Gov. Sean Parnell is seeking a federal disaster declaration for the Chinook salmon fisheries on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers.
In a letter to Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank Saturday, Parnell noted the troubling low salmon runs.
He says the fisheries are critical to residents in the region. Many rely on money earned from even small commercial fisheries to make it through Alaska’s winter.
Parnell said the Cook Inlet region is seeing low Chinook salmon returns and may also qualify for an economic disaster declaration once the season ends.
A federal disaster declaration will not bring automatic assistance to the region. A federal appropriation is needed to provide money.