The summer harvest season for the five species of wild Alaska salmon officially kicks off today with the first sockeye and king salmon of the summer, followed quickly by pink, keta, and coho salmon, and continues through October. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has predicted 2015 will yield the largest sockeye salmon harvest in 20 years — an expected increase of 33 percent from the 2014 harvest — additionally they have posted the largest pink salmon forecast on record. Overall, this year is expected to be the second-largest salmon harvest on record, with a 40 percent total increase over 2014 on the order of one billion pounds.
More than 90 percent of the wild salmon caught in the United States comes from Alaska, and the harvest season will create more widespread availability nationwide in frozen, fresh, and canned forms.
- Fresh: Versatile and delicious, Alaska Salmon can be prepared using a range of techniques from smoking and grilling to roasting, sautéing, baking, or poaching to create delicious summer menu items.
- Frozen: All species of Alaska salmon are available frozen year-round dueto flash-freezing techniques which preserve the pristine quality and nutrition of the salmon while sealing in rich flavor.
- Canned and Smoked: Canned and smoked varietals are healthy and economical options sold throughout the year.
Wild Alaska salmon is known for its exceptional taste. Alaska’s constitution mandates sustainability and our science-based fishery management practices are considered a model for the world.
The USDA has reported eating seafood two-to-four times per week can improve health. Wild Alaska salmon in particular contain a higher level of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than most seafood species, which has been linked to improvements in, or prevention of, certain kinds of cancer and other diseases.
From the rich, robust flavor of king and sockeye salmon to the delicate, milder flavors of coho, keta, and pink salmon, the five species appeal to all tastes and can be used to create a variety of menu items from main entrees to salads to sandwiches. Here are a few sample recipes:
- Alaska Salmon and Lacinato Kale with Apple Bacon Vinaigrette
- Korean Miso-Cured Alaska King Salmon
- Alaska Salmon BLT
- Alaska Salmon Cobb Salad
- BBQ Wild Alaska Salmon
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) maintains a resource library including training tools, cooking tips, recipes, and market research to make seafood an easy addition to any menu.