Copper River King Salmon Debuts at Reduced Price

Copper River King salmon is cheaper this year, but purveyors say the exalted fish hasn't lost any cachet.

"We've had tons of calls already," says Elliott's Oyster House executive chef Robert Spaulding, who this morning marked the season's start by greeting the harvest's arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Spaulding was one of three chefs participating in a Copper River-themed media event sponsored by Alaska Airlines.

"People come out of the woodwork for Copper River," says Spaulding, who suspects some of his restaurant's incoming calls came from industry "spies" trying to determine how much Elliott's planned to charge for its current crop of Copper River king salmon.

Elliott's is offering a half-pound portion of grilled Copper River king salmon for $45.

"They had a really good catch, so prices are significantly down," Spaulding explains.

At Pike Place Market, per-pound prices for Copper River king salmon filets range from $29.50 to $49.99, depending on the vendor.

This morning an employee at Pike Place Fish Market, which charges the highest price for its filets, said the price tag hasn't discouraged shoppers. "We're just waiting to get another shipment at noon," he said.

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