Grab a lemon slice and maybe a sprig of dill.
The first Copper River king and sockeye salmon of the season arrived Friday in Tacoma, fresh from a flight from Alaska to Sea-Tac Airport, then by truck to Northern Fish Co. in Old Town.
“We got 2,000 pounds today and more tomorrow,” said fourth-generation Northern Fish owner John Swanes.
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Most of the fish will be processed at a second retail location in South Tacoma, but some made its way to the company’s flagship at 2201 Ruston Way.
Some of the fish delivered this week will be sold at the company’s retail stores, but most will be sold to wholesale customers including Puget Sound-area independent seafood and grocery outlets as well as higher-end restaurants.
At the retail level, whole Copper River kings will be selling for $29.95 per pound, with filets priced at $42.95. Whole sockeyes will be offered at $23.95 and filets at $29.95 per pound. All initial fish are net-caught in the deep-water open ocean near the mouth of the Copper River.
Founded in 1912, Northern Fish last year purchased Prime Select Seafoods of Cordova. Company vessels fish primarily for salmon, halibut and black cod in waters off Alaska.
“Early Copper River fish is the best, with a high oil content,” Swanes said. “These are the best in the world. It’s also the first big Alaska opening. It’s a sign of spring.”
“We really get excited about it,” he said.