Copper River reds holding their own in retail prices

Copper River sockeye salmon were holding their own in retail prices in mid-June, even as commercial harvesters in Western Alaska and Cook Inlet began their own deliveries of the red salmon to processors. Photo by Margaret Bauman for The Cordova Times

Copper River red salmon continued to hold their own in retail prices in mid-June as the Copper River District continued to deliver robust catches to processors and more commercial salmon harvesters in the Alaska Peninsula, the Kodiak area and Cook Inlet added deliveries of thousands of fish.

By Tuesday, June 21, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s preliminary 6,214 deliveries of 1,060,395 salmon, led by the Copper River District drift gillnetters with 2,736 deliveries of some 349,875 fish, including 340,565 sockeyes, 10,437 Chinook, 8,914 chum, 3 coho and two pink salmon.

Coghill district drift gillnetters showed 2,129 deliveries of 313,303 fish, including 293,299 chum, 19,712 sockeyes and 292 Chinook salmon.

The statewide preliminary harvest total was calculated by ADF&G biologists at upwards of 4.7 million fish, including 3.2 million sockeyes, 921,000 chum, 561,000 pink, 47,000 Chinook and 1,000 coho.

Demand for the Copper River salmon, when available, was fetching $29.99 a pound at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle and $13.99 a pound at Costco stores and 10th & M Seafoods in Anchorage.

Fishmongers at Fred Meyer supermarkets said they would not be receiving any more Copper River reds and were selling fresh fillets of other wild Alaska sockeyes for a lower price.

Fishermen in the South Alaska Peninsula showed deliveries of 3.1 million fish, including 2,357,000 sockeyes, 554,000 pink, 206,000 chum and 1,000 Chinooks, while the North Alaska Peninsula had a catch of some 5,000 red salmon,

Kodiak fishermen had deliveries of 304,000 fish, led by 250,000 sockeyes, plus 45,000 chum, 7,000 pink and 1,000 coho salmon.

In Cook Inlet the central district had deliveries of some 5,000 sockeyes and the northern district brought in another 2,000 red salmon.