Rising out of the Copper Glacier and untouched wilderness of southcentral Alaska, the Copper River is one of the last untouched watersheds in the world. The Copper River is the birthplace of three wild Alaskan salmon species. These salmon live as adults in the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean eating small crustaceans and zooplankton. In late May, the Alaska Salmon season begins with the opening of the Sockeye and King runs at the Copper River. The season comes to an end in September with Coho Salmon. Every year Coho return to the Copper River to make the arduous 300-mile migration up the turbulent waters in order to spawn. Because the Copper River is so long and steep (gains an average elevation of 12 feet per mile), these fish must pack on sufficient fat reserves to fuel their epic journey–resulting in salmon that is rich in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and flavorful oils. The fish’s distinct regional DNA and lifecycle yield the world’s finest salmon.
Wild Copper River Coho salmon are harvested by a small fleet of independent fishermen on one and two-man boats called bowpickers. This artisan craft has been handed down for generations. All Copper River salmon are caught by drift gillnets which extend 150 fathoms from the bow of the boat and hang vertically in the water.
Copper River Coho salmon are handled with extreme care on their journey from net to plate. From the moment they are individually hand-harvested out of the net by fishermen, they are bled. Bleeding the fish helps maintain the pure taste wild Alaskan salmon is known for. Immediately after the fish are bled they are chilled in fish holds. The most popular method of chilling is known as “slush icing” which is a mixture of flaked ice and sea water that allows the fish to float so as to reduce bruising. These fleet-wide standards ensure consistent quality throughout the season.
Coho Salmon have a mild flavor and delicate texture offer that is appealing to any palate. These large fish, sometimes called Silvers, are the last to return to the Copper and have become a fall favorite that pairs well when baked with seasonal root vegetables and mushrooms.
In 1998, Hy-Vee became one of the first retailers in the Midwest to hire our own U.S. Department of Commerce (USDC) lot inspector to ensure the quality, safety and integrity of the fresh seafood it buys. The USDC inspector is stationed on-site at our Perishable Distributors of Iowa (PDI) distribution facility in Ankeny, Iowa, where he routinely checks incoming shipments of fresh seafood along with some frozen, ensuring that it meets Hy-Vee’s standards. Our purchasing and sustainability policy is the strictest around. Our seafood team at PDI is meticulous in its sourcing and accountability of our suppliers. A big part of our seafood programs success is partnering with suppliers that have the same beliefs as we do.
The USDC Inspection program is a voluntary seafood inspection service to assist in meeting U.S. regulations and generally accepted seafood production best practices governing fishery products for human consumption. This service supports seafood safety and includes sanitation inspection, system and process audits, grading and inspection and product laboratory analyses.
Bryan Sauve has been Hy-Vee’s full-time inspector since 2003. Bryan is on site five days a week to help is maintain high quality standards. In 2017, Sauve received the Silver Sherman award, which recognizes individuals who have performed work above his or her normal requirements, achieved a milestone that contributed significantly or critically toward the attainment of a particular program goal, and demonstrated leadership of significant magnitude.
It’s no secret that Hy-Vee prides itself in providing customers with healthy, responsibly sourced seafood. Since 2012, Hy-Vee has worked tirelessly to build a best in class Responsible Choice Seafood Program and continues to raise the bar with its expectations for transparent, socially responsible seafood supply chains.
Global seafood supply chains are complex and lack adequate transparency, which leads to uncertainty about the journey a fillet of fish takes from a fishing boat to the dinner table. Hy-Vee takes a proactive approach to confronting this uncertainty because, transparent supply chains offer businesses and customers greater assurance that seafood products are accurately labeled, come from legal sources, and are processed under fair labor conditions.
In 2017, Hy-Vee worked with FishWise, a sustainable seafood consultancy, to create a due diligence plan for improving social responsibility and traceability, and to counter illegal fishing practices within Hy-Vee’s seafood supply chains. The due diligence plan includes seven iterative steps aimed at increasing visibility into its seafood supply chains and reducing risks related to illegal and unethical fishing practices.
Each year Hy-Vee tackles new activities within its due diligence plan. Over the past twelve months, Hy-Vee has expanded its Seafood Procurement Policy, undertaken detailed engagement with suppliers to understand tuna supply chains, advocated for better tuna fisheries management and more.
Through its due diligence practices, Hy-Vee is contributing to more transparent seafood supply chains, greater accountability, and a healthier ocean for fish and people. Hy-Vee’s work provides an example of what dedicated businesses can accomplish when choosing to be proactive about assessing and mitigating supply chain risks.
