Fish Radio
Pink salmon disaster requested by Gov. Walker
September 23, 2016

Pink salmon Credit:

Pink salmon

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Governor Walker calls for a pink salmon fishery disaster for some regions. More after this —

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Calling it one of the worst fisheries in over 40 years, Governor Bill Walker has officially requested the federal government to declare the 2016 pink salmon season a disaster for four Alaska regions. Representative Louise Stutes of Kodiak spearheaded the relief measure and reads from the Governor’s letter dated September 19.

After consulting with the Dept. of Fish and Game and the Dept. of Commerce, Community and Economic Development I am making a formal request to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce for a declaration of fishery disaster in the Kodiak management area, Prince William Sound, the Chignik management area and the Lower Cook Inlet management area.

Missing from the list is Southeast Alaska which also had a bust of a pink fishery.

Apparently the numbers weren’t such and these requests were made on the projected returns as opposed to the actual numbers that came back in. 

The Southeast pink catch reached 17 million on a forecast of 35 million. At Kodiak, the pink salmon catch barely broke three million out of a projected take of 16 million fish. At Prince William Sound,   the catch has topped 13 million pinks on a forecast of 32 million.

The total Alaska pink salmon catch to date is 38.2 million on a 90 million harvest forecast. That compares to a catch of 191 million humpies last year.

The pink disaster declaration won’t set a precedent.  Alaska received nearly $8 million in federal money   in 2012 due to low king salmon runs on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers and in the Cook Inlet region.

Representative Stutes says her office is now getting the details of time frames and who and how people can apply for what will be monetary payouts.

  This is not going to be a blanket money grab for anybody that fished pinks. If you’re in the disaster area and the large portion of your income was based on pink salmon, then I believe you will be eligible. 

Affected fishermen also can apply for a state loan payment waiver for this year, to be tacked on to the end of the loan term.

 What the governor has done, and I will quote it: “I have given direction for the DCCED that staff expedite each request as it is made and review each individual loan to reach a determination as quickly as possible, keeping in mind that flexibility exists under state statutes to support our resident fleet. 

Get more information at the Kodiak Legislative Information Office. 907-486-8872   Find links at

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.