CORDOVA, Alaska — Alaska’s Copper River Coho, in season from mid-August through September, signals the shift from summer to fall. Renowned as “The Last Great Salmon of the Season”, Copper River coho lends itself to an array of preparations and pairs naturally with the flavors of late August as well as with the cozier flavors of autumn such as apples, squashes, root vegetables and earthy mushrooms.
Harvested sustainably according to strict guidelines set by Alaska Department of Fish and Game, these salmon are treasured for their delicate texture and mild flavor. The last of the salmon species to return to the majestic glacial fed Copper River Delta every summer, they average 12 pounds each and are naturally rich in protein and heart healthy omega three fatty acids. (One 7-ounce portion has 8 grams protein and 2200 mg omega 3s). Available fresh, they can be grilled over cedar planks which imbues a rich woodsy flavor. The fillets are equally versatile prepared stovetop or in the oven. Baked on a sheet pan over diced vegetables and herbs such as thyme and rosemary, they make a simple flavorful midweek dinner. Seared in a sauté pan and perched atop creamy risotto or cannellini beans, they become a delicious, nutritious, and elegant entrée for entertaining.
With the season underway, Copper River coho is being shipped fresh from Cordova to wholesale distributors, supermarkets, and fish markets nationwide. Adam Branin, Seafood Buyer for Quality Food Centers (QFC) based in Bellevue, Washington, reports, “It’s been a great season this year for Wild Salmon and especially Copper River! Our customers have really responded when we have advertised Copper River Sockeye at great retails this year. They know how special Copper River is and that’s why we are going to lean into Copper River Coho as well. We are excited about being able to sell such amazing fish this late in the season where people are still looking for great wild fish to grill outside and take advantage of the gorgeous weather we are having in the Pacific Northwest!”
To locate Copper River Coho in your area, check the Fish Locator on the Copper River website. Basic tips for cooking Copper River salmon can be also found on the Association’s website, along with recipes. For inspiration, check out the Copper River Chef’s Roll video which features Chef Mikel Anthony pan searing it and basting it with butter, thyme, and garlic.About CR/PWS MA:
The Copper River/Prince William Sound Marketing Association, a fishermen funded regional seafood development association, works on behalf of the 500+ commercial salmon fishermen of Coastal South-Central Alaska. The association works to build brand awareness and consumer preference for wild Copper River king, sockeye and coho as well as Prince William Sound sockeye, keta, and pink salmon.