ANCHORAGE, Alaska — They are on the decline, and no one knows really why.
Salmon returns to western Alaska continue to decrease, and that trend is leading to severe restrictions on commercial and subsistence fisheries. The impact of all this was the topic of a special legislative hearing Wednesday Afternoon.
Before the House Special Committee on Fisheries at the Dena’ina Center are lingering questions that many have been asking for the past 10 years.
Why are the salmon declining and how do you sustain and increase the fishery?
The Department of Fish and Game said they’re trying to find out.
“I wish we could get more clarity to people that live on the river and survive off that stock,” said Jeff Regnart, Director of Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries. “A lot of what we see is what we think is being driven by marine environment… That's really one of the last things left when you use the process of elimination. That’s definitely one of the things we would love to find more information about, but it’s difficult to garner information on the environment.”