May 19, 2021

When is wild salmon fresh?

As catcher-sellers of the world’s greatest wild protein, we are proud of our wild sockeye salmon fillets and portions at Pride of Bristol Bay. Our pride is strong enough that our product is guaranteed! We guarantee that you eat up your ten or twenty pound case quickly, but also that the quality of your experience with our product is always great. 

Whether purchased direct-to-door at prideofbristolbay.com or at your local Buying Club, we trust our product. Read on to hear about why. Or visit our recipe page to choose a delicious preparation for your fresh, wild salmon tonight! 

 When is wild salmon fresh?
The answer here at Pride of Bristol Bay is, always, now! 

To explain further, wild salmon is harvested seasonally all along the Pacific Coast, from May - October every year. In Bristol Bay, Alaska, our commercial harvest season is short, from mid-June to early August. (Although Steve and crew try to take advantage of the sport seasons happening in the spring and fall!

Follow along during the season on our instagram each summer. 

Immediately after catching, fishermen like us, who are dedicated to the highest-quality product, take a number of steps to capture the freshness of the fish in order to share that amazing flavor and taste with our customers. 


  • On the boat, each crew treat each salmon with care and immediately bleed each one that comes aboard to ensure freshness of the fillet.
  • The F/V Ava Jane, and other boats in our small fleet, have an on-board refrigerated seawater (RSW) system to bring the whole fish down to 38 degrees as soon as possible while we travel to the Leader Creek dock. 
  • Finally, we partner with Leader Creek Fisheries, who processes and flash-freeze the fish with their state-of-the-art spiral freezer. 

This technology locks in the fresh flavor and freezes the salmon at temperatures lower than your home freezer. This process plus careful packaging guarantees the meticulously sealed vac-packs for two years. Our blog, How Long Does Wild Salmon Last in the Freezer? explains this further.  


Wild salmon is advertised as “fresh” around the country during every month of the year. However, the fish is only caught during the summer months. Unless you are eating on the back deck of a boat or on the river bank in Bristol Bay between May and September, the best option is fresh-frozen sockeye fillets. That’s why, in many grocery stores if you are looking at “fresh” fish in February, fresh simply means thawed. 


But how do I know if it’s fresh enough to mean the best quality? 

Today’s modern freezing technology captures the freshness caught on board the F/V Ava Jane, which we guarantee for up to a year after purchase. Cases of Pride of Bristol Bay salmon purchased are of the same high-quality and superior flavor our customers have come to expect all year round.

Some customers said this even better than us: 

“The sockeye salmon is amazing. We had it the day it arrived. Their packaging was top notch. Their air-sealed salmon was fresh as can be.” - Marte N., April 2021

“Excellent in all areas, from catch through processing, packaging and delivery. The best sockeye salmon from Bay to table. Other outfits are good but Pride of Bristol Bay is hands down the best.” -Kenneth R., April 2021

“Excellent tasting and seemed just like it was fresh from a local market. I can hardly wait to try more recipes that I have gathered. We are telling our friends where we purchased our salmon.” -Dale S., January 2021


To learn more about identifying fish as fresh or not, explore our blog “What Should Fresh Salmon Smell Like?” Or, skip the grocery counter and order directly to your door here. With trusted, small-boat fishermen who care about their product, wild salmon tastes fresh all-year round. You will only find wild salmon “in-season” on the riverbank during the summer months. 


Catching fish on the river and eating it that same evening is one of our favorite things. We hope you get to experience it for yourself one day! In the meantime, we are working hard to bring you the best available all year round with direct deliveries of always-frozen and always-fresh wild Alaska salmon


If you have any further questions about our process behind our Wild Sockeye Salmon fillets & portions, please feel free to contact us directly at contact@prideofbristolbay.com or 570-317-2200. 


To purchase online, explore our product page here, where you can choose between a ten and twenty pound box and between fillets or portions. Or, take a look to see if there’s a seasonal Buying Club in your backyard!

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