Big Red: The Season for Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Is Here

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Salmon enthusiasts, start your grills: the world’s largest wild sockeye run, in Bristol Bay, Alaska, is open for commercial fishing—and with a commercial forecast of 21.7 million fish, it shaping up to be another abundant season for this delicious, healthy and sustainable fish.

Although the Bristol Bay salmon season has been open since the beginning of the month, today marks the more-official start of the season, when all Bristol Bay commercial fishermen are required to “drop their cards,” an official Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) process that requires Bristol Bay fishermen to declare a district to harvest in during the duration of the summer season.

Known as the “salmon lover’s salmon” and celebrated for its brilliant red color and robust flavor, sockeye from Bristol Bay is naturally rich in heart-healthy Omega 3s and bone-boosting vitamin D. Its firm texture and distinctive flavor invites a wide variety of preparation techniques, from sautéing to grilling to smoking.

Bristol Bay, Alaska, located about 300 miles southwest of Anchorage by air, is a national treasure, boasting five major river systems, crystal-clear lakes and a remote, unspoiled environment that is home to some of the most pristine waters on the planet.

Like all Alaska salmon—like all Alaska seafood, for that matter—Bristol Bay sockeye are wild and sustainably managed, protected from overfishing by some of the most stringent, science-based fisheries management principles in the world, which help ensure continued abundance for generations to come.

For more information about Bristol Bay and its incredible salmon run - including recipes and fishermen profiles – visit us at or join our community of sockeye salmon lovers at

About the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association
Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BB-RSDA) represents the commercial driftnet fleet of Bristol Bay (1,500 vessels and 6,000 fishermen). BB-RSDA's mission includes marketing and sustainability programs for sockeye harvested in the Bristol Bay region.

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Scott Coughlin
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