Parnell proposes king research

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says he will propose $30 million over five years to study king salmon abundance.

Parnell says the first installment will be $10 million in the fiscal year 2014 budget.

Low chinook salmon returns this year resulted in fishing closures or limits. State commerce officials estimate commercial fishermen lost $16.8 million in direct revenue. Subsistence fishermen and the sport fishing industry also saw losses.

At Parnell’s request, the U.S. Department of Commerce declared king salmon fisheries a disaster in the Yukon and Kuskokwim river watersheds and in the Cook Inlet region.

The declaration made commercial fishermen eligible for federal disaster relief.

Parnell says the Alaska Department of Fish and Game now spends $14.6 million annually for research related to king salmon management.

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