Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists in Cordova, Alaska, announced that the first Copper River opener will commerce at 7 a.m. on May 16, for a 12-hour period ending at 7 p.m.
The arrival of those first run sockeyes and kings in Seattle on Alaska Airlines will receive the usual red-carpet treatment.
10th & M’s Rob Winfree says Alaskans have been shortchanged by having the first of the season sockeyes and kings going directly to Seattle two days before Alaskans can get it, so he decided to do something about it. He worked with 60° North Seafoods on getting a helicopter to lift a load of fresh catch off a boat and deliver it to a jet at the Cordova Airport to fly them directly to Anchorage, where 10th & M will deliver it to customers who pre-ordered. “It is small amounts,” he said. “It’s token, but it means a lot.” Some first fish will be delivered in time to several Anchorage restaurants so it can be featured on their May 16 evening menu.
Winfree claimed that last year some of those first run wild salmon were on dinner plates in Anchorage two hours before that first opener ended.
Copper River Seafoods also will celebrate the arrival of the first fish in Anchorage with a special event on Saturday, May 18, at which gourmet chefs will offer a variety of creative wild Alaska salmon appetizers to invited guests.