The Homer City Council is requesting that Gov. Bill Walker declare the 2018 upper Cook Inlet sockeye salmon fishery an economic disaster. Council members passed a resolution Monday asking Walker to make the declaration.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the total 2018 harvest of all salmon in upper Cook Inlet was valued at $11 million, nearly 70 percent below the 10-year average. The total commercial sockeye harvest in upper Cook Inlet came in at 815,000 fish, which was also down roughly 70 percent from the 10-year average.
Walker declared sockeye runs near Chignik on the Alaska Peninsula an economic disaster back in August. Other areas of the state, including the Copper River in Prince William Sound experienced poor sockeye runs as well. It’s unclear whether the governor will expand his declaration, much like he did in 2016 when several regions around the state experienced poor pink salmon returns.