2023 Copper River Salmon Season Set to Launch on May 15
Fishermen are very excited, and for a good reason: this Copper River salmon season celebrates its 40th anniversary with a fleet of almost 540 fishermen. Last year, the commercial harvest forecast for the Copper River District was 716,000 sockeye and 211,000 coho salmon, while the common property Chinook salmon forecast was 14,000 fish.
When is Copper River Salmon Season 2023?
Copper River salmon season is expected to run from mid-May through September, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This is when the king, sockeye, and coho salmon return to the Copper River to spawn. To fuel their arduous journey, they need to have enough fat reserves, which explains their high omega-3 fatty acid content.
It’s scheduled to open on May 15, Monday. For some fishermen, the salmon season is their rite of passage. People are looking forward to the first fresh commercially harvested king salmon to reach the market.
Fishing Activity and Harvest
We’re expecting a harvest estimate of 1.2 million sockeye salmon and a commercial harvest of 987,000 fish. As for king salmon, the harvest estimate is 53,000 fish, which is 15% above average. King salmon typically arrives in mid-May, followed by sockeye starting in June. Meanwhile, coho runs begin in August.
The cold glacial waters of the Copper River are home to different salmon species, including king, sockeye, and coho, which are some of the best sources of health-boosting omega-3 fats. The Alaska seafood industry has been and continues to be a key driver of the state’s economic growth. As the largest private sector in Alaska, the seafood industry employs 62,000 workers with a combined annual income of $1.75 billion. Moreover, Alaska is by far the largest seafood producer by volume and value in the United States.
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