye portions for $46.95 a pound and king portions for $86.95 a pound.

In Seattle, Pike Place Fish Market had dropped prices on whole Copper River kings to $39.95 a pound and king fillets for $49.99 a pound, while Copper River sockeyes were $99.95 per fish and $29.99 a pound for fillets.

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