Copper River salmon in Seattle Friday

by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:

Copper River salmon showing arriving in Seattle in May 2013.

Copper River salmon is coming to Seattle this Friday.

The Copper River District will open for the season Thursday morning and the first fish is expected to arrive at Sea-Tac at 6 a.m. Friday.

But the demand will be high because of the short open fishing period. The open window for the Copper River District is only 12 hours on Thursday, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Gave Division of Commercial Fisheries

Salmon from the Copper River in Alaska is available fresh May through September and frozen year-round. The arrival of Copper River salmon is a big event in Seattle. Last year, the first fish was delivered by an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-400

The kings and sockeyes of the 300-mile Copper River command extra value, and not just because they’re the first fresh fish of the season.  The Copper is a big, brawling river, and fish have to be big and strong to survive it. The way they’ve evolved to meet its demands, and the foods they eat, give them a very high oil content, and therefore, superior color and flavor.

Frank Ragusa, of Ocean Beauty Seafoods said last year that the salmon are “simply the best fish in the world.”  They’re also loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids – held to be good for heart health.

Competition by restaurants and retailers for the fish is intense.  The Los Angeles Times is reporting that initial prices for the kings could range as high as $50 a pound, though that will come down as the fish begin to arrive.

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