California salmon fishermen can receive another round of federal disaster funds following another subpar year due to declining stocks.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke formally declared California's salmon fishery a disaster last week as the state's shortened Chinook fishing season concluded. The previous two years of salmon fishing were canceled altogether after Chinook populations dwindled.
Federal fisheries regulators estimate salmon fishermen earned less than $3 million this year -- about 81 percent less than the average in 2003-05. State officials estimate California fishermen only landed about 15,000 salmon in July and August -- the only months salmon fishing was allowed.
Locke's declaration qualified salmon fishermen for millions in assistance, which is still dependent upon an appropriation. That could take some time, as the fed is in a $1.4 trillion budget hole.
The industry received $64 million after the fishery collapsed in 2008.