California commercial fishermen are reporting the biggest king salmon season in a decade, on the heels of three years of disastrously low catches because of the drought. The sudden bounty has resulted in a price drop for the coral-pink, fatty fillets to $20 per pound in many markets, down from the $30- to $35-per-pound range of recent years.
“You might say this is the old normal, because we’ve been so used to catastrophe,” said Noah Oppenheim, executive director at the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “Consumers who have been facing tough prices because of scarcity of California salmon are seeing a much more accessible product.”
Traditionally a signal of summer in Northern California, the fish will finally be plentiful again in time for Fourth of July barbecue season. While supermarkets like Safeway and Lucky didn’t have fresh local salmon in stock this week, Whole Foods had it on special for $22.99 per pound and Monterey Fish in Berkeley and Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco for $19.99, which a Bi-Rite employee said was its lowest price of the season.
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