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Alaska’s famed Copper River salmon fishery will open for the 2018 season at 7 a.m. on May 17 for a 12-hour commercial fishing period. Prior to the start of the commercial season, the Copper River District subsistence fishery will open for a single 12-hour period starting at 7 a.m. on May 15. Waters within an expanded Chinook salmon inside closure area will be closed during both periods.
Aficionados of the celebrated opener are already starting to place orders for first run fillets of Copper River reds and kings, even though the price per pound has not been determined. Seattle’s Pike Place Fish Market is already posting a price of $54.99 a pound for wild Copper River king salmon, $174.93 per fish for Copper River reds, $74.99 a pound for wild Copper River king salmon fillets and $34.99 a pound for wild Copper River sockeye fillets.
10th & M Seafoods in Anchorage, Alaska, isn’t releasing prices yet, but started to take orders over the phone. A spokesman for the company said they are expecting a lot more orders to come in just days before the fishery begins.
Copper River Seafoods meanwhile is getting ready to kick off the season with a direct flight out of Cordova to Seattle area markets eager for the fresh fillets, and a celebration at the 49th Street Brewing Company in Anchorage. Three hundred tickets, at $15 apiece are being sold for this family-friendly event that will feature live music and sample gourmet dishes of Copper River sockeyes prepared by chefs from five popular Alaska restaurants.
“We’re due for a good run here,” said Copper River Seafoods spokesman Marty Weiser, “We’re all feeling very optimistic.”
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