If sockeye is a poor man’s chinook, then coho is simply a lighter-tasting version of sockeye. Of these three highly coveted species, coho salmon prices are consistently right in line with sockeye. This late-season salmon has a harvesting period between July and October in most U.S. watersheds. After you’ve splurged on chinook salmon in the spring, and feasted on sockeye during the middle of the summer, you can find extra variety and extra value as the year winds down by buying coho salmon.
While coho salmon have shown moderate success in being transplanted, their overall number can’t compete with pink or sockeye salmon. Even when accounting for the relatively large size of the coho species, the overall yield of silver salmon is smaller than all but chinook (king) salmon. Their larger range but smaller numbers leave a space for independent fishermen and niche fisheries to run lean operations and still find a market for their coho harvest. This salmon’s preference for smaller streams can also make it more difficult to target entire schools of coho salmon for harvesting. For the same reason, there may be less of a cost incentive for buying larger quantities of silver salmon, though shipping costs from Alaska are pretty much always cheaper with larger orders. We always recommend looking out for opportunities to join local buying clubs.
Coho Salmon Prices and Shipping Costs
Buying coho salmon is also a great time to consider portions vs fillets. The mid-sized salmon may be big enough to get a good yield from whole salmon fillets but not so big that they become impossible to cook. They’re also easy to cut down to portion size on your own, another reason why they’re a popular choice for cutlet pieces.
The large range but modest harvests of the coho salmon also makes it a more attractive target for small-scale labeling scams. The higher quality of wild-caught Alaskan salmon and the cost of transcontinental shipping creates an unfortunate incentive for people to pass off coho salmon from the Great Lakes and other isolated watersheds as though it were wild Alaskan salmon. We believe this to be a rare occurrence, but it’s something to be mindful of with unfamiliar brands and sources. That said, if you do have a fishing company that you trust, you can still find some of the best prices for highly coveted, wild-caught salmon.
Finally, especially if this is the first time ordering from the salmon company, be sure to double check the shipping address and leave notes for the delivery person to ensure you receive the shipment in a timely manner.