Copper River red harvest tops 4.5 million pounds
June 2nd, 2011 | Margaret Bauman
Commercial harvesters on the Copper River fishery caught 2,300 kings, 136,700 reds and 24 chum salmon during the May 30-31 opener.
In pounds, the catch weighed in at 44,800 pounds, 831,800 pounds and 180 pounds respectively.
Biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at Cordova said that brings the season totals to date to 11,000 kings, 758,200 sockeye and 10,800 chum, or, by weight, 209,500 pounds, 4,589,000 pounds and 70,400 pounds respectively.
The season opened on May 16.
The forecast is for 1.2 million sockeye salmon, 9,000 kings and 293,000 cohos, which would make this one of the most significant harvests in years, according to ADF&G biologist Jeremy Botz at Cordova.
As the run continues, prices to consumers are dropping somewhat. One online supplier this week dropped its price for five pounds of individually frozen sockeye salmon fillets from $199.99 to $109.95 for five pounds shipped.
Also online, FishEx in Anchorage was selling fresh Copper River sockeye fillets for $25.95 a pound and Copper River king fillets for $36.95 a pound, with 20 percent off on orders of 100 pounds or more. Another online shipper, 2 Sisters Alaska Seafood, was offering Copper River king fillets for $35.95 a pound and Copper River sockeye fillets for $25.95.
Washington State market watchers noted when the season opened that prices on the initial shipments appeared to be somewhat moderated over a year ago, with fresh fillets there felling for $24.95 for reds, and $37.95 a pound for kings.
Copper River salmon are renowned for their omega-3 oils and color. Salmon from the upcoming Bristol Bay run have been gaining in popularity too,A as harvesters and processors have made great efforts to improve the handling of that famed salmon run.
Margaret Bauman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 907-348-2438