Seafood Seasons Chart

seafood seasons

West Coast U.S. Seafood Seasons Availability Chart


SPECIES MARKET FORMS AVAILABILITY ORIGIN
Albacore
Whole/Dressed
July-October
OR-WA
Ling/True Cod
Dressed/Filet/Steak
Year
AK-CA-OR-WA
Flounder/Sole
Whole/Dressed/Filet
Year
 CA-OR-WA
Halibut*
Whole/Filet/Steak
April-September
AK-WA 
Ocean Perch
Dressed/Filet
Year
CA-OR-WA
Rockfish/Snapper
Round/Dressed/Filet/Steak
Year
 CA-OR-WA
Chinook/King Salmon*
Dressed/Filet/Steak
April-October
AK-CA-OR-WA
Coho/Silver Salmon*
Dressed/Filet/Steak
May-November
AK-CA-OR-WA
Sockeye & Pink Salmon
Dressed/Filet/Steak
May-September
AK-OR-WA
Chum/Keta Salmon
Dressed/Filet/Steak
May-December 
AK-WA 
Shad
Dressed
April-June 
OR-WA 
Blue Shark
Filet/Steak
Year 
CA-OR 
Bonito Shark
Filet/Steak
May-Octover
CA
Soupfin Shark
Filet/Steak
May-October
OR-CA
Mako Shark
Filet/Steak
May-October
CA
Thresher Shark
Filet/Steak
May-October
CA
Pacific Smelt
Round
July-August 
WA 
Columbia River Smelt
Round/Dressed
 January-March
 OR-WA
Swordfish*
Chunks/Steak
May-December 
CA 
Trout, Various
Dressed/Boned/Filet
Year 
 ID-OR
Clams, Various
Whole/Shucked
 Year
WA-OR 
Dungeness Crab*
Whole/Picked Meat
December-September 
 AK-CA-OR-WA
King Crab
Whole/Legs/Meat
 September-March
AK 
Crawfish
Whole/Tails
Year 
 CA-OR-WA
Octopus
Dressed
 Year
CA-OR-WA 
Oysters, Various
Whole/Shucked
 Year
CA-OR-WA 
Sea Scallops
Shucked
Year
OR-WA
Pacific Bay Shrimp
Cooked & Peeled
April-October
AK-CA-OR-WA
Calamari Squid
Whole/Cleaned Tubes
Jan-March/May-Nov
CA-OR

* Limited Availability, depending on Quota

Availability may overlap because of allocations and timing of runs, especially Pacific Halibut & Wild Salmon.
Mollusks could also be affected because of water temperature and resulting red tide.

East Coast and Gulf Region United States Seafood Availability Chart

seafood season chart

Seafood Basics - Tips

Here are some helpful fish handling and prep tips from Chef Jim Papadopoulos

Quality and Freshness -  Purchase from a reputable fish monger.  The best way to tell if a fish is fresh is to see it before it is cut into portions.  Look for deep red color gills which shows the fish has only been out of the water a few hours.  Otherwise don't be afraid to ask the age of the fish.  The fish should have a fresh, briny smell; it should not smell "fishy".

Store, Hold, and Prepare with Care - Fish must be kept cold (34-36 degrees Fahrenheit) to maintain its integrity until serving. Keep filets free of excess moisture by laying them neatly, with flesh to flesh contact to prevent damaging texture.  Store the filets on paper towels to soak up any extra moisture.Whole fish should be stored upright (as it swims) and packed on crushed ice. Make sure water drains away from the fish.

Know Your Fish -  Always choose a cooking technique that showcases the unique flavor and texture of the fish. For example attempting to grill a thin delicate fish will most like result in a cooking disaster but grilling a meaty fish steak is more appropriate. 

In general, for meatier fish like swordfish, tuna, salmon, bass, jacks, tuna, grouper, mahi mahi, and some scallops, grilling, roasting, or searing tend to work best. For lighter fish like sole, skate, flounder, and halibut, sautéing is the best choice

For more reading on the topic, Chef Papadopoulos suggests Rick Stein's Complete Seafood.

The Most Important Prep Rule - Do NOT Overcook!  As with any protein, overcooking results in a dry, chalky filet which wastes your money and the life of the fish.
author

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.