The Copper River sockeye run has improved after an abysmal start, but not enough for managers to allow for normal fishing periods in the famed early season fishery. Orange-red in color, moist, flaky, fully cooked wild salmon, smoked in the traditional Northwest style. From the MOST EXCLUSIVE wild salmon run in the world, Alaska's legendary Copper River. Fisheries biologists are reassessing their assumptions about the hatchery component of the Copper River red salmon run before they decide whether to reopen the personal-use fishery. Where we work in the Watershed. Take the Tour. Established in 2015. Through June 1 just 79,482 sockeye had been enumerated at the sonar in the lower river. Email Us. We have been fishing these rivers for 15 years and as a guide and now owner and I am proud to say that we offer a quality trip that is fun … If realized, it would be the 10th largest red salmon run in the Copper River since 1980. Our Sockeye average about 6 pounds each. Email him: elwood.brehmer@alaskajournal.com. Simply the best we’ve ever had. … The larger catches followed drastically low catches in the first two openers of the season in which the combined harvest was just 6,071 sockeye, which led to the restrictions on fishing time. They can grow up to 84 cm (2 ft 9 in) in length and weigh 2.3 to 7 kg (5–15 lb). The Copper River’s salmon run is typically the first Alaska wild salmon to hit the market and thus commands a high price. The department’s official forecast estimated a commercial sockeye harvest of 771,000 fish versus a harvest of 1.2 million sockeye last year. We offer guided fishing trips and rafting trips throughout Alaska's Copper River Valley. In preparation for their herculean task of swimming up the 300 mile Copper River these salmon pack on rich energy reserves – evident in the … You are the best.” - Bruce and Karen. Sensory? By June 1 there were 79,482 sockeye counted by … It takes approximately 2 weeks for salmon to travel this distance, but this is highly variable depending on the water level. Catch your limit of wild sockeye salmon on the best fishing rivers in the region COPPER RIVER REDS, THE MOST PRIZED STOCK OF ALASKAN SALMON Red salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), also known as Sockeye, are hands down the best tasting of the Pacific salmon. These nutrients in turn support abundant wild salmon runs on the Copper River. Prince William Sound gillnetter and seiner Derek Blake of Anchorage was the lucky high bidder and bought the queen. We are passionate about the river and the Copper River Salmon. The run is still better than 2018 when low sockeye returns forced managers to greatly restrict fishing time to achieve sufficient escapement. [Because of a high volume of comments requiring moderation, we are temporarily disabling comments on many of our articles so editors can focus on the coronavirus crisis and other coverage. In the Northwest, the arrival of the first Copper River salmon is celebrated with all sorts of hoopla. Overall, department biologists forecasted a smaller Copper River sockeye run of 1.5 million fish this year compared to a 10-year average of 2.1 million wild fish. We are passionate about the river and the Copper River Salmon. We don't fish unless runs are healthy . Cordova District Fishermen United Executive Director Chelsea Haisman said the fishery has been disappointing so far, but fishermen understand the need to restrict time and allow for adequate fish passage into the river. The US state of Alaska’s salmon season officially kicks off in one week, on May 14, at Copper River near Cordova with a 12-hour opener for kings and … Comparatively, more than 220,000 sockeye had moved past the sonar by the same time last year despite additional fishing time in the commercial fishery. The current escapement … While it starts mid-May in Alaska, those of use in the lower 48 can enjoy the rich, nutty, full flavor of the Copper River Red salmon (photos) through the month of June, and this year, probably well into July. This is slightly less than last year, when local news outlets reported the first king salmons available at $60.00 (€55.54) per pound. Antibody infusion center opens in Anchorage to treat those most at risk for severe COVID-19 infections, Dunleavy administration agrees with, but does not join, Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn presidential election, Republican Anchorage lawmaker Lance Pruitt challenges 11-vote election loss in court, Plan for Anchorage airport development near Raspberry Road draws neighborhood questions, Tracking COVID-19 in Alaska: 4 new deaths and 577 infections reported Wednesday. Gift Certificates; Price Range. I savor this treat, knowing the hard work and time that goes into putting up a batch of fish for the winter. These salmon live as adults in the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific ocean eating small crustaceans and zooplankton. These fantastic fish are the crown jewel of the salmon world. Copper River Salmon in Cordova, AK Copper River Salmon in Cordova, AK - Part 2. We target King Salmon (Chinook), Red Salmon (Sockeye), Arctic Grayling, Rainbow Trout and Dali Varden. “We’re just going to be watching that sonar real close and hoping to get a few days of 20,000-plus (sockeye),” Botz said. Thanks for taking the time to watch this cinematic-style video of my experience fishing for Sockeye. The fish was that fresh. © 2020 Anchorage Daily News. ADFG. State biologists forecast a Copper River sockeye run of 1.5 million fish this year compared to a 10-year average of 2.1 million. We target King Salmon (Chinook), Red Salmon (Sockeye), Arctic Grayling, Rainbow Trout and Dali Varden. COPPER RIVER KING REVIEW: “Service? Alaska Dept. