Where to find Copper River salmon in Seattle

The first shipment of the fatty Alaskan fish has become an annual tradition in the city.

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The first salmon arrived at the Sea-Tac airport around 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. Planes are still coming in with more loot.

Photo by Joe Nicholson, via Alaska Airlines

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Roll out the pink carpet. Another highly anticipated spring event for foodies is here: the prized Copper River salmon has arrived in Seattle.

The fish known for its delectable fatty flavors rolls in annually around this time from the Copper River in Alaska. The season begins in May and runs through September. But the first shipment — which came to Sea-Tac on Tuesday — is always a big deal, and a special guest often gives the first fish off the plane a kiss.

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We would probably rather be eating the fish than kissing it. Regardless, what an honor.

Photo by Joe Nicholson, via Alaska Airlines

Some salmon from Tuesday’s 18,000-pound haul have already been dispersed to local markets and grocery stores. But since they’re in such high demand, the early arrivals often have a high price tag. If you get sticker shock, keep an eye out in the weeks to come for possible price drops.

Pro tip: There are different types of Copper River salmon. King will give you the most flavor because of its fattiness, but the sockeye won’t be anything to turn your nose up at.

Where to shop

Pike Place Fish Market | 86 Pike Pl.

  • King salmon: $54.99 per lb for a whole fish, $79.99 for fillets
  • Sockeye salmon: $44.99 per lb for a whole fish, $69.99 for fillets

Seattle Fish Company | 4435 California Ave. SW

  • Sockeye salmon: $55.95 per lb

Metropolitan Market | All locations

  • King salmon: $54.99 per lb
  • Sockeye salmon: $39.99 per lb

PCC Community Markets | All locations

  • Sockeye salmon: $39.99 per lb

Where to dine

Since the Copper River salmon are literally still coming into town off planes, it may be a few days before restaurants add the delicacy to their menus. Keep an eye on menus at these usual purveyors:

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