Comprehensive Salmon Research Initiative Proposed for Alaska

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says he will include in his fiscal
year 2014 budget $10 million for the first component of a five-year, $30
million comprehensive Chinook Salmon Research initiative, to increase
information on king salmon stocks.
The plan is to develop strategies to enhance viability and
increase returns, using improved information from 12 indicator river systems
from Southeast Alaska to the Arctic. That $10 million will complement existing
funds in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s operating budget, Parnell
said. The department already spends some $14.6 million annually for Chinook salmon-related
research and management.
The announcement comes in the wake of a Chinook salmon
symposium in Anchorage that attracted more than 400 stakeholders.
The research plan includes adult, juvenile and harvest
assessments, plus genetics, biometrics and local and traditional knowledge.
Plans call for statewide projects, with research plans to be updated as more
data and analyses become available.
A draft research plan was presented and extensively
discussed during the two-day Chinook salmon symposium in October. Parnell said
the quality of the dialogue between scientists and the public at that meeting
was a critical step in developing a robust research plan reflecting the most
current scientific knowledge and the priorities of Alaska residents.