Fish Radio
November 29, 2012

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – A big budget boost for Chinook salmon studies. More after this …

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 The state is ramping up research on Alaska’s disappearing king salmon with a $30 million, five year initiative. That follows disaster declarations in September by the federal government for the Yukon, Kuskokwim and Kenai Rivers.  Estimates peg direct losses to commercial fishermen at almost $17 million due to fishing closures to protect king salmon – that doesn’t include losses to sport fishing and support sectors. In a visit last week to Kenai, Governor Parnell said the first $10 million from the state is included in the upcoming budget, adding to the nearly $15 million Fish and Game already allots to Chinook related research and management.   Governor Parnell –  

 Cut: There are no easy answers to the fish dilemmas we have. Sometimes there are simplistic answers given, but there are no simple answers, and we are all in it together.

 No one is sure why Chinook returns are on a downward spiral. Most scientists point to ocean factors where the fish spend about four years before returning to home streams to breed. A two day symposium this fall in Anchorage drew more than 400 researchers and stakeholders to help identify knowledge gaps and devise a statewide  research plan.  It will include 12 indicator river systems and study  adult and juvenile kings,  genetics, biometrics, and local and traditional knowledge. The plan also calls for more studies of smolt in nearshore ocean waters.

Governor Parnell pledged to work closely with fishing stakeholders and the Alaska legislature to support the Chinook salmon research initiative.

 Cut:  I will work with everyone of you and every group imaginable to work together to solve these issues and make sure we have a sustainable fishery.

 Parnell called Chinook salmon “a cornerstone of Alaska’s culture and livelihood.”

 Thanks to the assist from KDLL in Kenai. Remember to catch Fish Radio on Facebook –

 Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 102   years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities.  In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.