Copper River kicks off AK salmon season!

The Copper River opened today with eye-popping prices for salmon pre-orders.

by | May 16, 2022

Filed Under Markets

First reds & kings set record prices at Pike Place Market in Seattle

Hundreds of boats are out on the water for today’s first 12-hour fishery at the Copper River near Cordova that started at 7am.

Reports from the grounds say no price info is being talked about on the radio yet. That should start mid to late afternoon after buyers get a handle on how the catches are coming in and they start competing for the fish, said one of the veteran ‘boots on deck.’

Strong demand and scant supply for the heavily hyped, first of the season fish typically combine to push up prices. All eyes will be on Peter Pan Seafoods, which last year paid record starting prices to fishermen at $12.60/lb for sockeye and $19.60/lb for Chinook salmon.

Eye-popping prices for pre-orders

Even before boats hit the water, Pike Place Market in Seattle was taking orders for $899.99 for whole Copper River king salmon and $199.95 for sockeye, according to the Cordova Times.

Pre-orders for fillets were priced at $129.99/lb for Chinook and $74.98 for sockeyes.

“People are excited about the Copper River opener and the orders are rolling in,” spokesman Ryan Reese told reporter Margie Bauman.

“Our customers are more concerned about the quality of the fish than the price,” Reese said. That said, Pike Place and other marketers have no idea what prices they will have to pay to access the fish, Bauman wrote.

Copper River Seafoods is offering pre-orders of eight-ounce portions of Copper River kings for $89/lb and eight-ounce portions of Copper River sockeyes at $49.99/.

Rich Wheeler of 60 degrees North Seafood told the Cordova Times that their company had a waiting list for Chinook, but no prices were posted for either the kings or sockeyes. No prices were posted yet for 10th & M Seafoods or New Sagaya in Anchorage.

The 2022 Copper River salmon forecast is for a total commercial harvest of 7,000 kings and 716,000 sockeyes.

About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.

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