CORDOVA – The Copper River red salmon are in and some of the first fish caught are headed to dinner plates across the U.S.

Monday night, the Copper River Queens, welcomed about 500 commercial fishing boats into the Cordova Harbor. The season opener lasted 12 hours, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Fishing couple, Nelly and Mike Hand, caught about 200 pounds of fish – but they aren’t the only fishermen who found success on opening day.

Alaska Airlines said more than 20,000 pounds of Copper River salmon arrived in Seattle around 6 a.m. Tuesday morning on Alaska Air Cargo. In a release the airline said there are three more flights scheduled throughout the day to bring an additional 60,000 pounds of Alaska fish to the Lower 48. Alaska Airlines annually partners with Alaska seafood processors to move the fish from Alaska to the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. Last year the airline moved more than 1 million pounds of Cooper River salmon.

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