Copper River Sockeye are famous, and often called the best salmon in the world.
I have eaten a lot of salmon in my lifetime, and I couldn't agree more. I'll admit though,
I'm as biased as it gets. I've eaten the best salmon in my life sitting on the deck of the Miss CamiLou, rafted up with with a couple other boats after a long day of fishing. Gazing at the most amazing view where snow-peaked mountains meet the sea in the never-ending daylight just made the moment even more delicious. Oh, and it was my birthday. Can’t beat that!
I'm lucky though, I get to eat Copper River Salmon all the time, and even at home on a busy weeknight, without the spectacular views, it's just as tender and flavorful as it was that night.
In my opinion, Copper River Sockeye is special for these three reasons:
Wild fish is seasonal, just like fruits and vegetables, and Copper River Sockeye are the
first wild salmon to spawn in the spring. Don’t be fooled by the omnipresent “Fresh Salmon” in the grocery stores. Farmed Salmon has no season, only “scheduled production dates”. As the weather turns to spring, we are hungry for fresh produce and fresh wild fish - in our house, that means Copper River.
The Copper River is a long, cold, and powerful river. This arduous upstream swim requires enormous exertion, and the salmon have to rely on huge reserves of built-up fat for fuel and insulation. Copper River Sockeye have higher Omega-3 values than Sockeye in other rivers do. This extra high Omega-3 fat content gives the Sockeye its rich, moist, and delicious flavor; as well as outstanding health benefits.
Because Copper River Fishermen truly believe that their fish are special and the very best, they treat them that way- with the respect they deserve. The Copper River fishery is slower paced than other salmon fisheries. In other rivers, the fish migrate all at once, and the fishing is fast and furious over a period of only a couple weeks. The Copper River Delta is huge, and the Salmon come in slowly, over a period of months. This gives fishermen (and processors) more time to handle the fish properly and cool them quickly.
Careful handling is what makes Copper River Sockeye consistently the best - and the reason I consider Rich's Sena Sea fish to be the very best of the best!
Sena Wheeler holds degrees in nutrition and food science in addition to being a Mom, foodie, and third generation fisherman's wife. Visit her at Senasea.com where she blogs about family, fish and food.