Signaling the beginning of the bar-b-q season, the first salmon from the Copper River arrived in Seattle on Friday morning and first off the Alaska Air Cargo jet was a 48-pound King brought off the plane by Alaska Airline captain David Boshell and the aircraft’s first officer Melissa Van Dyke.
The King Salmon got the star treatment as it was packed down a red carpet to the three chefs that will conduct a cook-off at the Sea-Tac airport. The cook-off was a success, and the 2013 winner, John Howie, owner of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar, once again took the top spot.
Although this is the first salmon to hit Seattle from Alaska, it will not be the last. Even today, five more 737s are ferrying shipments out of Cordova. If this year is anything like last year, salmon will continue to be flown out of Cordova the the country’s dinnerplates. Last year, Alaska Airlines flew out an estimated 1 million pounds of salmon from the Prince William Sound port.
ADF&G says that they are expecting 1.6 million Copper River Reds, 22,000 Chinook, and 280,000 Pink Salmon to be caught as the salmon make their way to the Copper River.
The salmon flown in today by Alaska Airlines come from three processors, Copper River Seafoods, Trident Seafoods, and Ocean Beauty Seafoods.