Prince William Sound, located in the North Pacific Ocean, is like no other place in the world. Surrounded by spectacular glaciers and mountains, and shielded from the open ocean by barrier islands, this unspoiled sound on Alaska’s south-central coast is home to a vast variety of wildlife. Salmon thrive in these nutrient rich waters. To preserve the sound’s rich biodiversity, the fishery upholds the highest standards of quality and sustainability, treating each fish with the utmost care.
The fisherman are committed to preserving the rich, natural legacy of Prince William Sound, handling every fish with care and employing artisan-harvesting practices honed over generations. They are independent fishermen who set out on small one and two man boats to catch salmon using time tested gill-nets. Each salmon is handled minimally, delivered quickly, and inspected individually to guarantee excellence.
Prince William Sound Alaskan salmon’s rich flavor, dense texture, and vibrant color comes from the world’s richest waters that they thrive in. High in omega-3 fatty acids, wild Alaskan salmon is known for its incredible health benefits and delicious taste. Best of all, Prince William Sound Sockeye salmon are harvested sustainably and processed in small batches, so you know you are doing good while getting the best.
Your choice matters. When you purchase Prince William Sound sockeye salmon, you are making a good choice for your family and the planet. Sustainability is not a recent trend in Alaska. In 1956 the framers of the Alaska Constitution recognized the importance of protecting Alaska’s abundant natural resources. Article 8 of the Constitution states that “fish…be utilized, developed, and maintained on the sustained yield principle.” This dedication to sustainable management has resulted in an ever-replenishing supply of wild salmon for generations to come. This is why all Alaska Sockeye Salmon is proudly labeled with Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice logo.
Nestled in the scenic Snake River Canyon of Buhl, Idaho, is one of largest state-of-the-art trout farms in the United States. Clear Springs Foods Rainbow Trout are raised in concrete raceways fed by natural flowing spring water. This fuels an optimal environment to deliver a consistent supply of a sustainable superfood.
Clear Springs Foods’ values and vision towards sustainability and the environment truly show in the quality of the trout they deliver each week. The company is employee-owned and the leading producer of quality rainbow trout. Hy-Vee is proud to be a longtime partner with Clear Springs Foods and to feature their rainbow trout in our fresh seafood cases. Due to their responsible farming practices and dedication to sustainability, we proudly label Clear Spring Trout with our Hy-Vee Responsible Choice brand.
Clear Springs Rainbow Trout is an excellent source of lean protein that contains both DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. One 4-ounce serving of rainbow trout will provide the recommended 250 mg per day of omega-3s.
Wild-caught Alaskan Pollock hail from the icy waters of Alaska, and its lean, snowy-white meat, delicate texture and mild flavor make it an extremely versatile and healthy seafood choice.
It’s high in protein and a great source of omega-3s – which both benefit health. From source to plate, Responsible Choice Wild Alaska Pollock is one of the most abundant and sustainable species on the planet.
Participating Hy-Vee stores will be sampling Wild Alaskan Pollock Trident Cuts this week: Friday, May 3 from 3-7 p.m. and Saturday May 4 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The temperatures are on their way up, which means it is grilling season! Have you ever thought about introducing fish to your grilling parties? The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults consume at least 8 ounces of seafood each week. Consuming fatty fish, especially Alaskan salmon, can enhance the taste and nutritional value of your meal. Fish is packed with healthy fats like omega-3s and DHA. DHA is essential for your brain health and has been linked to increased memory, reduced rates of cognitive decline, and improved learning ability. Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower cholesterol and support heart health.
Try our salmon burger recipe to provide an exciting alternative to standard grill-out offerings, while helping everyone get closer to the recommended 8 ounces of fish per week. Not only will this recipe provide all the health benefits we talked about, but you’ll get a serving of vegetables. Enjoy!
Alaskan Salmon Burgers
All you need:
1/2 pound Wild Alaskan salmon filet
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
3/4 cup finely diced red onion (1 small onion)
1 1/2 cups finely diced celery (4 stalks)
1 small pepper, red
1 small pepper, yellow
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp capers, drained
1/4 tsp hot sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
3 tbsp light mayonnaise
3 tbsp fat-free Greek yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
All you do:
Heat a large sautépan over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon oil and salmon.
Cook salmon until browned or easily flakes, then set the dish aside to cool.
In a separate pan add remaining olive oil, onion, celery, peppers, parsley, capers, hot sauce, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Sautéuntil vegetables are soft, and then set aside to cool.
Flake salmon in a large bowl, then combine breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard and eggs. Mix well, then mix in vegetables.
Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Spray large piece of foil with grilling spray and place over grill grates.
Shape chilled salmon/veggie mixture into 15 cakes, ¼ cup each. Add salmon patties to foil and grill for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.