State fisheries biologists planning research to determine the cause for Alaska’s poor king salmon returns were urged to focus studies on near-shore marine waters and the human effects on the fish.
The biologists Tuesday were collecting research suggestions at a two-day Alaska Chinook Salmon Symposium in Anchorage called by Gov. Sean Parnell.
Alaska commercial fisheries chief scientist Erik Volk says organizers were looking for gaps in a preliminary research plan.
The U.S. Department of Commerce in September declared king salmon fisheries failures in Cook Inlet plus the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, making commercial fishermen eligible for disaster relief.
The reason for the poor returns is unknown but researchers suspect ocean factors.
Salmon returns since 2006 have declined on most of the stocks the state monitors.