Thursday, May 14, was a special day for many Alaskans. It marked this year’s opening of the Copper River king salmon fishing season – a time that visitors and locals alike wait with bated breath. Once the fishermen haul in the opening day’s catch, the race is on to serve the fish as fresh as humanly possible to hungry mouths across the state and beyond. One bite of the melt-in-your-mouth, ruby-red meat and you’ll know exactly why it’s one of Alaska’s (and maybe the world’s) most coveted fish.
The day began in the small town of Cordova, Alaska, and the Copper River Delta, home to many commercial fishermen. As soon as the salmon was pulled from the water, fish processor Copper River Seafoods packaged it up and sent it off on an Alaska Airlines jet to Anchorage. From Anchorage, some salmon was transported to a helicopter and flown to Denali National Park and Preserve, while some was served to Westmark Anchorage guests for dinner that night. Another 20,000 pounds of the salmon caught during the opener was flown to Seattle, where it was greeted with red carpet fanfare.
Take a look at some shots from the “first fish” celebration as it arrived in Anchorage. Are you hungry yet? Fishing season has begun!