SEATTLE, WA (Oct. 13, 2010) – As the wild salmon season closes right here in Puget Sound, Whole Foods Market® is offering the community an opportunity to learn about – and taste – some of the freshest, most abundant and environmentally-friendly seafood the Northwest has to offer.

On October 23, at the Whole Foods Market Interbay location, customers will be able to try fresh Keta salmon pulled from the waters of Puget Sound by local fishermen. The Keta fry travel downstream shortly after hatching and spend about a month in estuary waters preying on small crustaceans before migrating to the Pacific Ocean, where they spend up to six years before returning to Puget Sound rivers. While Copper River salmon is well known as the first wild salmon run of the year, Keta salmon is the final run of the season.

“With the wild salmon fishing grounds located just a few miles from our Interbay store, this is a unique chance to experience truly local and sustainable seafood,” said Mark Curran, Regional Seafood Coordinator for Whole Foods Market.

Working together with local fishermen, Whole Foods Market helped pioneer a special process to prepare the Keta immediately after catching the fish, ensuring the Keta meet Whole Foods Market standards for a finer, higher quality product. Keta has light colored flesh and a milder flavor than sockeye or king salmon. It is an excellent fish for both marinating and seasoning.

During the event, local fishermen from Excel Seafoods will be present in the store to speak to customers about their experiences at sea and the importance of Keta to the local fishing economy. University of Washington associate professor Christian Grue, from the Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, will also be on hand to explain how the water quality in Puget Sound makes Keta salmon some of the healthiest and best-tasting fish available.

The whole salmon will be sold for $3.99 a pound at the Interbay event and be featured at all Seattle and Eastside Whole Foods Market locations. The Interbay event will run from 9-4 p.m. on Saturday, October 23.