Fish Radio

Copper River gets ready to kick off salmon season

April 28, 2016                 Copper River logo

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — Copper River gets set to kick off salmon season. More after this –

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Salmon season officially kicks off in just a few weeks with runs of reds and kings at Copper River!  State managers put the 500 plus fleet on notice that they fishery will likely open on May 16.

Oh my gosh, it’s so exciting to see some of the boats coming in and out of the harbor. Everyone is starting to drop their boats in the water and the harbor is definitely buzzing.

Erica Thompson-Clark handles social media and outreach for the Copper River Prince William Sound Marketing Association, funded by area fishermen. No region celebrates their salmon better than the forces from Cordova, which include ‘familiarity tours’ throughout the year with chefs, magazine writers and foodies from the Lower 48.

You name it , we bring em’ – we tour them through Cordova and the Copper River area and we have them meet with fishermen and management officials and various entities invested in the fishery, and they learn what it takes to have this sustainable salmon run continue every year. 

In March, Paleo Magazine featured a full spread on the famous fishery. Thompson-Clark already is coordinating the First Fish fly-aways with Alaska Airlines delivering straight from the docks to dinner plates in Seattle and beyond.  The marketing group also is very active on Facebook and Instagram, featuring colorful educational campaigns called “Know Your Fisherman” and “Salmon Fishing 101.”

We show hatch covers, fish being iced, we show short videos with interviews with fishermen. We are trying to educate consumers as to how these salmon are being harvested by single boats,  each salmon being picked out of the net and also talk to them about the fact that every time they buy Copper River salmon they are supporting a small business owner. We really want to drive that home. 

A new Corkline blog focuses on the science behind the salmon fishery. And their Copper River salmon website (   has locator tabs to help customers locate the famous fish  in their regions.

The outreach extends beyond summer with coho promotions and more media familiarity tours into the fall. Thompson-Clark says that focus is on coho’s affordability and milder flavor.

The group also takes their messages into the schools where local salmon is served each Wednesday throughout the year. It includes kids’ interviews with local fishermen, processors, restaurant owners and other jobs involved in the fishery.

 Kids can’t believe that I get paid to talk about salmon on Facebook and I tell them there are many ways to support the salmon industry.

The Copper River harvest this year calls for 1.6 million sockeyes, 21,000 kings and 201,000 coho salmon. Find links at our website –

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.