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if you’d like to communicate with us about a particular article. At Tursy Ann Smeeler’s breakfast table in the heart of the Copper River watershed sits a sampling of the salmon-flavored fruits of her daily labor: dried Copper River red salmon. According to Botz, ground prices for the prized Copper River salmon have improved somewhat from initial low prices of $3.25 per pound for sockeye and $6.25 per pound for chinook, but only to the $4 per pound range for sockeye and nearly $7 per pound for chinook. The two week travel time published by Fish & Game is for management purposes only. We have been fishing these rivers for 15 years and as a guide and now owner and I am proud to say that we offer a quality trip that is fun … The Copper River sockeye salmon run has improved after an abysmal start, but not enough for managers to allow for normal fishing periods in the famed early season fishery. Copper River salmon made its way to Seattle area QFCS where sockeye are selling for $34.99 (€32.39) per pound and kings for $44.99 (€41.64) per pound. The Copper River is the birthplace of three wild Alaskan salmon species. Just more than 44,000 sockeye were harvested during the entire 2018 Copper River season and only 45,000 fish had passed the sonar by June 1 of that year, compared to the 79,000 fish this year. Kenzi Wilbur – Writer; Morgan Yeager – Photographer/Writer, The Coastal Table, New York; Where Red Salmon Run. Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Jeremy Botz said June 2 it was unlikely the drift gillnet fishery would be opened for a regular 12-hour period June 4, as sockeye passage past the Copper River sonar at Miles Lake was only about half of what managers expected it would be. Get your fresh fillets of luscious Copper River salmon directly from the source - Sena Sea, in Cordova, Alaska. 32K likes. Every year, May marks the beginning of the Copper River Salmon season. The Copper River chinook return and harvest was initially expected to be strong with a total run of 60,000 fish and an all-fishery harvest of up to 36,000 fish possible. Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists appear to have correctly predicted a smaller than normal 2020 Copper River sockeye run, but it is shaping up to be even less than expected. As fishermen scraped through a scant opener, rumors circulated online and in news outlets that Copper River Seafoods was paying out just USD 3.50 (EUR 3.19) for sockeye and USD 6.50 (EUR 5.93) for kings. ADFG biologists are forecasting a return of 60,000 king salmon to the Copper River, about 20 percent more than the recent 10-year average, with an estimated common property harvest of 36,000 fish. The low sockeye escapement figures continue despite managers closing the regular, 12-hour Thursday fishing periods during the second and third weeks of the fishery. Thanks Copper River!! The organizers, Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association, encouraged Katie to submit an entry and fish fever once again took hold. Celebrating Copper River king, sockeye & coho Salmon - wild, natural and sustainable Alaska salmon at it's best! Chinook catches have also been low this year, with 5,751 fish caught during the first five openers, but with no other way to track the Copper River chinook return until the fish reach counting stations at upriver tributaries, Botz said the time restrictions put on the fishery because of the low sockeye counts could have allowed a significant number of fish into the river. Cordova has a similar salmon sculpture creation and display program Copper River Reds on the Run. Buy Seafood. The water levels listed here are an indication of the general trends in the Copper River but may not be indicative of what is occurring at Chitina. If these runs come in as forecasted, the sockeye run would be 32.7 percent below average, while the king run would be 20 percent above average. Box 1560 Cordova, Alaska 99574 907.424.3334 phone Join Our Mailing List Contact Us. Every year (May - September) king, sockeye and coho return to the Copper River to make the arduous 300-mile migration up the turbulent waters in order to spawn. Fishing for red salmon requires attention to detail and a very specific technique. State biologists also predicted a Gulkana Hatchery sockeye salmon run of 109,000 fish, which would be 62.3 percent below average, still bringing the total Copper River red salmon returns to 1.5 million fish, with a harvest of 771,000 reds. Copper River Sockeye, sometimes referred to as red salmon, are the bread and butter of our fishery. of Fish & Game Biologists must ensure enough adults reach spawning grounds before allowing commercial catch. Because the Copper River is so long and steep (gains an … Fast and exemplary. Red King Crab; Alaska Snow Crab (Opilio) Native Style Smoked Salmon; Wild