First Copper River salmon of season arrive in Seattle

FRESH: From sandbars on the flats to Outside restaurants, prized fish make quick flight to waiting chefs.

May 17, 2011 

SEATTLE -- The first planeload of fresh Copper River salmon from Alaska arrived Tuesday morning at Sea-Tac Airport where chefs were waiting eagerly.

The Alaska Airlines pilot carried the first 45-pound fish off the plane and handed it to Frank Ragusa of Ocean Beauty Seafoods who gave it a kiss.

Then the salmon was carved up and distributed to three chefs for a cook-off at cooking stations set up near an airport warehouse.

There were 24,000 pounds of the highly prized salmon on the plane.

Alaska Airlines says there will be at least five more flights Tuesday from Cordova to Anchorage to Seattle and across the United States.

Last year Alaska flew nearly 700,000 pounds of Copper River salmon.

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