Copper River Salmon

Each year in mid May, the Copper River salmon run is in season. Determined local fisherman endure often harsh conditions to bring in this highly prized catch. Choppy waters, with winds in some areas of the fishery in excess of 40 knots, and eight-foot waves compelled some fishermen to sit out the first 2013 season opener, said biologists with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at Cordova.

Grilled Copper River Salmon Fillet

Grill over medium high heat for 8-11 minutes depending on size of fillet.

Here in Colorado, we enjoy this special treat for just a few weeks each summer. I like to keep it simple and grill the fillets with a sprinkle of garlic powder,  lemon pepper, and dill. For a change of pace, we will often have salmon for a mid morning meal to really start the day right.

“The market this year for Alaska king and sockeye is very strong,” said Scott Blake, president and chief executive officer of Copper River Seafoods. And a big attraction of the Copper River brand is the consumer interest in fishing families and communities in Alaska, he said.

“Retailers know their customers want to know where and who their food is coming from,” he said. “For us, it’s all about putting our fishermen partners front and center.

The nutritional benefits of salmon are widely recognized. A 3.5-once filet of wild Alaska salmon contains more vitamin D than a glass of milk — and plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, too. The fats give the sockeyes’ their tender texture, and they likely benefit consumers’ health in various ways, such as improving heart health and reducing the chance of developing several degenerative conditions.

I truly admire the brave fishermen who harvest this delicious fish for the rest of us. The short season makes the treat just that much more special.


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