The mighty Copper River is one of the longest and most rugged rivers in Alaska. Twisting and cutting deeply through the Wrangell and Chugach mountains, its 300 mile stretch of pristine glacier-fed waters are riddled by hundreds of rapids. Each Spring, Sockeye and King salmon return along the 300 miles of mountainous glacier fed waters to spawn and lay their eggs. This is the most anticipated and celebrated wild salmon run in the world and lasts from mid-May through mid-June. Because the journey is so long, they must store extra fat and oils in order to survive. This high fat and oil content is why it is recognized as one of the worlds best eating salmon. It is also a highly nutritious protein because of its high levels of ‘heart-smart’ Omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol.
The King salmon and the Sockeye differ in size and fat content. The King can weigh in at 15 pounds, while the Sockeye reaches between 5 and 7 pounds. King salmon - sometimes called Chinook - spend the longest time at sea before returning to spawn, and is generally considered the finest. Sockeye, also known as red salmon, is smaller and spends less time at sea.King salmon has red meat, but not as red as sockeye whose flesh is bright red with a fine texture resembling beef. Both are firm in texture, with a rich flavor that makes them a very delicious dining experience whose popularity is rapidly growing. Copper River salmon are caught by gillnet.