Onlookers welcome the Cordova fishing fleet back from the first Copper River opener of 2023. Photo by Tammy Allen

Copper River commercial fishery harvests climbed to some 266,475 fish through the fourth 12-hour opener on May 30, with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) estimating the catch at 253,183 sockeyes, 6,053 Chinooks, 5,613 chums and 65 coho salmon. 

The overall Prince William Sound commercial harvest as of Monday stood at an estimated 253,563 sockeye, 6,055 Chinook, 13,143 chum, and 65 coho salmon. 

Jeremy Botz, with ADF&G’s Cordova office said the sockeyes this year are averaging close to six pounds apiece. ADF&G had not yet determined whether there would be a 12-hour opener for the commercial fishery on June 6. 

The opening of the Coghill district drift gillnet fishery added another 2,738 chum, two sockeye and two Chinooks to the harvest, while 376 sockeye and 84 chum were harvested in the Eshamy Main Bay drift/setnet fishery, bringing the Prince William Sound area total catch to some 269,677 fish,  

by ADF&G’s calculations. 

Purse seiners in the Montague district had seven deliveries that brought in 4,479 chum and two sockeyes and in the Eshamy Main Bay district there were 12 deliveries that brought in 376 sockeye and 84 chum salmon. 

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Prices for fresh Copper River sockeyes in Anchorage as of June 2 ranged from $39.99 a pound or $24.99 a pound with a club card at Carrs/Safeway supermarkets; $29.99 a pound or $24.99 a pound with the club card at Fred Meyer supermarkets; and $13.95 a pound at New Sagaya seafood shops. Fresh Copper River sockeye fillets were $12.99 a pound at Costco stores and sold out at their Dimond Boulevard location but available at their DeBarr store. Costco on Dimond also had portions of king salmon for $16.99 a pound. 

The online Anchorage seafood retailer FishEx was holding its own with the price of fresh Copper River sockeye portions for $49.95 a pound. 

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