Alaska revises estimates of king salmon disaster

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell says the economic damage from poor king salmon returns in Alaska is higher than initially estimated.

Sharon Leighow said Friday the economic effect is estimated to exceed $10 million when setnet fishing on the east side of Cook Inlet is taken into account.

King salmon fisheries in major Alaska watersheds on Thursday were declared failures by the U.S. Department of Commerce, making commercial fishermen eligible for disaster relief.

Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank announced the disaster declaration for the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers and for Cook Inlet.

Gov. Parnell had requested the disaster declaration following weak 2012 returns.

In some cases, managers halted the catch of sockeye or other species so that enough kings could escape up streams.

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