Weather Improves for Copper River Salmon Fishery

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
May 19, 2008

The prized Copper River salmon fishery opens for its second 12-hour fishing period today, three days after harsh weather conditions hampered the first 12-hour fishing period.

Due to 50-knot winds and 12- to 15-foot swells, the first opener yielded only 2,400 reds and 800 kings Friday, and about three-quarters of the fleet did not fish, reports Copper River salmon fisherman Kurt Goetzinger. Fishermen received $4.50 a pound for reds and $6.50 for kings, he adds.

In the Seattle area, Copper River kings commanded as much as $50 a pound at Tacoma's Northern Fish Co. Friday. Prices of the fish are expected to drop as the fishery progresses.

The first 7,500-pound shipment of Copper River salmon from four processors - Trident Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Bear & Wolf Salmon Co. and Copper River Seafoods - arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 6 a.m. Friday via an Alaska Airlines 737 freighter. The airline had expected to transport about 20,000 pounds of the fish by day's end.

Today's weather forecast for Cordova, Alaska, is much more favorable than it was Friday.

This year's Copper River harvest is projected to produce 62,000 kings, which would be up from less than 40,000 fish in 2007.

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