Alaska Ling Cod; King Salmon; Sockeye Salmon; Coho Salmon; Halibut Burger Meat; Salmon Burger Meat ; Halibut; Black Cod; Pacific Cod; Rockfish; Preparation. You must account for the time it takes for the salmon to travel that distance in order to be at the right place at the right time. It is known for its extensive delta ecosystem, as well as for its prolific runs of wild salmon, which are among the most highly prized … Botz said the sockeye run appears to be late and small, while the Copper River chinook run — expected to be strong this year at roughly 60,000 fish — also appears to be smaller than forecasted, although getting an accurate early read on the chinook return is more difficult, Botz noted. The Alaska salmon season unofficially begins with the Copper River kings, and this year, there may be something to celebrate for the first time in a while. A total run of 1.4 million sockeye salmon, along with 60,000 Chinooks, are expected to return to the Copper River in 2020, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). P.O. The first 18,000 pounds of fresh Copper River salmon arrived in Seattle via an Alaska Airlines plane Friday morning, the company said. The forecast for the Copper’s king salmon, however, is not as optimistic. About Us. Copper River Salmon, Cordova, Alaska. We offer guided fishing trips and rafting trips throughout Alaska's Copper River Valley. John Rohrs – Seafood Manager, Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Iowa; Kim Sunee – Author/Writer, Alaska; Blueberry Cured Red Salmon. Tursy has singlehandedly harvested her winter stash from the legendary river. Slaying Copper River Salmon was a blast! Alaska’s earliest salmon fishery – the famed Copper River run – kicked off last week with slow fishing and lower year-on-year prices. Established in 2015. Stretching through September, this season is awaited around the world for its renowned wild King, Sockeye, and Coho salmon. The sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), also called red salmon, kokanee salmon, or blueback salmon, is an anadromous species of salmon found in the Northern Pacific Ocean and rivers discharging into it. The Copper River or Ahtna River, Ahtna Athabascan ‘Atna’tuu, "river of the Ahtnas", Tlingit Eeḵhéeni, "river of copper", is a 290-mile river in south-central Alaska in the United States. Skinless Salmon; Frozen; Jarred; Canned; Smoked; Dinner Solutions; Outdoor Adventure; Specialty Items. Photo Credit: Laura Davidson, A Beautiful Plate. Board of Fisheries and Game: Actions & Activities, Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS), About the Division of Commercial Fisheries, Western Alaska Salmon Stock Identification Program (WASSIP), Online General Season & Registration Permits, Subsistence and Personal Use Fishing Permits, CSIS – Community Subsistence Information System, The Technical Papers and Special Publications Series. It’s just too soon to know for sure. This species is a Pacific salmon that is primarily red in hue during spawning. This year’s run is breaking all the records with over 469,000 salmon crossing the Cordova counting point, as of Sunday. (Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News file). Check out our projects across the watershed with our interactive map, photos and information. View Product. Copper River. ], Elwood Brehmer is a reporter for the Alaska Journal of Commerce. Connect. Harvest of Copper River Salmon is Sustainable. The Gulkana Hatchery supports a small portion of the annual Copper River sockeye run. “We certainly wouldn’t want to see the run put in jeopardy in the long-term,” Haisman said. Salmon? Extremely rich in beneficial Omega-3 oils, which are the source of a wild salmon's unparalleled flavor. Fishing improved for the gillnet fleet during the May 25 and June 1 openers, with 33,777 and 31,522 sockeye taken during the respective periods. The Copper River District normally opens in mid-May with 12-hour fishing periods on Mondays and Thursdays. Chefs on the West Coast were reportedly asking $55 for a Copper River sockeye dish upon first delivery this May, and fishermen reportedly getting $9 to $10 per pound at the dock for sockeye and $14 for kings. Copper River fish-runs are not threatened or endangered like others-you can enjoy them without worry. Mountainous glaciers blanketing the basin have been melting since the last ice age ended 12,000 years ago depositing massive amounts of glacial silt downstream, upwards of 60-100 million tons per year! When I opened the bag in the cooler, I could smell the ocean. Sockeye salmon in a tote. Thanks. Running from mid-May to mid-August the true color of Copper River Sockeye flesh is orange. Description: The Sonar on the Copper River is located at the outlet of Miles Lake, about 70 miles from the Chitina dipnet fishery. Widespread restaurant closures in the Lower 48 have greatly reduced the traditional primary market for Copper River salmon. IMPORTANT: The Alaska Department of Fish & Game sonar counter that provides this data is approximately 70 miles downriver of the Copper River Personal Use Dipnet Fishery near Chitina. By noon, Alaska Air Cargo is expected to deliver a total of 50,000 pounds of Copper River salmon throughout the United States. 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