Live updates: Copper River king catch above expectations

Follow along to get latest news on Alaska wild salmon season this year in one convenient round-up.

This blog will continue to be updated here.

Saturday, June 3, 2:23 pm PST

King salmon harvest higher than expected

"Chinook salmon harvest from the first five fishing periods was above anticipated levels despite unprecedented area restrictions, and poor weather conditions in the second and third fishing period that reduced harvest efficiency," said the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Saturday.

Preliminary harvest estimates from Thursday's fishing period are 2,000 Chinook and 40,200 sockeye salmon with 468 deliveries reported. This compares to an anticipated harvest of 61,200 sockeye salmon for this period.


Thursday, June 1, 8:25 am PST

Copper River kings pick up, sockeye slows

"King salmon harvest from the first four fishing periods was above anticipated levels despite unprecedented area restrictions, and poor weather conditions in the second and third fishing period that reduced harvest efficiency," said the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Wednesday.

Preliminary harvest estimates from the Monday's fishing period show 2,100 Chinook and 38,600 sockeye salmon with 483 deliveries reported. In comparison, ADF&G anticipated a harvest of 84,000 sockeye salmon for the fishing period.


Tuesday, June 1, 6:16 am PST

Bristol Bay sockeye salmon season kicks off

The Bristol Bay salmon fishery kicked off Wednesday in the Naknek/Kvichak, Egegik and Ugashik fishing districts, according to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G).

Read more on it here.


Tuesday, May 30, 5:38 am PST

Copper River kings pick up, sockeye slows

Copper River king salmon harvest from the first three fishing periods was above anticipated levels despite unprecedented area restrictions as well as poor weather conditions in the second and third fishing period, said the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Saturday.

The department's preliminary harvest estimates from Thursday's fishing period are 1,200 Chinook and 38,000 sockeye salmon with 376 deliveries reported. The anticipated sockeye harvest was 50,000 for this fishing period.

The fourth and most recent fishing period opened Monday.

The most updated preliminary numbers on the ADF&G Blue Sheet show a total of 181,000 salmon harvested statewide. Of this total, 128,000 are sockeye, mostly from the Copper River district, and 52,000 are king salmon, mostly from the winter troll season.


Friday, May 26, 5:44 am PST

Alaska shutting down spring troll season

The spring commercial salmon trolling season in Southeast Alaska will shut down a month early because of poor runs of king salmon.

The season opened in May and is scheduled to close May 29; the fishery was expected to run through June.


Thursday, May 25, 8:44 am PST

Sockeye landings pick up in Copper River

In the second Copper River fishing period this week, fishermen landed 1,718 chinook, bringing the total to 3,618. Fishermen landed 51,960 sockeye salmon bringing the Copper River total to 87,960.

However, sockeye landings are 70 percent less in the first two weeks than the last 5-year average cumulative harvest for the same first two weeks.


Thursday, May 25, 7:18 am PST

Increased restrictions on Copper River king harvests

On Wednesday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) said the Copper River king salmon harvest from the first two fishing periods of this season was above anticipated levels despite unprecedented area restrictions, and poor weather conditions in the second period on May 22 reduced harvest efficiency.

But, given the poor pre-season king salmon outlook, ADFG said a continued conservative commercial fisheries management approach is warranted.

To reduce king salmon harvest during the next fishing period, start time will be delayed to avoid opening on an extreme low tide when fish are more vulnerable to harvest. In addition, the duration of this fishing period is shortened to avoid fishing after the evening low tide.

The Copper River District will open for a nine-hour commercial fishing period from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm on Thursday.


Monday, May 22, 6:18 am PST

Seattle gets first Copper River salmon

As of Sunday, Whole Foods Market in Seattle was carrying the coveted Copper River salmon.

Social media was flaring up with posts from restaurants carrying the salmon as well:


Monday, May 22, 5:35 am PST

First Copper River sockeye landings just shy of forecast

The numbers are in for the landings for the first Copper River opener.

See what fishermen harvested and what the opening dates are for the other fishing districts in this IntraFish article.


Friday, May 19, 10:18 am PST

Copper River is on the menu in Seattle

Although many Seattle-area retailers -- such as QFC, Safeway, Whole Foods and Metropolitan Market -- say they have not received Copper River salmon as of Friday morning, area restaurants are ready to serve the fish.

Anthony's Restaurants is beginning to serve sockeye Friday and kings and sockeye on Saturday, the company's seafood buyer Tim Ferleman told IntraFish. The restaurant paid around $17 (€15) for sockeye and $23 (€20.50) for kings, he said.

Elliott's Oyster House in Seattle also had Copper River salmon on the menu Friday, with king going for $58 (€51.77) and sockeye for $38 (€33.92), according to the restaurant.


Friday, May 19, 11:58 am PST

Copper River salmon cook-off winner announced

Lark Executive Chef John Sundstrom won the 'Copper Chef Cook-off' trophy, said Alaska Airlines.

He beat out Spinasse and Artusi Executive Chef Stuart Lane and Wild Ginger Executive Chef David Yeo in the eighth annual competition, which used a 45-pound king salmon donated by Ocean Beauty Seafoods.


Friday, May 19, 9:43 am PST

Seattle gets its first salmon delivery

Alaska Airlines landed Friday morning with 22,000 pounds of fish, including a 45-pound king salmon donated by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, which will be used by three Seattle chefs in the eighth annual "Copper Chef Cook-off."

