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Governor Parnell Proposes Funding to Improve Management of Western Alaska Salmon Stocks


December 10, 2009, Anchorage, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today announced $1.3 million in proposed new funding for improved research and management of Western Alaska salmon stocks. The funding is included in the governor’s FY 2011 budget for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G).

“Western Alaskans depend on healthy salmon runs to feed their families and generate income,” Governor Parnell said. “These budget items will ensure ADF&G has the tools to accurately estimate returns and provide the maximum possible harvest opportunity consistent with sustainability.”

Capital projects include funding for genetic analysis of Western Alaska salmon stocks to improve understanding of the distribution of Western Alaska stocks, funding for aerial surveys of Yukon River chum salmon to examine changes in distribution along the river, and funding to improve operations at Pilot Station Sonar. The sonar funding will allow ADF&G to determine the extent to which the sonar may be undercounting fish and to improve the accuracy of salmon return estimates. ADF&G will also conduct extensive site surveys to determine if relocating the sonar would improve accuracy. 

Operating budget items include funds for genetic analysis of Yukon River Chinook salmon to allow ADF&G to determine the origin of stocks harvested in the Yukon fisheries, which can improve management decisions. Funding is also included for a statewide project to estimate and monitor subsistence harvests to determine whether needs are being met. 

Governor Parnell continues to push for a federal fisheries disaster declaration for the Yukon River chinook salmon fishery. If granted, the declaration would allow the state to work with the congressional delegation to pursue additional federal funding.

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