First fresh Copper River salmon just a helicopter and plane ride away

 Copper River salmon arrives in Anchorage
Copper River salmon arrives in Anchorage (KTUU)
Published: May. 17, 2018 at 3:10 PM AKDT
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First Copper River Salmon 2018

The first Copper River Salmon of the season just landed in Anchorage - take a look! How much do Alaskans love salmon? See the full story here:

Posted by Channel 2 News, on Thursday, May 17, 2018

Nothing really compares to fresh Alaskan salmon.

It glistens with hard-earned fat, after swimming and eating across thousands of miles, from birth in the snow-fed waters of Alaskan rivers to the chilly sea.

Salmon is king in Alaska. And according to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, salmon are responsible for the greatest economic impact out of all of the seafood species here, which includes jobs, income and total value.

People crave salmon. There's so much hype and hoopla when Seattle gets its first Copper River salmon – flown in direct from Cordova on an Alaska Airlines flight – delivered to the outstretched hands of a big-city chef.

But, Alaskans want that taste of summer, first.

Here's where a collaboration – between 10th and M Seafood, 60 North Seafoods, Regal Air and Ridgeline Aviation – comes to the rescue of Alaskans starved for fresh salmon.

"My first thought always is, 'What about us in Alaska?'" Rob Winfree, with 10th & M Seafood, said. "Even on this side of the industry, we've always had to wait until Seattle got their first shot."

The group loaded the first salmon onto a helicopter, and then a plane. It's expected to land in Anchorage at approximately 4 o'clock Thursday afternoon.

Chefs from Suite 100 and Jens' Restaurant will be there to pickup the fish for dinners tonight.

Chef Nancy Alip, from Jens' Resturant, says her plan for the fresh salmon this evening is to grill it with a romesco sauce – roasted peppers, tomatoes and almonds – served with a side of fiddlehead ferns.

10th & M will have a few fish for sale, along with a bigger shipment expected on Saturday.