Alaska has four flights scheduled throughout Friday to deliver a total of 77,000 pounds of Copper River salmon to Anchorage and the lower 48. It partners with Ocean Beauty, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods.

The cook-off includes Lark Executive Chef John Sundstrom, Spinasse and Artusi Executive Chef Stuart Lane and Wild Ginger Executive Chef David Yeo.




















































Friday, May 19, 4:15 am PST

Early price reports

IntraFish spoke to several sources in the industry to get a sampling of what prices processors were offering for the first batches of Copper River salmon.

Prices this early in the season generally are not representative because of the small amount of fish harvested and the early enthusiasm for the fish. Typically, prices drop dramatically after a few openings have occurred and more fish enter the supply chain.

See what the prices are in this article.


Thursday, May 18, 11 pm PST

Anchorage nabs first Copper River salmon

Seattle won't get the first shipment of Copper River salmon this year.

ACE Air Cargo beat Alaska Air with the first Copper River king salmon sent to 10th and M Seafoods, which will distribute to Anchorage restaurants Thursday night, according to KTVA news.


Thursday, May 18, 12:13 am PST

Three groups to bring first salmon to Seattle

The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association said Thursday its "fleet of 540 independent artisans" hit the waters to bring in the first Copper River salmon of the season.

"We are looking forward to working with Alaska Airlines and this year's processing partner, Ocean Beauty, to celebrate the first fresh Copper River Salmon arriving in Seattle," said the organization.



Thursday, May 18, 11:08 am PST

Jet-shipping salmon

Owned by Giant Eagle, midwestern supermarket chain Market District told customers Thursday to expect Copper River salmon soon.

"Caught in Alaska and jet-shipped directly just hours after the catch, Copper River Salmon," said the retailer, which has 13 locations in western Pennsylvania and Ohio.



Thursday, May 18, 9 am PST

'Everyone's out'

The weather "is pretty nice out," and "everyone is out of the harbor" fishing for the first Copper River salmon, Cordova Harbormaster Tony Schinella told IntraFish.

He expects a good day of fishing and said he will start getting updates throughout the day.




Wednesday, May 17, 5.56 am PST

Retailers ready for Copper River rush

US retailer Hy-Vee said Tuesday it plans to bring Copper River salmon to stores soon after the season kicks off and Alaskan salmon will carry the company's Responsible Choice label.

"The consumer demand for this product has grown each year with foodies eagerly waiting for the first salmon to arrive in their local Hy-Vee," said the company. "The pure, pristine environment of the Copper River helps to create an omega-3 powerhouse."


Wednesday, May 17, 1.15 am PST

Will MSC label pay off for Prince William Sound salmon?

It may be good short term, but 'added layer of cost associated with MSC certification remains an issue in the long term,' one analyst says.

Click here to read the IntraFish story in full.


Tuesday, May 16, 9.00 am PST

Season is off to a good start already

Good news for Alaska salmon harvesters -- last week the Prince William Sound region was officially certified as sustainable to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, bringing one of the industry's longest-running sagas to a close.

The Prince William Sound fishery certification will apply to the 2017 harvest.


Tuesday, May 16, 9.00 am PST

Rain predicted for opening day

Showers are expected in Cordova for the opening day of Copper River season, according to

There's a 50 percent chance of precipitation, but the weather looks warm, with a high of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Winds are slated to come from the southeast at 10mph.


Thursday, May 4, 11.00 am PST

Opening day set for Thursday

The district opens May 18 for a 12-hour commercial fishing period. However, there will only be one 12-hour fishing period during the first week as opposed to the normal two periods per week.

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) plans to implement more commercial fishery restrictions this season to reduce king salmon harvest.

The Copper River king salmon forecast for this year is 29,000 fish, the smallest since 1985, and further evidence of a recent pattern of weak returns, said the department.

However, this forecast is still more than double the 12,000 Chinook salmon landed last year.


Saturday, April 22, 11.00 am PST

Yukon king salmon run highest since 2009

Yukon king salmon commercial fishermen were dealt some good news with word that this year's harvest could be a bumper one.

See what fisheries managers at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) have to say on the upcoming season.


Thursday, April 13, 11.00 am PST

Southeast Alaska king salmon quota sees 41% drop

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) set the pre-season troll treaty harvest allocation Monday for 2017 in southeast Alaska.

Read more about it in this IntraFish article.



Wednesday, April 12, 12.00 pm PST

Prince William Sound pink salmon harvest projected to dwarf 2016 figures; Copper River sockeye catch to stumble

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) said Monday the commercial common property fish (CCPF) harvest projections for the 2017 salmon fishery in the Prince William Sound and Copper/Bering River areas is 63.71 million salmon, more than four times the 13.7 million fish harvested in 2016.

Go here for a look at the breakdown by species.



Wednesday, April 12, 2.00 pm PST

Buyers: Get ready to pay a lot more for Copper River salmon

Copper River is the first fishing district to open up and the commercial common property fishery (CCPF) harvest projection is 1.1 million fish, 32 percent less than last year's harvest of 1.61 million.

Click here for the forecasted harvest break down and to see what ADF&G biologists had to say when they talked to IntraFish on the upcoming season.


Wednesday, April 12, 3.00 pm PST

Slump in Bristol Bay sockeye harvests to hit most fishing districts

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) released detailed harvest data for the five Bristol Bay districts Tuesday projecting declines in most of the regions compared with last year's harvest.

The commercial salmon season in Bristol Bay opens June 1 with a total projected sockeye harvest of 27.47 million fish.

Click here to look at the projected harvests for the individual districts


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