In Season: Salmon

This article was originally published in May 2014

Spring brings the famous return of king salmon to Pacific waters, but equally beloved sockeye and coho follow closely in their wake. Each species offers a unique eating experience that’s worth celebrating throughout the summer. Because these fish are wild (and thus unpredictable) their availability and price can noticeably fluctuate as the season progresses.



Renowned for its succulence, this celebrated fish is considered the most sublime of all salmon, particularly when sourced from Alaska’s Copper River. Less famous, but just as delicious, are the Columbia River kings; these offer a great value for their quality.



Easily recognized thanks to its stunning red color, this species is appreciated for its firm texture and big flavor. Sockeyes are smaller than kings, which can make them easier to cook evenly. The start of the Copper River sockeye annual run coincides with kings, but extends later into the summer.



The latest salmon run of the year, coho won’t appear until July. Found more easily at restaurants than in grocery stores, this softer textured, lean fish is great for sandwiches, salmon cakes or pasta dishes.

Check out our recipes for salmon, including Slow-Roasted Salmon »

Related reading