The best choice for salmon delivery is going to depend on where you live, how much you’re ordering, and what kind of salmon you like. There are a few popular delivery options for wild-caught Alaskan salmon, but there is no single method that consistently grades as the best choice. Instead, by looking at what’s available online and in your local community, you can find the best salmon delivery option for you.
Learn about these different business and distribution models. You can know your seafood source and save yourself some money, while enjoying the world’s best wild-caught salmon.
Salmon Delivery: Fishermen Direct to Individual Customers
You don’t need a lot of time or experience to get wild Alaskan salmon delivered right to your door. Our cost-comparison guide makes it easy to find companies and to see who offers the best prices for different size orders. Plus, you can order exactly what you and your family like—whether it’s whole sockeye fillets, coho portions, hot-smoked salmon. Perfect for the discerning chef and the picky eater alike. During the winter and spring, there may be relatively few fisheries that are still fully stocked with wild salmon. Even still, you can usually find something that will do the trick.
Buying direct from the fishermen is usually the best choice—assuming you’re willing to order enough salmon to offset the shipping costs. Order 3 lbs of salmon, and this might be among the most expensive ways to go. Order 30 lbs of salmon, and this might be among the cheapest ways to get wild-caught salmon delivered right to your front door. Don’t need the salmon delivered right to your front door? Some companies have an option that allows you to save on final delivery costs by picking up your salmon shipment at the local airport cargo facility.
For many people, the best choice for salmon delivery depends on how much extra space they have in their home freezer(s). Not sure what to do with that unfinished basement space? Talk to your friends and neighbors about buying the larger size freezer storage and starting your own informal buying club. With personal payment transfers, it’s easier than ever to manage the exchange of money that would usually overwhelm an informal arrangement between friends.
Local Buying Clubs
These clubs also look to use the collective buying power of their local community to get reliable salmon delivery at better prices. It could be every week or every month, but there is something of a regular schedule in which people can get a manageable quantity of seafood for their household at prices that are more in line with larger salmon orders. Some local buying clubs are seasonal in which they buy and sell salmon for their local club from June to December. They may be dormant the rest of the year, or they may switch to shellfish and other seafood.
Local buying clubs can be a great way to source affordable and high-quality salmon and seafood along with the convenience of not having to worry about the shopping, research, and shipping logistics. However, they don’t work for everyone. If the local buying club doesn’t have a delivery option, you need to think about how close the pickup point is. You might think the 15-minute drive to the club headquarters is fine only to reevaluate after the first few trips. Many local buying clubs offer both pickup and front door salmon delivery.
Some local buying clubs are so successful that they start their own nationwide salmon and seafood delivery option. Billings Seafood Guys is run by Jon Wanderaas, an Alaskan seafood expert and industry insider, who is always searching for the best products to put together his company’s seafood subscription packages.
Some local fishermen have multiple fishing vessels and a larger supply of wild salmon to sell, but also believe in local buying clubs as a marketing and distribution model. Wild for Salmon is one good example of this type of company, as it actively promotes new local buying clubs in Pennsylvania and throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
One of the best ways to get salmon delivery is to know the fisherman who is already planning to ship their harvest back to your neighborhood. You might think of a community-supported fishery as a local buying club with a dedicated fisherman. It’s another way of buying wild salmon direct from the fishermen.
Owning and maintaining a fishing vessel and a commercial Alaska fishing license is already a significant task. Community-supported fisheries (CSFs) allow fishermen to know they can sell a good portion of their catch with minimal hassle and marketing costs. Unfortunately, not everybody has a community-supported fishery in their area. Plus, the CSF may have a limited selection, meaning you need to find other sources for the rest of your seafood.
With this type of arrangement, you might think that CSFs offer better prices for their wild-caught salmon delivery. This is often true but not always the case. The biggest salmon and seafood companies still benefit from large-scale operations. The advantage of community-supported fisheries is the peace of mind and quality assurance that comes from a local, small-scale fishery at a price that’s competitive with, if not lower, than other seafood options.
Some salmon and seafood companies offer both nationwide salmon delivery and a local community-supported fishery model. Loki Fish Company, for example, can be a great choice for people across the country looking to get wild-caught seafood from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, but if you live in the local Seattle-area, you can join their community-supported fishery and get better deals and prices.
Monthly Seafood Subscriptions
Wish you could join a local buying club, but can’t seem to find much interest in your area? One way that some companies are providing the same type of curated convenience is through monthly seafood subscriptions. Companies typically deliver a medium-sized shipment with a predetermined selection of salmon and/or other seafood. Rather the cost efficiency of bulk shipping, companies save on processing and packaging costs by offering these types of subscriptions.
Alaska Home Pack is a great example of a company created by an Alaskan fishermen collective who offers wild salmon and seafood at a reasonable price through a monthly seafood subscription. It’s described as a share of their own catch and the same seafood that the fishermen serve their own families.
How Much Does Salmon Shipping and Delivery Cost?
This is our consumer guide for finding and choosing the best salmon delivery for your location and salmon order. If you’re looking more for insider information about industry practices and how much of the cost of your salmon order goes into shipping, we recommend you check out this resource on salmon shipping costs.