Friday, May 19, 2006

Copper River Salmon

It's that time of year again! The first of the season Copper River King Salmon have arrived from Alaska!

What makes one salmon "better" than another? Does it matter?

Well, the answer is both yes...And no to a certain degree.

King (Chinook) Salmon are found from Oregon north through the Gulf of Alaska. There are thousands of streams in the King Salmon's habitat. Some are relatively quite flowing, while others have the type of white water falls that river rafters envy.

The Copper River in Alaska is 300 plus miles of raging crystal clear white water. The natural selection process has insured that Copper River Salmon returning to spawn are well equipped to make the journey up this river. The Salmon tend to be larger than many other returning fish, and have measurably higher oil content.

Two other great advantages these fish enjoy are:
1. A great human marketing department, which has extolled the virtues of these Salmon for the past 25 years.
2. The location of the Copper River to their natural pasture in the Gulf of Alaska makes the seaward side of their journey a couple weeks shorter than for other Salmon runs.

Great Fish, Great Marketing, First of the season.... but $36.99 a pound?

So, what about other King Salmon? Well, they are all big, the King Salmon is the largest salmon species and all are well endowed with high levels of omega 3 oils.

Are some King Salmon obviously superior? The short answer is ...yes. Let's look at other areas that have similar environmental conditions to the Copper River. These are some of the key attributes of the Copper River:
1. A long swim from the mouth of the river.
2. Swiftly flowing white water rapids.
3. Protected against human encroachment.

One place that stands out is the Rogue River in Southern Oregon! The wild rushing Rogue River begins near Crater Lake and runs through Grant’s Pass, Oregon before it empties into the Pacific Ocean 215 miles later at the Town of Gold Beach in southern Oregon. The majority of the river flows through a national park. The Rogue River is one of the original eight rivers included in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act due to its famous Steelhead and Salmon angling, challenging whitewater and extraordinary wildlife-viewing opportunities.

Rogue River King Salmon, like the Copper River Salmon are premium examples of the species as a result of unique environmental factors. The fish are larger and the oil content is measurably higher than other salmon runs. What's the main difference? The Rogue River King Salmon arrive about 3 weeks after the Copper River run begins. For more info on Rogue River Salmon, visit our website at:


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