Oregon, California governors seek salmon disaster aid

Fisheries are projected to earn 63% less than average

Two sockeye salmon swim in the Columbia River with a Chinook salmon, middle, at the Bonneville Dam fish-counting window near North Bonneville, Wash. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Jerry Brown are seeking a federal disaster declaration to help salmon fishermen enduring a second bad year in a row.

A record-low number of fall-run Chinook salmon returning to the Klamath River has led to fisheries restrictions, including the cancellation of the season along a large stretch of coastal southern Oregon and Northern California.

In letter dated Wednesday, the governors asked Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross for an expedited declaration of a catastrophic regional fishery disaster, a move necessary for fishing businesses to request federal assistance.

The letter asserts that Oregon’s commercial ocean salmon fisheries are projected to earn 63 percent less revenue than what they averaged from 2012-16. California fisheries are expected to make 72 percent less.