Wild Alaska Salmon Season Opened May 13

JUNEAU, Alaska (May 17, 2010)—Alaska's summer salmon season kicked off last week . Through October, a projected 137 million wild Alaska salmon will be harvested by thousands of Alaska fishermen and women all over the state.

Alaska is home to five species of wild salmon: king, sockeye, keta, pink and coho. Alaska supplies 90%-95% of the wild salmon harvested in North America.

Alaska king, or Chinook salmon, typically mark the beginning of the summer salmon season. The largest of the five species of wild Alaska salmon, king salmon boast a high omega-3 oil content, delicate texture and succulent flesh.

Fresh Alaska sockeye salmon enters the market next, around mid-May. Prized for their distinctive deep red flesh color, Alaska sockeye, or red salmon, offer a succulent texture and rich flavor.

Alaska's summer salmon season kicks into high gear as Alaska keta and pink salmon are harvested in earnest. The Alaska keta salmon harvest begins in early June. Alaska keta salmon's firm texture and mild flavor make it an ideal fish for steaks or hot-smoking.

Mid-June sees the harvest of the smallest and most abundant of the five species of Alaska salmon, Alaska pink salmon. So named for their rosy pink-colored flesh, Alaska pink salmon offer a mild, delicate flavor and soft to medium texture. Alaska pink, sockeye and keta salmon are harvested through September, and Alaska king salmon is harvested year-round.

Alaska coho, or silver salmon, are typically the last to enter the market, rounding out the season in mid-June and stretching into October. With its relatively high fat content and orange-red flesh, Alaska coho salmon is similar in taste to king salmon.

Consumers' preference for wild salmon continues to sustain families, businesses and communities in Alaska. More than 200 Alaska communities involved with Alaska salmon and more than 886 Alaska salmon processors work to bring Alaska's prize wild salmon to markets around the globe each year.

To learn more about the five species of Alaska salmon, including cooking tips, detailed nutritional profiles, harvest methods, and dozens of recipes, visit www.alaskaseafood.org


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