Copper River Salmon

What's the Big Deal?

Pike Place Market
••• Stephen Saks/Getty Images

Each May Pacific Northwest restaurants and markets herald the news - "Copper River salmon is here!" Copper River salmon? What is it? Why is everyone making such a fuss over it? One taste of this firm red fish, with its rich and nutty flavor, and you will understand why food lovers relish the three to four weeks that fresh Copper River salmon is available each year.

Where is the Copper River Anyway?

The Copper River flows in the state of Alaska.

Almost 300 miles in length, this wild rushing river empties into Prince William Sound at the town of Cordova.

Copper River Salmon are High in Healthy Omega-3 Oils

Salmon that originate in the pristine waters of Alaska's Copper River are challenged by its length and its strong, chill rapids. Consequently, Copper River salmon are strong, robust creatures with a healthy store of natural oils and body fat. These qualities make the salmon among the richest, tastiest fish in the world. Fortunately, fatty Copper River salmon is good for you, as it is loaded with Omega-3 oils, which are recommended by the American Heart Association. Your heart is not the only part of your body that benefits from salmon consumption: studies have found that fish oil can help combat such ailments as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer and migraines.

The Annual Arrival of Copper River Salmon

Northwest seafood lovers have turned the mid-May to mid-June Copper River salmon season into an annual celebration.

Seattle restaurateurs and markets compete to be the first to get an ice-packed shipment of the fresh salmon. Area newspapers fill with advertisements announcing availability at fine dining establishments. Local residents pay top dollar for chef-prepared creations that feature the Copper River delicacy.

Copper River salmon is a big deal in Seattle and around the Pacific Northwest. Here are some resources to help you find out for yourself.

Salmon recipes on the web: