Hopefully opening on time on Thursday the 15th of this month, is the famed Copper River Salmon season. Starting in the pristine waters of the Prince Williams Sound, these strong fish must navigate 300 miles of the cold, raging Copper River to their spawning grounds.
It is the length and temperature of this river that makes these fish so special. Due to these attributes of the river, these robust fish have an amazing store of natural oils and body fat which makes them some of the tastiest, and richest fish that swim.
Buyers Beware: For those of who have a hard time waiting for the first fish to arrive in stores, we are more than happy to pay the outrageous prices for the first taste. Copper River King and Sockeye salmon prices last season at the opening were $29.95 lb and 18.95 lb respectively. However, by the end of the short season the prices were $14.95 lb and 8.95 lb respectively. So you see, there is a huge difference in price from the beginning of the season to the end. This due in part to the fact that we never truly know how long the season will last. It varies from season to season. On most days, there is only a couple of hours of fishing allowed. Then it is shut down. This is just one way that the Alaskan way of sustainability is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
If you have never experienced this amazing fish, go ahead and splurge on a small 1/2 pound piece for yourself. Keep the seasoning simple and light; a little lemon-pepper, a splash of white-wine, and a sprig of fresh dill. Bake it hot (around 385) and quick (about 8-10 minutes for most single servings). Be selfish. Do not share. You will not be upset at spending that amount for a piece of fish.